Richt: Matthews 'needs to take ownership' of hamstring issues

semerson@macon.comApril 12, 2014 

Free safety Tray Matthews during the Clemson game.

JIM HIPPLE — UGA sports communications

ATHENS - This time last year, Tray Matthews was the talk of Georgia's spring practice. A year later, the highly-touted safety's career seems to be teetering on what his coach called a "chronic" hamstring problem.

Matthews missed Saturday's G-Day game after aggravating a hamstring injury, according to head coach Mark Richt. Matthews also missed five games last season because of hamstring problems.

"He's had some chronic hamstring issues, which we probably need to re-evaluate what we're doing with him," Richt said after Saturday's spring game. "And how we train him. I mean if there's something going on. And he's probably gotta take some ownership of it too. If you've got a deficit in some areas you might need to spend a little more time with flexibility stuff in the offseason than another guy would have to."

Matthews started six games last year but finished the season behind fellow freshman Quincy Mauger. For most of this spring Matthews had appeared to be a reserve, but he was listed as the first-teamer on the team's pre-spring game depth chart.

"He's like everybody else back there, trying to figure it out," Richt said. "He's getting some first-team reps, some second-team reps. There's nothing settled back there, nothing."

Matthews was one of four players arrested in early March on charges of double-dipping scholarship checks from UGA. He has not been available to the media this spring.

J.J. Green, who played tailback last year, also missed the game with an injury. Green was listed as the starter at the star position.

"They're right in the mix for starting positions," Richt said.

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