A week after Georgia ended its season wanting much more production out of its running game, coach Mark Richt said he’s hoping to see more consistency and maturity from his tailbacks next season.
Whether recent signee Keith Marshall will help in that regard remains to be seen, but the freshman already showed Richt something Sunday night when the coach walked into a team meeting before the start of the new semester.
Marshall, rated the No. 1 running back in the nation by recruiting Web site scout.com, already had a playbook in his hand.
“He’s very focused,” Richt said. “He was looking over assignments. It just gave me a moment to grin as I was seeing how excited he was about being at Georgia. I’m sure he was a little nervous, too, like a lot of guys that first get going.”
The Raleigh, N.C., product began classes Monday. He could boost a ground game that averaged 85.7 yards in the Bulldogs’ final three games.
Richt didn’t have any definitive word on the decisions of Georgia underclassmen who were considering entering the NFL Draft. The deadline is Sunday.
He was asked specifically about tight end Orson Charles and safeties Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams and said “all those guys were there,” referring to the team meeting.
“That doesn’t guarantee that everybody’s going to stay, but at least they were all there,” he said. “I guess it just meant they weren’t 100 percent sure what they were going to do yet. … I think there’s still some guys that their heads are spinning a little bit still and not 100 percent sure what they’re going to do.”
Outside linebacker Cornelius Washington, a former Burke County star, and cornerback Branden Smith have said they were also considering entering the draft.
Hutson Mason remains a quarterback for Georgia as well. At least for now. The Bulldogs’ backup the past two seasons was mulling a possible transfer.
“I’ve talked to Huston a couple of times,” Richt said. “I’m not sure if he’s 100 percent settled on what he’s going to do at this moment, but if that time and when that time comes, we’ll let everybody know.”
BOYKIN HONORED: Brandon Boykin has something to add to his résumé for the NFL Draft: Paul Hornung Award winner.
The cornerback’s playmaking ability was rewarded Monday with the prize that goes to the nation’s most versatile player. The award, in its second year, is presented by the Louisville Sports Commission.
The Fayetteville, Ga., native had 55 tackles and three interceptions this season to go along with 850 kickoff return yards and 180 punt return yards. On offense, he rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.