August 4, 2010

Richt says he asked Morant to stay

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he tried to talk Dexter Morant into staying with the team, but ultimately the Manning, S.C. native decided it was time to go.

UGASports broke the story of the freshman's decision, a choice that Richt said was based around the fact the former outside linebacker had grown tired of playing the game.

"Football is not for everybody, I think he just felt like he lost the desire to play," Richt said after practice Wednesday. "We tried to convince him that it would be in his best interest to stay and fight through it, because a lot of guys have been through that before, but in the end he felt like it just wasn't for him, at least at this point in his life. We honored that. We can't make him stay."

The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder who was rated by Rivals as the nation's 15th-best defensive end his senior year had been questioning his decision to come to Athens since he reported with the rest of the freshmen back in early June.

"Oh yeah, it was most of the summer, but again a lot of guys have those feelings," Richt said. "He just didn't want to do it."

Richt said he doesn't know if Morant will ever resume his football career.

"It didn't seem he was interested in playing football period. He said 'Coach, if I really wanted to play football, Georgia is where I'd want it to be,'" Richt said. "He's just lost the desire to play the game, now whether or not that changes, after watching a season, maybe he'll want to get back in there. I wish him the best. He's a good kid."

Richt said Morant made his final decision Tuesday afternoon.

"He came in before practice with his keys in his hand," Richt said. "I sat down with him and tried to get him to stay but he didn't want to do it."

Brown feels he's on right track

His shoulder healthy after spraining it during the spring, sophomore wideout Marlon Brown believes he's finally ready to take that next step and become a contributing member of Georgia's receiving corps.

The Bulldogs certainly hope so.

Although slightly better than a season ago, Georgia's isn't exactly blessed with a plethora of depth at the position, highlighted of course by junior A.J. Green.

"The shoulder's fine, now it's up to me to just go out and do my job," Brown said.

From a physical standpoint, the Memphis native is downright scary.

At 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds, Brown could pass for a small forward on Mark Fox's basketball squad, which wouldn't be too much of a stretch since he starred on the hardwood in high school as well.

But Brown won't be playing organized basketball anytime soon. He's too busy trying to finally settle in as a contributing member of the receiving corps.

"I'm not even going to try and be like A.J. because I can't," he said. "I've just got to do what Marlon can do."

Coaches hope that help will be considerable.

"I think everything with my game has gotten better. I'm big, I'm physical, my blocking …," said Brown, rattling off his perceived set of attributes. "I'm getting better depth in my routes, I'm jumping better."

Brown said Green has been his biggest supporter.

"Oh, every day," Brown said. "If I do something wrong, he's there to correct me. If I drop a pass, he'll be like 'C'mon Marlon, you better than that.' He's really helped me out a lot."

Green already hearing about South Carolina game

Green laughed that he's already hearing the smack from friends in his home state of South Carolina who are already looking ahead to the Sept. 11 game against the Gamecocks.

"Yeah, it's that way every year; you just can't let it get to you," Green said. "To me it's just another game, but yeah, it would be nice to win. That would make me 3-0 against them so I'd have even more bragging rights."

With kickoff scheduled for noon, Green's said he's already dreading the heat that's sure to be pushing triple digits.

"It might be 108, 110 out there," Green said. "I just know it's going to be hot."

This and that

Tanner Strickland (shoulder) and Chad Gloer (hamstring) sat out Wednesday's workout, which Richt said was easily the hottest of the three sessions so far. … Richt highlighted the effort of Darryl Gamble, saying "he's doing a great job of rushing the passer, just giving great effort." … Richt said Austin Long (back) wasn't able to finish practice due to the heat, but explained it's not surprising since it was just his third practice since undergoing back surgery. Richt, though, was not concerned with Long who is participating in workouts 100 percent. … Richt said he will not rush Southern Cal transfer Jarvis Jones (neck) back into contact drills.

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