Richt indicates decision on Marshall Morgan status is made

semerson@macon.comJuly 29, 2013 



GWINNETT - There is movement on the Marshall Morgan front. Mark Richt just won't say what it is yet.

After saying two weeks ago there was no decision, Richt got cagey and indicated otherwise on Monday night.

"We'll just have to let you know. I can't say anything on that right now," Richt said. "We'll let you know sometime."

Morgan was arrested in July for boating under the influence, which isn't covered in the UGA student-athlete conduct code, there was supposed to be a meeting of a so-called comprehensive action committee to decide on Morgan's status. Two weeks ago, Richt said there hadn't been time to meet with athletics director Greg McGarity. On Monday night, Richt didn't address whether there was an update.

"I've officially not met with any committee on that," Richt said, smiling. "We'll tell you whether he's gonna play or not. But not today. We'll tell you sometime."

Asked if he'd like to maintain a strategic advantage by not revealing Morgan's status, Richt answered: "Yeah, I'd like to." He also declined to discuss who would be a candidate to kick if Morgan isn't available.

Richt also said he spent some time this summer with some "coaches who are good at kicking," in preparation for a slightly more active role with the kickers and punters. He'll be "more apt" to watch the kicking specialists during practices, and to review video of them from practices.

Kolton Houston a candidate to play

Speaking to the media for the first time since Kolton Houston was reinstated by the NCAA, Richt sounded optimistic that the offensive linemen can contribute right away.

"I think he'll play, I really do. I think he's in good enough condition," Richt said. "Will he start, I don't know, but I really believe he'll play this year. Maybe a good bit."

Richt said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and offensive line coach Will Friend have been "banging around" ideas for how to use Houston. He's athletic enought o play tackle, according to Richt, but his body type right now makes him more of a guard.

Gurley could return kickoffs again

Last year Todd Gurley got a shot to return kickoffs the first two games, and had a 100-yard touchdown return in the opener against Buffalo. But his return role pretty much disappeared as he became the team's star tailback.

Gurley could get a shot to reprise the role. He was one of a number of candidates Richt listed, along with sophomore receiver Justin Scott-Wesley and a few unspecified freshmen. On punt return, junior cornerback Damian Sann, junior receiver Malcolm Mitchell and senior receiver Rhett McGowan have all done it in the past and are the top candidates again.

"But there might be a freshman or two that we'll throw out there and see what he can do as well," Richt said.

This and that

Some other highlights from Richt's session with reporters prior to the UGA Day appearance:

- Freshman defensive end Davin Bellamy, coming off shoulder surgery, will be a bit limited to begin practice on Thursday. Safety Paris Bostick (turf toe) and cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (knee surgery), both freshmen, are out for the season.

- Aaron Murray has said at times that the memory of the SEC championship has motivated him during the offseason. Richt is actually skeptical of that.

"And I think a lot of the reason you hear Murray being quoted as saying that is that somebody probably asked him 20 times, 'Hey did that game motivate you in the offseason.' More than likely sooner or later he said, 'Yeah that game did motivate us,'" Richt said. "I don't really care what motivates guys, whether it's that game, or they just want to have tremendous senior year, or a tremendous year, it doesn't matter to me. Just as long as they're out there getting the job done."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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