Beard (not) transferring from Georgia

semerson@macon.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Mark Beard played in 26 games at Georgia, including two starts.

EVAN STICHLER — UGA

ATHENS - Offensive lineman Mark Beard is still on the Georgia football team, after a 13-hour period in which he was briefly off the team, only to have a change of heart.

UGA announced on Thursday night that Beard, who will be a senior this season, was transferring, and even provided statements from Beard and head coach Mark Richt, wishing Beard well.

And then on Friday morning came another announcement, that Beard had already had a change of heart.

"Sometimes making a decision and living it out are two different things," Richt said in a Friday statement. "As I've mentioned before the same thing happened to me. As a player I told my coach I had decided to leave for what I thought were all the right reasons. But after a few days, I realized it was a bad decision and asked to come back. He took me back and I¹m happy Mark will still be part of our program."

Beard is a candidate to start next season at left tackle, or possibly another spot. He served as the top backup at left tackle this past season, after starting two games there near the end of the 2012 season. He has played in 26 games the past two seasons, after transferring to Georgia following one season of junior college ball.

This is yet another instance of a player changing his mind after announcing he was transferring: Safety Marc Deas, linebacker Brandon Burrows and tailback Ken Malcome all changed their minds about transferring in 2012. Malcome eventually did transfer last spring, but Deas just completed his eligibility. Burrows is set to be a junior this fall.

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