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UGA Boots QB Candidate Mettenberger

The Georgia quarterback race took a shocking turn yesterday when Mark Richt dismissed G-Day star Zach Mettenberger from the Bulldogs’ team.

Mettenberger was expected to be suspended for the season-opener due to an alcohol-related arrest in early March.  That arrest resulted in charges of underage possession, disorderly conduct, obstruction, and two counts of having a fake ID. 

Richt had said that he expected Mettenberger to face the UGA-mandated one-game suspension for an alcohol arrest, but he left open the possibility for a stiffer penalty.  According to Georgia SID Claude Felton, there was no new incident involving the redshirt freshman QB, so it looks like Richt finally got all of the details surrounding Mettenberger’s arrest.

Police in Remerton, Georgia continue to investigate Mettenberger’s arrest six weeks after it occurred, so it seems that there’s more to this case than a college kid tossing back a few too many.

Mettenberger was locked in a three-man battle to win Georgia’s starting quarterback job.  While coaches have said the signal-callers were still very much bunched together, Mettenberger won the support of fans with a good showing at Georgia’s G-Day spring game.  (All it takes is one look in a spring game for fans to decide on their choice for QB, even if Mettenber was working with the second-team units.)

The dismissal moves Aaron Murray (probably) to the top of the UGA depth chart.

Richt also dismissed linebacker Montez Robinson in the past month, leaving the Dawgs thin at the OLB position.

For a guy that isn’t supposed to be tough on crime, Richt certainly seems to be making some tough decisions this spring.  Mettenberger played Little League baseball with Richt’s son, so he’s known the young man and his family for several years.  And the quarterback’s mother is an administrative associate in Georgia’s football office.

Jeff Schultz of The AJC — who has criticized Richt in the past for his leniency — is praising him for his current tough-guy approach.

Fans, meanwhile, are obviously more worried about the effect the dismissal might have on the team’s offense.  As this fan/blogger writes, Bulldog fans “better hope Aaron Murray really is the real deal!”


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