The top drawing card for Georgia's spring football game this Saturday is likely off the table.
Heralded early enrollee Keith Marshall, who was expected to challenge Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome on the tailback depth chart, sat out Saturday's second scrimmage with a hamstring pull and is expected to miss the final week of workouts as well.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder from Raleigh, N.C., was rated this past winter as the No. 1 tailback nationally by Scout.com and No. 2 by ESPN, and he quickly turned heads in Athens by defeating Malcolm Mitchell in a 40-yard dash.
"I would say the chance of Keith going is not very good," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said following the 90-minute scrimmage at the Woodruff practice fields.
In Georgia's first scrimmage on March 31, Marshall rushed five times for 18 yards. He has not practiced since.
Mitchell, who led Georgia in receiving yards per game last season as a freshman but has worked this spring at cornerback, is now probably the top G-Day headline. Richard Samuel, who has shifted from tailback to fullback this spring, is expected to miss G-Day with a concussion, while safety Bacarri Rambo, who has reportedly been suspended four games for testing positive for marijuana, may miss with a hamstring pull, too.
Richt said the offense improved Saturday but that the defense continues to be stout.
Aaron Murray completed 8 of 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, according to statistics that were kept, while Hutson Mason was 12-of-19 for 151 yards with two scores and two interceptions. Christian LeMay was 3-of-6 for 28 yards with one interception, and Marlon Brown was the top receiver with five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Malcome had five carries for 29 yards, while Crowell had six for 23.
"Our offensive line is getting challenged every day," Richt said. "As you can see, there is still not a lot of room to run the football. The O-line still has a ways to go."
Richt added that nose tackles Kwame Geathers and John Jenkins are "making it tough on our centers" and that the defensive end quartet of Abry Jones, Garrison Smith, Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew has performed very well. Geathers had two sacks Saturday, while Drew had five tackles and a sack.
Sophomore safety Corey Moore, who could replace Rambo for the first four games, continued his stellar play this spring with nine tackles and an interception. The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder from Griffin, Ga., had one tackle last season, and that was against New Mexico State.
"Corey is a very aggressive football player when it comes to coming up and making the tackle," Richt said. "He's a good athlete who is going to have to play for us."
Safety Shawn Williams had an interception Saturday before sustaining a knee injury that Richt described as "non-operational." Williams is expected to miss G-Day as well.
Odds and Ends
Redshirt freshman cornerback and former Ridgeland High standout Devin Bowman got the wind knocked out of him during the scrimmage. ... The Bulldogs are up to 12 commitments for the 2013 signing class with Aulden Bynum, a 6-5, 260-pound offensive tackle from Valdosta; Kyrin Priester, a 6-2, 190 receiver from Snellville, Ga.; and Ryne Rankin, a 6-1, 230-pound linebacker from Orlando.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...