ATHENS, Ga. -- Six years ago, when John Theus was a freshman in high school, he was promoted late in the season from junior varsity to the varsity. As the season ended, he served as the backup right tackle behind future Georgia (and now Virginia Tech) lineman Brent Benedict.
That had been the last time Theus had not started in a game -- until Saturday at Clemson, when the man who started every game as a freshman was benched.
"Honestly I never felt (more) fresh," Theus said. "I woke up Sunday morning and I felt great. Because the night before was the least amount of reps I'd gotten in a game in six years."
Yes, Theus was taking it all in stride. He hardly came out of any game last year, taking a seat only at the end of blowouts. This year he lost his starting spot, at least for the opener, to newly-eligible junior Kolton Houston.
"You can't let it frustrate you, honestly," Theus said. "You've just gotta take it as it is, and try to be ready to go in when you're called, and try to get as many reps as you can."
As for this week, Theus appeared to be getting first-team snaps at practice, but Theus said he hasn't been told anything and thought it was "up in the air."
Theus is preparing to play, and has spoken with North Carolina right tackle Jon Heck, who just played South Carolina last week. Theus and Heck were teammates in high school, and Theus described him as a close friend.
"He gave me what he saw on film, what he thought on some guys, just what he thought about it," Theus said.
Morgan has two-game suspension
The extent of Marshall Morgan's suspension is now official. The Georgia place-kicker will return from a two-game suspension after the bye week, for Georgia's third game, against North Texas. Head coach Mark Richt confirmed that after Wednesday's practice.Morgan was suspended after a summer arrest for boating under the influence on Lake Oconee. Richt had played coy with Morgan's status all preseason and prior to the Clemson game.
But Richt unexpectedly announced during his radio show on Monday night that Morgan would also sit out against South Carolina. So why did he say it then? Richt said he told Claude Felton, the team's associate athletics director for media relations, that if someone asked him about it on his call-in show that he would say so.
"And if they didn't I wasn't going to say anything," Richt said. "So I just left it up to the callers."
Walk-on Patrick Beless handled the place kicks in Morgan's absence, going five-for-five while not having a chance to try a field goal. Beless won the opportunity in a practice competition against fellow walk-on Adam Erickson, who also handles the team's short (pooch) punts.
Beless and Erickson have been unavailable for media interviews all season.
"They've got enough to think about right now," Richt said. "I don't need them becoming media darlings right now."
Terry likely to redshirt
Entering the season, it was hoped Tramel Terry could be healthy enough to be a factor on offense. But the freshman receiver expressed frustration in August at his rate of healing, and now it appears he will sit out his first season at Georgia.
"My guess is that Tramel would not play right now. That's my best guess," Richt said, before adding: "But we don't have to determine that for awhile. We've got some other guys that we think can play. It's tough to come off an ACL like Tramel did and really be the best that he could be. And so we know that he'll be better in Year 5 than he'd be right now, as far as his ability to play full-speed. He could play, but right now I'm not sure that he will."
Two other newcomer receivers do figure to play eventually, perhaps as early as Saturday. Junior Jonathan Rumph and freshman Reggie Davis are getting snaps in practice, and any game time will be determined by how the game is going.
Freshmen corners miss practice
Freshmen cornerbacks Brendan Langley and Shaq Wiggins each missed practice on Wednesday, but Richt indicated it's not serious.
Langley, who started at Clemson, had a leg injury that Richt termed as "not severe." Wiggins had a temperature, but Richt didn't think it was the flu.
"We would assume both of them would be ready (Thursday) at practice," Richt said