Three Georgia football players will not make the trip to Memphis, Tenn., for the Bulldogs’ game against Central Florida on Friday in the Liberty Bowl.
Junior tailback Caleb King did not adhere to UGA Athletic Association policy after missing his fifth academic-related meeting and will miss the game. Freshman cornerback Derek Owens and redshirt sophomore offensive tackle A.J. Harmon will not be at the bowl game because of academic reasons. All three players are eligible to participate in spring practice.
“We have three players that will not be here,” head coach Mark Richt said in a release from the school. “They lost their opportunity to play in the bowl game.”
The team and staff arrived in Memphis throughout the day Sunday to start preparations Friday’s game.
Although inclement weather in the region slowed the arrival of some, most of the players, coaches and staff checked into the Peabody Hotel on Sunday and began preparations for Monday’s practice at 10:30 a.m. That will be the first of three practices for the Bulldogs while they are in Memphis.
“We don’t have everyone here yet,” Richt said. “Saturday night, we called everybody and told them don’t leave until it’s safe. We had a (7 p.m.) team meeting, and we pushed that to (10:30) p.m. So we hope to have 95 percent of the guys here by then.”
Sophomore split end Marlon Brown is one of two Memphis natives who is returning to his hometown to play in the bowl game. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Austin Long is the other Bulldogs player who hails from Memphis.
“I’m looking forward to playing in a real college game at home,” Brown said. “It is going to be fun. UCF is a very good team. They’re 10-3 this year and used to winning. I’ve got tons of family and friends coming so that’s really cool to me. Some of them couldn’t get to my games in Athens and other places because of their jobs, but now that we’re playing (in Memphis), there are no excuses for them.”