March 23, 2013

Marshall not worried

Running back Keith Marshall said he's not worried about his recent hamstring issues being a major problem, despite the fact he's now tweaked his twice in less than a year.

Last spring as an early enrollee, Marshall tweaked his hamstring and was forced to miss the last two weeks of spring drills.

This year, Marshall tweaked his hamstring while running track and missed Georgia's first four spring sessions before returning this week.

"I don't think it will be a problem. I think it's just preparation, knowing I've had this problem twice now," Marshall said. "I'm getting extra rehab on it and now that I'm healthy, just continue to work on it, stay flexible, things like that."

Still, coaches are making sure Marshall is 100 percent before throwing him full-go into the fray.

"(Thursday) I was full go. I didn't get as many reps but, that's smart," Marshall said. "A hamstring can be feeling good and all of a sudden you just pull it."

It's unclear whether or not Marshall would have taken part in Saturday's scheduled scrimmage before it was postponed to Tuesday due to heavy rains.

"That was the same hamstring," Marshall said. "I'm going to make sure it's good, there won't be any problems."

Marshall certainly didn't have any problem last fall when he teamed with fellow freshman Todd Gurley to give the Bulldogs arguably the most dynamic freshman running back combo in the entire country.

The Raleigh, N.C. native rushed for 759 yards, averaging an impressive 6.5 yards per carry and scored eight touchdowns.

If not for an even more amazing season by Gurley (1,385 yards, 17 touchdowns), Marshall would be held in even higher esteem. P>But Marshall said he isn't worried about getting the bigger headlines, although he acknowledges he and Gurley are certainly competitive when they're on the field.

"We're definitely competitive toward each other, we want to be the best. He knows that," Marshall said. "We work every day and we compete against each other, but we help each other out a lot as well."

This year, Marshall is lending his expertise to one of his newest teammates - fellow running back J.J. Green.

The former Camden County standout has been one of spring camp's surprises as an early enrollee.

"Last year, my head was spinning and I was trying to get everything down. This year I'm more of a veteran so I'm in the position where I can help some of the young guys," Marshall said. "I'm trying to help J.J. out whenever possible and focus on the little things like pass protection, things like that."

So far, Marshall likes what he's seen.

"He likes competition. He's going to be good, I think," Marshall said of the 5-foot-9, 182-pound Green. "He's extremely quick and very tough to be that size. He doesn't let the fact that he's a little small be a factor."

Marshall is not the type of player to let his own game grow stagnant, either.

As his own harshest critic, there's always improvements to be made.

"Every time I watch film I see stuff I'm doing wrong and can improve on," he said. "I think everybody here is their own hardest critic."

That's why he believes nobody on the offense are thinking too much about last season's offensive success.

"We had all those records last year but they don't really mean a thing right now. We're starting over," Marshall said. "I'm not saying I forgot, but you don't want to get content at all. You just keep working hard and don't worry about that."