Georgia football notes: A.J. Green delays decision about leaving early for NFL

semerson@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 1, 2011 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As A.J. Green walked out of a news conference following the Liberty Bowl, he was stopped by a horde of media members. After one question, Georgia head coach Mark Richt stepped in.

“Time to go, time to go,” Richt said, putting his hand on his star receiver’s shoulder.

Richt’s words had a double meaning for Green.

The junior from Summerville, S.C., is one of the top-rated draft-eligible players and is expected to announce his decision on going pro soon.

Most would be shocked if Green didn’t leave Georgia, but he insisted he hasn’t made a decision yet.

“I’m not going to make a decision right now because I don’t have a clear mind,” Green said. “So I’m just going to give it a couple days, let it pass through and we’re going to see, I’m going go from there.”

The gloved one

Quarterback Aaron Murray threw with gloves on the entire game, despite throwing barehanded all season. But his coaches didn’t feel the gloves were a factor in Murray’s struggles on Friday.

Richt said Murray wore the gloves because he had practiced in them when it’s been wet.

“I don’t think that was a factor. It was more windy than it was wet,” Richt said. “But I don’t think the wind was a factor. I think he just misfired, and probably tried to force it a couple times.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he never spoke to Murray about taking the gloves off.

“He just got used to it and wanted to stay with them,” Bobo said. “He threw with them all spring. He felt good. I didn’t really have a problem with it.”

Walsh plays hurt

Georgia place-kicker Blair Walsh rolled his ankle earlier in the week, which was why he ceded kickoff duties to Brandon Bogotay. But Walsh still managed to make a couple of field goals, including a 41-yarder in the face of a stiff wind.

Walsh, like Green, has submitted his name to the NFL to get feedback on where he might get drafted if he left early. But the junior kicker has all but decided to return.

“You can read into it as much as you want, but I’m not going anywhere,” Walsh said. “I’m not ending like that, I can tell you that,” he added, pointing out to the field.

Attendance down

The Liberty Bowl announced that 51,231 tickets were sold to the game, but there were many less actually in attendance on Friday.

Georgia and UCF were each required to buy 10,000 tickets, about half of which for each school were not used.

The capacity of the Liberty Bowl is 61,737. The stands appeared to be a little more than half-filled.

The 51,231 tickets sold was the lowest attendance for the bowl since 1997, when Southern Miss and Pittsburgh played. Last year’s announced attendance, for East Carolina-Arkansas, was the second-most in Liberty Bowl history.

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