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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Arrest Won't Change QB Reps This Spring

The punishment is coming, but Zach Mettenberger’s future as Georgia’s starting quarterback is nowhere close to evaporated just yet, head coach Mark Richt said.

Mettenberger was arrested last week near Valdosta on five charges including underage consumption, possession of a fake I.D. and obstruction, meaning a suspension is likely. But while it certainly won’t help Mettenberger’s chances of earning the starting quarterback job, Richt said the off-field problems won’t change the current plan for the remainder of the spring.

“It won’t effect Zach’s reps in the spring at all,” Richt said. “If he’s suspended for the first game, when we get ready to practice – once we move into the phase of getting ready for the first game – anybody who’s suspended, they don’t get any reps.”

Richt acknowledged that unless charges are dropped against Mettenberger, the redshirt freshman quarterback will be automatically suspended for one game to start the season. Richt said he could extend the suspension, but he won’t have a firm decision on that for a few more days.

“I still want to get all the information in before we make some public decision on what’s going to happen,” Richt said.

Aaron Murray took the first reps with the first team during Tuesday’s practice after Logan Gray was the first of the No. 1 quarterbacks during the March 4 practice session. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Mettenberger is still set to take the first reps with the starters when the Bulldogs return to work again on Thursday, and the three will continue to share an equal number of reps throughout the remainder of the spring.

Beyond that, Richt said, Mettenberger’s primary job will be rebuilding the trust from his teammates, coaches and fans – a job that, if he can complete, will put him squarely back into the competition at quarterback.

“He knows he’s dug himself a hole, and he wants to climb out,” Richt said. “He knows that what has happened this last week is not going to define who he is and define his career. He’s very anxious to prove to everybody he’s a very solid person and leader. We’re all disappointed and we all know there’s consequences to that kind of action.”


Here's what Richt had to say about Tuesday's work in Georgia's first day back at practice since spring break...

“I thought the boys were kind of rusty but I guess you would expect that coming off of spring break. I thought practice actually improved as it went on, but we looked rusty. But they’re very eager to learn, very eager to prove to the coaching staff that they deserve to play, they’re really working hard at learning what to do. I’ve got no issue with their effort at all right now or their attitude as a group. It’s pretty encouraging actually.”

Georgia will don shells and some pads for Thursday's practice and play in full pads with some tackling on Saturday.

I'll have more notes from Tuesday's practice in the morning.


BZ said...

David, I've got Syracuse winning it all in my bracket. Do you think they can do it? Speak from your mind not your heart. I figured you know more about them than I do.

David Hale said...

Sounds like Onuaku won't be available the first weekend, so that Gonzaga or FSU matchup could be tough. But if they get past that, then I think they make the Final Four, at least.