Georgia's Mark Richt wishes Auburn's Marshall well

Georgia's Mark Richt wishes Auburn's Marshall well

August 24th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

University of Georgia NCAA college football coach Mark Richt speaks to members of the media in Athens, Ga., in this file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Although Georgia's focus is on next Saturday night's football opener at Clemson, the Bulldogs could be challenging two familiar faces further down the road.

One fourth of the Southeastern Conference opponents facing the Bulldogs this season could have former Georgia players at quarterback. The Bulldogs have known since December that they would be facing LSU, which is quarterbacked by Zach Mettenberger, while Auburn last Saturday announced Nick Marshall as its starter.

Marshall was a reserve defensive back for the Bulldogs during the 2011 season before being dismissed from the program.

"I like Nick, and I hope he has success other than our game," Georgia coach Mark Richt said following Friday's practice.

Marshall was the quarterback for Garden City Community College in Kansas last season before signing with the Tigers in February. Asked if there was ever a package developed for Marshall as a change of pace for Aaron Murray, Richt said, "We were thinking about doing that somewhere along his career, but we never got to it."

Mettenberger and Murray enrolled together in January 2009 and were roommates, but Mettenberger was dismissed from the program in the spring of 2010. He is entering his third season at LSU and his second as the starter.

Richt never has accepted a transfer scholarship quarterback during his 13 seasons in Athens.

"It would have to depend on the circumstances," he said. "I would have to know all the facts and decide if this person would be in the best interests of Georgia. It would be a possibility. I would never count it out."

The Bulldogs practiced for 90 minutes Friday in 90-degree temperatures on one of the hottest days this month. Richt said he was pleased with the way his players fought through the heat and humidity.

Georgia will hold a short practice today, take Sunday off and have a full pads workout Monday that is not expected to include any tackling.

Freshman safety Tray Matthews (hamstring) and junior safety Corey Moore (knee sprain) continue to miss practice time. Richt is hopeful Matthews will play at Clemson and thinks there will be a good chance of that.

Earning Richt's praise after practice was 6-foot-2, 257-pound sophomore fullback Quayvon Hicks.

"If you drew up a fullback in our system, you would just about be drawing him up," Richt said. "He's very athletic, he's got good running skills and he catches the ball pretty well.

"Sometimes a fullback has to make adjustments when he's the lead blocker. You've got to be agile to be a really good fullback, and he is that. He's a good one."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.