Posted: 9:39 pm Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Keith Marshall practicing as if he doesn’t want to redshirt this fall 

By Chip Towers

ATHENS – Georgia’s Keith Marshall could possibly take a medical redshirt and sit out this coming season. In fact, at one point it seemed like the best option. But the junior tailback appears to be doing everything in his power to see that doesn’t happen.

The Bulldogs’ had a full-contact practice on Tuesday — their third in a row this spring — and there was Marshall dressed out in full pads. No, he didn’t get tackled or participate in competitive drills. But just the fact that he was running plays in full gear barely four months after being in wheelchair following double knee surgeries speaks volumes about the rehabilitation timeline he has established for himself.

“He’s definitely a lot further along than I expected him,” running backs coach Bryan McClendon said after Tuesday’s practice, the Bulldogs’ eighth of the spring. “But, I mean, Keith is one of those hard workers who’s going to go out and try to beat deadlines and he likes to compete. So right now he’s competing against what they said he was going to be out for, and right now he’s winning.”

One would think that Marshall would be happy just to be walking around at this juncture. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound former 5-star prospect out of Raleigh suffered a devastating knee injury on Oct. 5 at Tennessee when his legs were taken out from under him on a low hit by a defensive back as he tried to haul in a pass in the flat. Marshall was unable to undergo an ACL reconstruction on his right knee until Nov. 12. Simultaneously he got some work done on his left knee, which left him in a wheelchair for a short while.

When the Bulldogs entered into off-season workouts in mid-January, the thinking was that Marshall might not be back to full speed by the time Georgia opens the season Aug. 30 against Clemson. It probably played a part in the Bulldogs being able to land not one but two more 5-star signees at tailback in Nick Chubb of Cedartown and Sony Michel of Ft. Lauderdale. With Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley and rising sophomore Brendan Douglas already in the fold, Georgia has the depth to not risk it.

And, of course, Marshall is a talent in his own right. Sharing the workload with Gurley, he has managed 1,005 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns in 19 games the last two seasons It might not be bad to separate him and Gurley from being in the same class. But that’s never been part of plan, McClendon said.

“Right now the plan is to see how far along he is, and then do what’s going to be best for him,” he said. “That’s priority number on. We’re going to do what’s best for him. That way everybody will be able to sleep good at night.”

But McClendon admits he didn’t expect to have Marshall going through drills with him at this point.

“He’s doing a good job of staying on top of things and coming in here and getting treated at least twice a day and then trying to constantly push what he does in practice,” McClendon said. “I’ve got to scale him back a lot and tell him ‘hey, don’t do that.’ But I’m very pleased with how he’s been. Obviously, you’ve just got to make sure that he knows when to say when. That’s what I’m talking to him about, staying between doing enough and doing too much.”

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are also getting more out of Gurley this spring than was originally expected. While his carries have been limited in competitive situations, Gurley has been on field for every minute of every practice so far.

“You’ve still got to earn what you get,” McClendon said. “That’s one of the biggest things I’ve been pleased about with Todd. He’s not sitting back and waiting. He knows how I operate and how we operate here, which is to make sure that everybody’s at their best. And the only way to be at your best is to practice that way and invest today into what you want to get during the season. I think they’re all doing that and I’ve been very pleased with them as far as that goes.”

Looking for guards

Offensive line coach Will Friend has been very happy with what he’s seeing from his current starting tackles, John Theus on the left and Kolton Houston on the right. But he can’t say the same with the guards.

“Nobody’s stepped up and said they want to be the (starting) guard yet,” Friend said Tuesday. “Greg Pyke has had a good spring and I think he’ll get better as we go through it. But we’re not performing the way we need to inside right now.”

Friend has plenty of candidates to work with. The spring began with sophomores Brandon Kublanow and Greg Pyke competing at right guard and Mark Beard, Hunter Long and Josh Cardiello competing on the left. Since then, Kublanow got sick with the flu and then suffered a hyper-extended elbow. Zach DeBell has moved inside to left guard from left tackle and is now working with the No. 1 offense. Beard moved back outside to tackle to back up Theus and Friend keeps mixing and matching to find the right combination.

“We’re just trying to get some help inside,” Friend said. “We’re not where we want to be at guard now. We’ve got to get better there.”

Georgia has another option in backup right tackle Watts Dantzler, who has worked extensively at guard in the past. But he’s currently sidelined with a concussion.

The guards have a tough act to follow in Chris Burnette and Dallas Lee, which is part of the problem, Friend said.

“Chris and Dallas were so smart,” he said. “They were intelligent guys and they knew what we were trying to do. … We like to get ourselves into the best play and to do that you’ve got to be able to change plays. They did a good job of being able to change in a hurry and getting into plays that could help us. New guys, guys who haven’t played as much, we’re kind of struggling with that and we’ve got to pick that up.”

D-line shakeup

Once again, Ray Drew is having to battle through a position change. After coming to Georgia as an outside linebacker prospect, Drew adjusted to the move to defensive end and responded with 43 tackles and six sacks in seven starts as a junior last season.

Under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, Drew has found himself moving further inside to a tackle position. As a result, he dropped to third on the depth chart last week.

“The players have a pretty good idea who each other is. But the coaches are trying to figure out what’s going to work best with their system and what their expectations are,” Drew said. “They’ve already made the statement that things are going to change again this upcoming week. There might be a different depth chart. Up until we kick off against Clemson I don’t think anybody’s secure in a job. We’re just rolling with it.”

Drew’s not the only one dealing with such changes. James DeLoach and Josh Dawson have moved to defensive end positions after playing outside linebacker last season. DeLoach was considered one of the stars of this past Saturday’s scrimmage and is now working with the No. 1 unit.

Rocker likes Drew’s attitude and believes it’s going to serve him well.

“The first week he was with the ones and we moved him down,” Rocker said. “He had a good scrimmage this week and he’s back with the 2s. It’s all about doing what we ask you to do and playing full speed. We’re trying him inside and I think we’re getting a better effort out of him now. We’re trying to get the max out of him. A lot of time in this biz we get caught up in the name defensive end or outside linebacker. But it’s about do you want to play and win. He’s having some success now playing the 3-technique and hopefully he can keep improving.”

Rocker said the defensive linemen who have done best so far this spring are Mike Thornton, Chris Mayes and Sterling Bailey.

Seen & heard

Tight end Jordan Davis was sidelined Tuesday with a left-knee sprain, leaving converted fullback Quayvon Hicks as the only scholarship player at that position. The Bulldogs utilized tackle Aulden Bynum there some during practice. … There appeared to be some movement on the depth chart for the defensive backfield after Saturday’s scrimmage. Safety Tray Matthews and cornerback Devin Bowman were working with the first-team defense. Also, for the short observation period provided for media Tuesday, sophomore cornerback Brendan Langley was working with the safeties. … The new Field Turf on the lower fields at Woodruff Practice Fields were almost completely installed at the end of the day Tuesday.

 

 

 

120 comments
gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Not one of you Homers defended A. Ogletree, guess its unanimous.

DawginLex
DawginLex

Tech fan on Twitter just posted he hopes Gurley tears his ACL followed by a racial slur


#StayClassyTech

NCDawg
NCDawg

Well, the point of the story is that Keith Marshall is working his butt off in an effort to be ready to play this season.  Then we somehow allowed a delusional Vols fan to hijack the blog with an ever more inane defense of the hit that caused the injury.  How sick is that?  


Just damn...

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

" suffered a devastating knee injury on Oct. 5 at Tennessee when his legs were taken out from under him on a low hit by a defensive back as he tried to haul in a pass in the flat  "


SLAWdog when you tell who your team is, you can say otherwise - and, not until.

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

I watched the hit on Marshall many times and it was NOT a dirty hit. Injuries happen because football is a violent sport. If you can't live with that, then don't play the game. Marshall needs to redshirt or risk a career-ending injury if he tries to come back too soon. Check your gigantic ego at the door please.

thebucket
thebucket

Out of respect for Marshall I am not going to post a video of Marshall's injury. But the facts are that only a Tennessee homer or a UGA hater could take an objective look at that hit and say that it's not something that real man, full-contact football could do without. Tony Gonzalez used to tell db's and lb's he would pay their fine if they would please hit him high and not take away his knees and cost him a chance to make a living. The fact is the defender had a chance to size up Marshall and line up a proper tackle and instead he lowered his head and rolled Marshall's knee. For some of you to say that there was no contact with the knee is so laughable that I shouldn't have even brought it up.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

SnaggleAZZpussTooth,


What Mark Richt once had, a higher win percentage than Nick Saban, he obviously has scuttled on his own with his 26 losses latest 6 years.


At one time, Mark Richt had a 81 percent win percentage.


Now, if you can cease with your B.S. of when did Nick Saban pass him, you never said Mark Richt had a higher win percentage than Nick Saban and in the same sentence even saying that a year and a half ago, Mark Richt was in the top 10 active coaches win percentage and Nick Saban was NOT, and all your other B.S. SnaggleAZZpussTooth, sir; then you will not have to deal with your LIES.


SnaggleAZZpussTooth

CTBigDawg
CTBigDawg

ColumbusDawg:  You stated: "Actually, I think Friend will be the man this year. He is looking for his two staring guards, and is actually going about it in the correct way. Theus and Houston are going to be just fine at the tackle spots, Theus will shine, and Houston just had to get his legs back under him from his long layoff. looks like Pyke will get one spot, and once Kublanow gets well he will probably make a move. Bobo had good things to say about him. Friend ain't heaping no praise. He said something about Pruitt and the way he does things, it is spreading throughout the team, and Coach Friend knows that in the end if his starters can hang with Rocker's starters, then he will have a pretty good OL."

Columbus--- While I hope you are right--- quiet honestly I will only believe it if I see it this fall as from what I have seen over the years since Coach Richt became head coach Georgia has always had problems on the O-line. Also, I see Georgia's best and most consistent tackle the last 2 years Mark Beard listed as a back-up which IMHO is a mistake. Anyways we will see this fall. Hopefully this friendly competition between Coach Friend and Coach Pruitt will come to fruition and Georgia will be a force to be reckoned with this fall and going forward.  


Go Dawgs

Bama Dawg Fan
Bama Dawg Fan

MTaggart you must be blind trying to watch the game on TV. That Tenn DB hit Marshall on the outside of the knee with his shoulder pads at full speed. A typical CHEAP shot from a thug Volunteer player. He couldn't MAN UP and take Marshall on in the chest and wrap up. He knew he would get trucked like H.W. ran over Bill Bates years ago which was a moment I thoroughly enjoyed!!!!!!

thebucket
thebucket

@DawginLex I know there are "Dawg" fans that say stupid things, too, but that is just disgusting.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@DawginLex it was probably the sociopath using a different nickname.  LOL.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown Hit high Targeting, Hit low Cheap shot. How about we take away the helmets an give them some flags and Vaginas.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrown My team is Tech, you should know that ThomAss. And it was nothing in comparison of the cheap shots Alec Ogletree did. Hypocrite.

MTaggart
MTaggart

Dumb comment TB. Tell us where this quote came from. A homer maybe?

Dawg350
Dawg350

Cole slaw

Check yours on your way on out the door! You maggot!

thebucket
thebucket

@SlawDawg Wow! Who didn't know "SlawDawg" wasn't going to say that it wasn't a dirty hit? The fan of the mystery team who hides behind the Dawg in his name. That's ok, Dawgs have been protecting people for a long time!

MTaggart
MTaggart

Yea, I wouldn't post it either if I were you. You would lose your credibility.

MTaggart
MTaggart

Marshall was in the flat. Took a pass no player around him, green grass all in front of him. The DB comes at him and for some reason Mardhall decided to plant his foot. The force of the hit took the knee out. He did not hit him on his knee. It was Mano on Mano. The DB did his job. It was a football play. No flag neither player got lost in the shuffle like injuries to linemen. It was in wide open space. Common sense would tell you the likelihood of the defender zeroing in on a small target like a knee is what is laughable. Take your glasses of and see it for what it was, a football play.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@thebucket   it's typical.  I really think some of these fans of other schools think that their players actually do nothing wrong, ever.  How else do you explain their silly comments about things like this?


Yeah, I'm a Georgia homer but I couldn't look at a hit like that by one of our guys and defend it.  If my brother sucker punches you (wouldn't happen btw) and you end up in the hospital because of it there is no way I am defending that.  He knows that too.


Damn, that kind of fandom borders on unhealthy.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Thomas

Your negativity is suffocating! Snaggle puss has more class then you do. You make up lies about people.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Ct big dawg

Do you know Bynum's weight?

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

@Bama Dawg Fan Hey numbnutts.....I think your $5 WallyWorld UGA hat is about 3 sizes too small. Its cutting off the blood flow to that inbred brain of yours. Do yourself a favor. Get a job and get out of your trailer a little more often. Then you won't have time to sit around all day smoking crack.

MTaggart
MTaggart

I'm sure you did Bama Dawg. And like 1 million other dawg fans "you were there". When in reality you were probably not even born yet. I'll say it again, he never touched his knee. Now...if you want to say the Tenn. defender that took LAttimores kneew out the year before, the yes he did hit Lattimore on the knee. Was it intentional? I have no idea and neither do you. You guys need to understand that foot ball is a collision sport and sometimes at full speed bad things happen to good kids. No football player worth his salt would ever allow a player to run over him whie he stood there.You're taught to be the aggressor.If you aren't aggressive you will never see the field. You can call players thugs if you want, but on the filed that is pretty much wahat you want.

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart Reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it? Did you not read the above article hillbilly?

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart Apparently you are the one that needs to watch the video again because Marshall didn't even catch the ball!!! "Took a pass no player around him, green grass all in front of him."


But this one takes the cake,"for some reason Mardhall decided to plant his foot." So now it's Marshall' fault that a defender rolled into the side of leg?!? What a blind homer!!! Marshall was trying to get to the stupid football! The defender rolled into the side of leg and planted his foot in the ground and that tore is knee to pieces!!!

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart "no player around him" Did you just type that? Then how the h*** did Marshall get his knee destroyed if there was no one around him?!? Marshall's back was to the defender and he didn't even know he was about to be hit and didn't even catch the freaking ball!!!! But yeah he was going all the way for a TD if the DB hadn't hit him low. What a blind homer you are sir!!!

MTaggart
MTaggart

So who do you guys blame for Mitchell's injury at Clemson? The grass?the endzone line? Nike for allowing him to run too fast and to jump too high? The weight trainer? Must be someone.

thebucket
thebucket

@NCDawg @thebucket You are exactly right. There a some FANatics that will defend their team regardless of what happens.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 Your positivity can be suffocating, sometimes it makes me want do a moist and vomit. But i dont appreciate him taking shots at my pal Snaggle. Exit stage left.

Bama Dawg Fan
Bama Dawg Fan

@MTaggart No I wasn't "actually there", but I was alive since I was born in May of 1957 smarty pants!

I have two sons that played football in high school, just as I did so I realize it is a contact sport. The thing is I taught them NOT to take cheap shots on players. Be a man and tackle the right way. Go for the chest and wrap up.

Personally, I don't care for the way the NFL is taking all the violence out of the game, but it part of the blame goes to ESPN putting all these guys on the TOP 10 making a big deal out of knock out shots. 

You can make the highlight reel with a legal hit. Yes, there are going to be injuries in football. Actually I played soccer for 17 years until I had a knee blown out playing so I know what injuries are all about. Back then they didn't have all the surgeries and repairs that we have today.

Bama Dawg Fan
Bama Dawg Fan

@gtcaryd @Bama Dawg FanYep! If you have to rely on a CHEAP shot to take someone out of the game then you are a THUG in every sense of the word. Just ask Brett Favre about the hit he took in the NFC Championship game against the Saints when they were on a drive to take the lead in that game!

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@MTaggart is a Middle Tennessee State University fan ?  That's why it says MT ?  Or, he teaches driving at Taggart's in Middle Tennessee


I mean why troll, hiding behind keyboard, with no picture - just a greyed-out head, and not have your team in your handle ?


And, why - even worse - not reply and explain ?


I mean, you're hiding behind the Internet, like the rest of us, right ?


Have to also LIE about your team ?


Your team is the lousy vols ?


Good Heavens !


I have not seen any vols' fans on AJ-C since way back on Access Atlanta.


I mean it's been FOREVR since someone rooting the vols, trolled our UGA blog.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@MTaggart   Preach on Brutha!  You have been thoroughly exposed as the "blind homer".  

You are spouting the crap every so called loyal Vol deludes himself with.  

I saw the hit when it happened on TV and the several replays afterwards and then I went back and dug out another replay just to make sure I wasn't remembering it incorrectly.  I didn't need any local writer to tell me what I saw.  And obviously I saw it correctly sir, because my opinion is supported by many others who took your challenge and saw it the same way.


The only people who support your view are known trolls that would say down if any Dawg fan said up.  That is quite an endorsement of your blind homer view of things.

 



MTaggart
MTaggart

Yes, I read Chips article. And if YOU go back and look you will see that it was I that commented that his article was irresponsible. Now, as you can see by the number of comments since, it is easy to tell who the "blind loyalists" are. The homers, the ones that believe every word that the local beat writer(s) say about the dawgs. Dummy.

MTaggart
MTaggart

Sounds like you're suggesting the player hit Marshall for no reason, as in Marshall had hi back turned was trying to catch the ball etc. So the defender just says "hey I'll take his knee out while he isn't ready. The sideline official won't throw a flag or anything. Dummy. Man you are one pathetic loser.

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart I am not responding to you anymore because you obviously need to rewatch the play before you continue to make an idiot out of yourself. Marshall ran to flat and was waiting for Murray to find him. Marshall has his back to the defender. Murray throws the ball to the sideline side of Marshall. Marshall starts running toward the ball to attempt to catch. After Marshall takes several strides toward the ball he is hit in the side of the leg while his right foot is coming down. The foot is driven into the ground and the knee gets crushed under the weight of the hit. Marshall didn't catch the ball. Marshall didn't know he was about to get hit. Defender apparently has no arms to wrap up a proper tackle on a defenseless receiver.

MTaggart
MTaggart

BINGO!!!!! Marshall was trying to get the football, was going to make a move by planting his foot. The defender saw this and went toward him and hit him 100% legal,no question of a low hit. It's a football play.The defender was trying to make a stupid tackle.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@MTaggart are you schizo or something?  

"Took a pass no player around him".  Now if you had no idea what happened on the play and read that you would assume the writer ( you ) was saying that Marshall caught a pass and had nothing but green grass in front of him.  That description would be grossly incorrect.  (I'm being nice by not calling it a lie, btw.)  So how far is your poor tortured brain rearranging reality?  Your attempt at explaing your opinion is pitiful.  


I know what I saw.  Marshall was running out into the flat facing the sideline.  The ball went wide and as Marshall was reaching for the pass he was tackled by #23 with his head down and struck Marshall's right thigh about 2/3 of the way down.  The knee buckled and that was that.  The pass was incomplete sir.  The hit occurred after the ball deflected off Marshall out stretched right hand.


There word for word what really happened, taken from still to still of the replay.  Sorry... you are hopelessly wrong on this one and only making a fool of yourself continuing to defend an indefensible position.

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart I don't need to read it again. I quoted you word for word. You, on the hand, apparently do need to watch the video again because your grasp on the facts has apparently slipped.

MTaggart
MTaggart

Read it again dummy. No other player(s) around him. It was assumed you knew there was the one defender. Obviously he was there because he was the one to make the hit.Marshall's back was to the defender? LOL comical. I didn't sy he was going all the way for a TD, merely implied Marshall had lots of running room. Dummy.

thebucket
thebucket

@MTaggart No sir. I don't blame anyone for that. I, unlike you, am not a blind homer. But nice try.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Card

Of course my positivity annoys you.....because you're yech fan?

Dawg350
Dawg350

Card

I'm asking about one of our OL that nobody seems to not know anything about. So shut your trapper!

MTaggart
MTaggart

Well I was there (section Y9, row 18) And for what its worth to you that is the north endzone, opposite end from where Herschel leveled Bates. But back to the discussion. No way in the world anyone can honestly say the hit on Marshall was cheap. Yes he hit him hard, but that is the name of the game. The TN player would have been ran out of the stadium if he had waited for Marshall to come at him,juke him,run over him. What's the matter with you guys? If it had turned out the way you are describing we would be discussing another Herschel type of hit on a pansy TN defender. As it is Marshall is trying to work his way back from a football injury. Simple as that my friend.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Bama Dawg Fan What gang colors does Alec Ogletree display because he was always trying to hurt players when he tackled them.