Keith Marshall update: Could he redshirt?

semerson@macon.comDecember 29, 2013 

JACKSONVILLE - Keith Marshall has been here attending Georgia's bowl practice this week, and walking without the help of crutches or a walking boot.

"He looks good," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Sunday. "He's always walked with a little gait that looked like he had a limp. He's walking better. He says both knees feel good. he's another conscientious kid who works hard."

Of course, walking around and being able to run full-speed are two different things. That's why Marshall redshirting next season, while not yet likely, still can't be ruled out.

Georgia figures to be loaded at tailback next season, with starter Todd Gurley presumably healthy, and Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green a year older. A.J. Turman will be available after redshirting this season, and the team also has commitments from highly-touted recruits Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

If Marshall is 100 percent, he would remain Gurley's top backup. But if he's not 100 percent, Bobo agreed that a redshirt has to be considered.

"There's no question you consider redshirting a lot of guys at every position," he said. "Not necessarily if they're a freshman. Do what's in the best interests for the team, and what's for the best interests for the individual. That obviously could be a case where we could redshirt somebody because they were injured and not full speed. You don't want to waste a year.

"But you're not gonna ever make a decision on a kid early in the season or fall camp, game 1 to game 2. I mean it might game 6 or game 7 when you need those guys."

Bobo said the plan is for Marshall to be ready by the start of preseason practice next August. But Marshall won't be considered full-speed until head athletic trainer Ron Courson gives the go-ahead.

"That's out of our hands. If he's there, he's there," Bobo said of Marshall. "If he's not, he's got to do the necessary things to make sure he's healthy when he's back. And feeling confident - that's the big thing: You don't want to rush him back if he's not confident in his knees."

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