ATHENS, Ga. -- On Tuesday, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray practiced for the second straight day. Afterward, speaking to the media for the first time since he was hurt at Auburn, he gave himself a clean bill of health.
“These past few days have been pretty much pain-free, and I can go out there and just play and it won’t affect my game at all,” Murray said.
The freshman bruised his sternum and knee at Auburn. The knee injury came late in the game, but as it turned out Murray hurt the sternum on the first drive, then played through it.
As for the knee, Murray wasn’t wearing a brace, so everything seems a go for him on Saturday against Georgia Tech.
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“I knew I was gonna play,” Murray said. “I don’t care if I had a broken leg, I’m gonna play in this game. I knew the pain wasn’t anything bad. I played the majority of the game against Auburn with it. It was progressing and getting better every day.”
Three juniors will be leaving the football program early -- but not, as of yet, A.J. Green, Justin Houston or anybody else with NFL aspirations.
Georgia announced Tuesday that Charles White, Ben Harden and Josh Sailors, all reserves who have not played much, will be honored with the senior class on Saturday. The trio are all scheduled to graduate, according to the school.
Meanwhile, coach Mark Richt was asked if he assumed any underclassman with a high rating would leave.
“No, we don’t always assume it,” Richt said. “We always try to go through the process of educating ourselves and them as to the pros and cons of that decision and try to get up with the families and talk a little bit about it, and try to come to a decision that is in the best interest of the player.”
The two biggest names for Georgia are receiver Green and linebacker Houston. Green, a probable top 10 pick, reiterated Tuesday that he would make a decision after the season. Houston, the SEC leader in sacks, said it “may or it may not” be his final game at Sanford Stadium.
“I won’t know until the time gets (here),” Houston said. “I’ll make that decision at the last minute. … We’ve got Georgia Tech this week, and hopefully after that we’re worrying about the bowl game.”
Last week Richt said receiver Logan Gray, who converted from quarterback before this season, was taking snaps under center just in case Murray couldn’t go. But Richt clarified on Tuesday that Hutson Mason, the true freshman who has played in three games, would have been the starter if something had happened to Murray.
“He’s had so much meeting time and practice reps that we’re comfortable with him being able to run our offense,” Richt said.
Judging the defense later
Richt had a curious answer when asked if he felt the defense, after last year’s staff changes, had improved this season.
“That’s kind of a reflective question,” Richt said. “Let’s wait until the season is over and we’ll talk about those things.”