Georgia football coach Mark Richt dismisses safety Tray Matthews

Georgia football coach Mark Richt dismisses safety Tray Matthews

June 4th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Tray Matthews

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Georgia football coach Mark Richt told reporters last week at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings that sophomore safety Tray Matthews was at a turning point in his maturity.

That turning point quickly became an exit out of Athens.

Richt announced Tuesday that Matthews, a top-50 national prospect in Georgia's 2013 signing class, had been dismissed from the team. The once-optimistic Richt issued a statement regarding the 6-foot, 196-pounder from Newnan that was short and stinging.

"We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right," Richt said.

Matthews enrolled early and was named Georgia's most improved defensive player after the 2013 spring practice. He battled a hamstring injury last fall but totaled 36 tackles, 1.5 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in eight games, six of which were starts.

Before the start of this year's spring practice, Matthews was arrested along with three other players for trying to deposit stipend checks twice.

"I'm sorry, UGA family," Matthews posted Tuesday on his Twitter account, a post that ended with the message "Auburn or Louisville will be my home."

Louisville is already the home of former Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who was dismissed earlier this year, and former Georgia cornerback Shaq Wiggins, who elected to transfer. Former Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is now in the same role with the Cardinals under coach Bobby Petrino.

Matthews and Harvey-Clemons had a memorable collision late in last season's loss at Auburn that resulted in the Tigers completing a fourth-and-18 desperation heave for a 73-yard touchdown.

Senior Corey Moore and sophomore Quincy Mauger will be Georgia's two most experienced safeties in preseason camp. Senior walk-on Lucas Redd was a starter in the G-Day spring game.

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