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Georgia Preps To Face Vandy Without Gurley, Matthews

gfx - they said itIt appears the Georgia Bulldogs will once again be missing some of their bite this weekend.  Star running back Todd Gurley — who’s been out for two-and-a-half games with a sprained ankle — returned to practice in limited form yesterday, but Mark Richt suggested that might not mean much come Saturday’s game with Vanderbilt.  In addition, starting safety Tray Matthews — who suffered a hamstring injury two weeks ago at Tennessee — hasn’t practiced at all this week.

Richt’s take on the injuries:

 

“(Gurley) was out there moving around and changing direction a little bit, catching a couple of balls here and there, but not at a tempo that would make you feel like he’ll have a chance (to play Saturday).  If we played tomorrow he wouldn’t play tomorrow, I know that… We’re preparing to play without him…

We’ve got other people coming in and playing pretty good in (Matthew’s) spot.  Obviously we’d like to have him back and have him playing, not only on defense but some special teams as well… But we’ve just got to be careful with that hamstring.”

 

A BCS-contender when at full strength, Georgia’s season has come undone due to multiple injuries to key players in multiple spots.  As a result, this weekend’s game at 0-3 in the SEC Vanderbilt might be more of a struggle than many would assume.

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SEC Headlines 10/3/2013

headlines-thursdaySEC Football

1. Why was Steve Spurrier’s TV show pulled?  He felt he was “too negative” toward some coaches and the team’s performance. “I’m going to be more positive.” Some background on a story that generated some buzz.

2. Will Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell start against LSU?  Dan Mullen: “That’s the plan. ”

3. LSU coach Les Miles says he needs more cowbell.

4. Gus Malzahn vs. Hugh Freeze -  ”believed to be the first game between two successful longtime high school coaches in a BCS conference.”

5. Will Auburn freshman quarterback Jeremy Johnson redshirt this year?

6. Southern Miss transfer Anthony Alford is imitating Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall in practice this week for Ole Miss.

7. Opponents converting just 17.8 of the time on third down against Florida’s defense.

8. We know Florida’s defense is good but their offense is struggling – ranks ahead of only Kentucky in scoring points.

9. Florida coach Will Muschamp is impressed with Arkansas running back Alex Collins: “He’s a heck of a football player.”

10. Collins one of many Arkansas players with Florida ties.

11. Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was suspended for the Vanderbilt game last year - but he’s ready for this year’s game: Has emerged as Tigers top target.

12. Playing Georgia this week, Tennessee assistant coaches John Jancek and Willie Martinez downplay their connections to the Bulldogs program.

13. This one seems to come up just about every year.  What would happen if Alabama played an NFL team?

14. Will weather play a role in the Ole Miss-Auburn game? Tropical storm Karen expected to make landfall in Alabama.

Practice/Injury Reports

15. Tennessee running back Marlin Lane “50-50″ for the Georgia game.

16. Georgia safety Tray Matthews didn’t practice Wednesday (hamstring).  Running back Todd Gurley still sidelined (ankle). Wide receiver Michael Bennett’s knee was bothering him.

17. One Kentucky quarterback is getting the majority of reps in practice, but coach Mark Stoops isn’t saying who it is.

18, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis not listed on the depth chart but could play Saturday.

19. “60 Minutes” crew at the Alabama practice. Crimson Tide change some player uniform numbers in order to prevent having two players with the same number on the field at the same time.

SEC Basketball

20. Anticipation running high at Kentucky -record number of campers for Big Blue Madness.

21. Kentucky forward  Alex Poythress: “The sky is the limit for this team, so why not aim at 40-0?”

22. Rutgers transfer Eli Carter will be sidelined for the start of practice at Florida.

23. Until Bud Walton Arena is repaired from flood damage, Arkansas will workout in the PE building.

24. Missouri coach Frank Haith likes his backcourt.

NCAA News

25. NCAA data obtained by ESPN.com shows SEC generates more of its total athletic department revenue from football than any other conference.

26. Would SEC Commissioner Mike Slive support the “Olympic” model - where athletes can receive money off their own name?

27. By moving to the Big Ten, Rutgers expects an additional $200 million over 12 years.

28. Who’s going to serve on the selection committee for the College Football Playoff?  Reportedly West Virginia A.D. Oliver Luck will.

29. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops loves to talk about the SEC. Steve Spurrier asked about it.

30. Ed Orgeron’s opportunity at USC.

Media

31. Did Texas coach Mack Brown get a sideline reporter for the Longhorns radio network fired?

32. Rick Pitino’s brief appearance on Boston radio.

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Georgia Lands Junior College Safety

Georgia received a commitment Tuesday from safety Shaquille Fluker from East Mississippi Community College.

“I picked Georgia because when I was there, it was a nice facility to be around and nice people to meet – and me knowing that there have been a lot of people that came and played for Georgia have really been known, and gone to great places,” Fluker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“So with me wanting to be a part of that, and wanting to be known, I was thinking Georgia could help me with that, as being part of that tradition.”

Fluker is Georgia’s 26th commitment for the class of 2013. Another safety pledge for the Bulldogs, Tray Matthews from Newnan (Ga.) High School, was surprised to see Georgia land Fluker.

“It affected me a little bit, but the more I thought about it, it’s part of the game,” Matthews told the AJC. “I don’t know. I guess Georgia feels like I might switch, and they had to go pick up another safety. I don’t know what’s going on with that.”

Many have wondered what’s going on with Matthews’ recruitment. He maintained last week he’s “100 percent” committed to Georgia but also said he plans to take five official visits this fall. He confirmed that plan to the AJC on Tuesday.

Still, Matthews said his commitment to Georgia won’t change because of Fluker’s pledge to the Bulldogs.

“It doesn’t affect me because there’s going to be competition, regardless, since I’m going to be a freshman and there are players there (in college) already,” Matthews said. “I guess it will just mean more competition, and I’m fine with that.”

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Tray Matthews: I Am ’100 Percent Committed’ To Georgia

Georgia fans became nervous last weekend when word traveled that Bulldogs commit Tray Matthews was visiting Auburn.

Their concern was understandable. The safety from Newnan (Ga.) High School had visited Auburn before and his close friend, linebacker Reuben Foster, recently switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn.

But Matthews told ESPN RecruitingNation that nothing has changed with his pledge to Georgia.

“I am still 100 percent committed,” said Matthews, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 10 safety by ESPNU.

But Matthews still plans to take all five official visits this fall. He told ESPN he will take trips to Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Southern California.

And he will continue to talk to Foster and visit him in Auburn, where he attends high school. Matthews admitted that Foster’s commitment to Auburn has made the recruiting process more difficult.

“(Foster) put me in a hard predicament,” Matthews said. “To be honest, at one point Reuben was really leaning towards UGA. I will put that out there. He really was. And in some kind of way Alabama messed it up for him. Then he went to Auburn and (wide receivers coach) Trooper Taylor and all of them got on him. It was convenient for him to be in Auburn all the time. Then out of the blue he told me he was liking Auburn.

“I said, ‘Yeah, that is a nice school.’ I took a visit down there with him. I was thinking we are still going to the same school but I didn’t think he was serious about (Auburn). So without even telling me one day, he committed to Auburn. I said, ‘What?’ He told everybody later, ‘They didn’t take me serious so I had to prove it to them.’ So it shocked me and I am in a hard spot.”

Fans of both Auburn and Georgia are making the recruiting process even harder on Matthews. He said he continues to receive messages from fans on twitter, which is against NCAA rules.

Matthews said Auburn fans try to sway him to Georgia and Bulldogs fans condemn him for taking a trip to Auburn while he’s committed to Georgia.

Matthews has wisely avoided responding to the fans, as hard as that is to do.

“I feel like, ‘Man, I am a kid. I can do what I want to, can’t I?’ I can go have fun, take my unofficial and official visits. I am still a kid and I still want to have fun on visits,” he said.

Meanwhile, Matthews maintains he won’t switch his commitment from Georgia to Auburn.

“That is not going to happen,” he said.

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Foster Chooses Auburn; What Happens Next?

Auburn, Ala., linebacker Reuben Foster went from being “100 percent” committed to Alabama to switching his pledge to rival Auburn in less than a week.

Foster, the nation’s top linebacker and No. 2 overall prospect according to ESPNU, announced his commitment to Auburn at a press conference on Thursday.

Foster made this announcement after declaring himself “100 percent” committed to Alabama while he attended The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., last weekend. He followed that statement up with an unofficial visit to Washington.

Foster gave a similar vote of confidence to his Auburn pledge on Thursday.

“I am 100 percent confident with my final decision,” Foster said.

Coaches at other schools will likely remain confident they’ll have a shot to change his mind again. It’s doubtful that Alabama coaches will give up on Foster so easily, especially in a battle with rival Auburn, and Georgia has continued to recruit Foster, who has a close relationship with Bulldogs commitment Tray Matthews and other prospects considering Georgia.

Auburn High School coach Tim Carter said he hopes this decision will allow the recruiting process to slow down for Foster, who informed Carter Wednesday night of his desire to commit to Auburn.

“He has a lot of great choices,” Carter told ESPN. “He’s ready to get this behind him.”

But Foster could still have another choice to make. He and Matthews, a safety from Newnan, Ga., have made it clear they want to play at the same college. Will Matthews follow Foster’s lead and switch his commitment from Georgia to Auburn? Maybe, but that would go against his mother’s wishes.

“My mom will support me wherever I go, but she would be very disappointed if I went to Auburn instead of Georgia,” Matthews told ESPN on July 3.

Still, Matthews likes Auburn and his close friend has just committed to the Tigers. Another Auburn pledge, linebacker Carl Lawson, told 247Sports he believes the Tigers aren’t finished in their pursuit of highly-touted defensive players.

“I’m ecstatic about getting Reuben and I can’t wait to get Montravious (Adams) and Tray Matthews too,” Lawson said via text message.

Foster’s commitment gives Auburn 16 commitments for the 2013 class and helped move the Tigers up to No. 7 in the 247Sports Team Rankings. Adding a player like Adams or Matthews would likely help Auburn move up even more.

How did the loss of Foster affect Alabama’s standing? The Crimson Tide still has the No. 1 class in the country, according to 247Sports.

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Foster ’100 Percent’ Committed To Bama, Visits Washington

Linebacker Reuben Foster from Auburn, Ala., told the media this week at The Opening his commitment to Alabama is solid.

“I’m 100 percent,” Foster said, according to 247Sports.

Foster made that statement shortly before he left for an unofficial visit to Washington. He has also discussed the idea of playing at the same school as Newnan (Ga.) High School safety Tray Matthews, who’s committed to Georgia.

“That’s still the case,” Foster said. “I don’t know where that would rank in the things I’m looking at. Alabama’s looking at Tray.”

Foster, who’s considered the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker and No. 2 overall prospect by 247Sports, is an important commitment for Alabama. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will be glad to hear Foster call himself “100 percent” committed to Alabama, but Saban also knows that could change at any point before signing day.

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Georgia Commit Matthews Plans To Enroll Early

Georgia safety commit Tray Matthews from Newnan (Ga.) High School announced via twitter on Sunday he plans to enroll in college in January.

Matthews isn’t the only Georgia commit in the 2013 class who already plans to enroll early. Running back Derrick Henry, quarterback Brice Ramsey, linebacker Ryne Rankin and wide receiver Tramel Terry have all indicated they plan to arrive at Georgia in January.

A large group of early enrollees should allow Georgia to bring in more than 30 players in the 2013 class.

“I know we can sign as much room as we can sign backwards and forwards, so it can be a pretty healthy class,” coach Mark Richt said on April 7.

Georgia has 15 commitments for the class of 2013.

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