MEMPHIS -- Thanks to bad weather throughout the East, many of Marlon Brown’s teammates had trouble getting to town Sunday. A few still hadn’t arrived by Monday’s first practice.
Brown, however, had only a five-minute drive.
One of two Memphis natives on Georgia’s roster -- redshirt freshman tackle Austin Long is the other -- Brown estimates he will have about 100 family or friends at Friday’s game. The question is how much they will see the sophomore receiver play.
Brown, who caught 10 passes in the regular season, said he hadn’t spoken to coaches about getting any special treatment.
“But I feel like if they need me, or they’re going to use me, it’s going to happen,” Brown said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said the Bulldogs would “probably not” designate a certain amount of plays for Brown. But the staff is well aware of the hometown player’s status.
“Personally I’d love for him to have a good game where he catches a few balls and makes some plays,” said Bobo, who added that Brown had good bowl practices in Athens. “He’s gonna have the opportunity. But if the ball gets to him, based on what they do, I don’t know.”
Richt not happy
Tailback Caleb King, the team’s second-leading rusher, is missing the Liberty Bowl after missing his fifth academic-related meeting. That policy is one set by the Georgia athletics department and has been around for most of head coach Mark Richt’s tenure.
“I’m not mad at the policy. The policy’s good,” Richt said. “We rarely run into this at all. I just think it’s another way to tell our players, tell the players’ families, tell recruits, that we’re serious about academics. We have a plan for them, and if they follow it, they’ll be fine. If they don’t, then they’ll have to suffer the consequences for it. It’s not the policy’s fault; it’s Caleb’s fault for not following through on his responsibility.”
@BR Body Subhed:The future of O-Line
Georgia knows it will losing at least two starters on the offensive line: Clint Boling and Josh Davis are seniors. As for juniors Cordy Glenn and Trinton Sturdivant, who have sent their names to the NFL draft advisory committee, Bobo said he’s proceeding under the assumption they’re returning.
“I plan on them coming back until they say otherwise,” Bobo said. “Right now they’re Georgia Bulldogs. They’re here.”
Whoever ends up returning, Kenarious Gates seems to be in the coaches’ plans. The freshman started three games at guard this year and played in three more, and Bobo said Gates could be a factor at tackle.
“I think he’s gonna be an excellent player for us,” Bobo said. “He’s got this natural punch, natural strength, good feet. So I’m really excited about him.”
Long also projects as a tackle. He didn’t play this season, and was slowed as a freshman with a back injury.
“He’s still got a long way to go,” Bobo said. “But we’re pleased with him.”