UGA safety is dismissed from the team after arrest

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ATHENS, Ga. — The off-season purge of Georgia’s secondary continued on Tuesday.

Matthews (No. 28) against Auburn  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
Matthews (No. 28) against Auburn

Safety Tray Matthews, one of four players arrested on the eve of spring practice, was dismissed from the team. He became the fourth 2013 starting defensive back who won’t be in the the Bulldogs’ defensive plans for 2014.

“We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right,” coach Mark Richt said in a statement announcing Matthews’ removal from the program.

Richt didn’t indicate if there was a last straw for Matthews that led to his decision.

Matthews, a rising sophomore from Newnan, tweeted Tuesday evening: “I’m sorry UGA family. I swear to God I love yal. I’m crying right now but I won’t forget. Love the dawgs. Auburn or Louisville will be my home.”

Reached by phone after the announcement, Matthews said: “I’m all right. I’m good.”

He said he couldn’t talk about what led to his dismissal and said more schools would be involved besides Auburn or Louisville.

“Those are the two top schools but there’s a lot more that I’m talking to,” he said.

It’s quite a freefall for Matthews, who created a buzz last year after enrolling early and making big hits in his first spring on campus, but he became the latest prized recruit to get booted.

Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons was dismissed in the winter after multiple suspensions and joined former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham at Louisville.

Cornerback Shaq Wiggins also transferred to Louisville and defensive back Brendan Langley moved  to wide receiver.

Richt was asked about the state of his secondary under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt earlier Tuesday at the Peach State Pigskin Preview in Macon in light of the previous departures but didn’t mention Matthews.

“You know what? I think that we’re going to find four guys and five guys at a time if we’re in nickel that’ll play good,” Richt said. “Even a year ago I think Jeremy (Pruitt) started a couple of true freshmen. Two or three of them played a lot on that defense for Florida State last year. If guys come in and do it the way coach says, they have the athletic ability to do it. I think we’ll be fine.”

Wiggins tweeted Tuesday night: “my boy tray coming to da Ville wit me and day boy JHC. It’s gone get ugly.”

Langley tweeted: “good luck bro! Future is bright.”

Matthews, one of the highest-rated recruits in Georgia’s 2013 signing class, started six games last season, making 36 tackles with an interception and a forced fumble.

He missed time sidelined with a hamstring injury, something that Richt said kept him out of the spring game this year.

“He’s probably got to take some more ownership, too,” Richt said then. “He might need to spend a little more time with flexibility stuff in the off-season than maybe another guy might have to.”

Matthews could have been facing a suspension if he remained with the team.

Matthews was one of four players arrested for “double-dipping” Georgia-issued stipend checks. Receiver Uriah LeMay, also charged, reportedly is transferring to Charlotte. Defensive end James DeLoach and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor remain with the team.

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Pops
14344
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Pops 06/03/14 - 08:13 pm
4
0
Nice......really nice

Wiggins tweeted Tuesday night: “my boy tray coming to da Ville wit me and day boy JHC. It’s gone get ugly.”

I'll bet it will get really ugly before it is all said and done.....

dickworth1
954
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dickworth1 06/04/14 - 06:21 am
2
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Go to lousville!
Unpublished

These immature football players that can't accept the responsibility of doing what is right in life need to go somewhere else. These schools that recruit these players should be put on probation and not allowed any bowl games or TV games for two years. I understand people make mistakes, but ignorance is no excuse for doing stupid things. The arrogance of these guys to think they are great is just not so when you can't even make good decisions as you progress in life. Go ahead to Louisville or Auburn, this speaks loudly about what kind of integrity these schools have when it comes to athletics.

Riverman1
93550
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Riverman1 06/04/14 - 09:51 am
2
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Yeah, sounds like he is happy

Yeah, sounds like he is happy to be on the market again. Louisville and Auburn should be ashamed. The Clemson game looms.

saywhatagain
418
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saywhatagain 06/04/14 - 10:20 am
1
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Arrogance

What is it with folks who were born with a great natural ability over which they had zero input, then they act like they are all so superior? It seems intellectuals as well as athletes as just as susceptible.

justthefacts
25003
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justthefacts 06/04/14 - 10:54 am
2
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Always a home

Seems Auburn has become the de facto landing spots for all these type guys. But, hey, they played for the title last year, so all is well.

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