Georgia O-line facing several issues

semerson@macon.comSeptember 22, 2011 

ATHENS -- Georgia’s offensive line can ill afford injuries, and it not only has that now, but it turns out it has also been dealing with an NCAA eligibility issue.

Kolton Houston, a redshirt freshman who was considered a top reserve in the preseason, has yet to play because of an unspecified NCAA issue. Head coach Mark Richt revealed that after Wednesday’s practice.

“We think it’s gonna get cleared up. We just don’t know when,” Richt said.

Houston was considered a four-star recruit by Scout.com coming out of Buford and was selected for the Under Armour All-American game. So he was a candidate to play some guard -- a spot Georgia is hurting at this week.

Chris Burnette, the starter at right guard, “tweaked” his knee Wednesday, according to Richt, and his status is up in the air. The team was hoping to get a better gauge of the injury Thursday and was hoping that the injury wouldn’t swell.

Burnette injured the same knee last year and didn’t play during what was his redshirt freshman year.

Kenarious Gates, the starter at left guard in the opener, has missed the past two games with a leg injury. But Richt said Gates practiced Wednesday.

Richt was asked what the team would do if neither Gates or Burnette could go Saturday at Mississippi.

“Don’t ask me that question,” Richt said, laughing.

Freshman David Andrews could play guard, as could redshirt freshman Hunter Long. Richt even mentioned the possibility of longtime center Ben Jones moving to another guard.

“The only reason you’d even consider that is because David’s been getting all the reps at center. And he’s comfortable,” he said. “And I think Ben could play guard or tackle besides center if he had to in a pinch. Because he just knows what to do, and he’s a competitor and an athlete.”

Nothing more on Jakar

Richt didn’t want to say anything more about what happened with safety Jakar Hamilton, who announced he was transferring Tuesday for personal reasons. Hamilton, a senior, was sitting out the season after breaking his ankle in the preseason.

“I hate to be evasive again, but when we announce something that’s for personal reasons we like to leave it like that. Or I do,” Richt said. “And we wish them well.”

Brown now doubtful

Receiver Marlon Brown didn’t do much this week, and his status was downgraded to doubtful for the Ole Miss game.

The junior from Memphis, which is about an hour’s drive from Ole Miss, started Georgia’s first two games, catching four passes for 34 yards.

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