The NCAA has been investigating Newton’s recruitment, a fact that became public on Thursday. Newton is considered the Heisman Trophy front-runner, and the Tigers are ranked No. 2 in the country.
Newton is still playing, and will do so next Saturday against Georgia unless something else comes up.
Green was suspended the first four games of this season after the NCAA found that he sold a jersey to someone it defined as an agent.
“Just one of the worst feelings you can have, when you’re a great player and you’ve got that hanging over your head, and you’ve got people asking you,” Green said after Saturday’s 55-7 win over Idaho State. “You don’t wanna go out, you’ve got people asking you about that, what’d you do. It’s the worst feeling.”
Green said he doesn’t know Newton, but had some advice.
“All I’ve got to say to him: You’ve got to keep your head strong, keep his focus,” Green said. “You’ve gotta keep playing. That’s the only thing that’s gonna help him, if he keeps playing. Because if he goes out there and has a bad game, they’re gonna try and blame that on that, or something like that. But that’s one of the worst feelings.”
Ogletree gets his shot
Freshman Alec Ogletree got his first defensive start on Saturday, becoming the third different safety to start alongside Bacarri Rambo this year.
The coaches put Ogletree with the first team on Monday, and told him that if he would stay there if he kept working hard the rest of the week.
“I was excited, with it being my first start,” Ogletree said. “But like I said, I’ve been working hard all year, trying to earn a spot on that field. It just so happened this week that they had enough faith in me to go out and make plays.”
Ogletree, who made three tackles and blocked a punt, is regarded by coaches as having perhaps the best physical tools of any defensive backs. It’s just been a matter of the freshman learning the system.
“He’s a very special player, physically,” head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and he can really do it. All the things that people thought about him in high school he is that and more. He just needs the experience. We’ll continue to get him more experience. We felt like now is the time to give him a chance to start in a game and see how he responds to it.”
Technically it wasn’t Ogletree’s first career start: He appeared at receiver at the outset of the Kentucky game.
Boykin has to wait
Brandon Boykin finished the game the same way he entered it: 22 yards away from breaking the school’s career record for kickoff return yards.
Idaho State only kicked off twice. The game’s opening kickoff went short, and was returned by Shaun Chapas. Then Boykin wasn’t on the field in the fourth quarter, the next time Idaho State kicked off.
Boykin, who said he didn’t know about the record until last week, said he knew after the opening kickoff he’d probably have to wait until Auburn.
“Pretty much. I feel like if I didn’t get it opening kickoff I probably wouldn’t get a chance, because the defense is definitely gonna try to hold them to nothing. I think we did a pretty good job of that, pretty much until the end of the game.”
The Bulldogs wore “36” on their helmets to honor Nick Bell, the Mississippi State player who passed away on Monday of cancer. Bell started at defensive end against Georgia on Sept. 25.
“We just wanted to commemorate that young man,” Richt said. …
Georgia kicker Blair Walsh tied his career long with a 53-yard field goal in the first quarter. He is now 8-for-12 from 50 yards or more in his career. The Bulldogs used backup kicker Brandon Bogotay in the second half; He scored his first career point with a point-after, but missed a 35-yard field goal. …
The 48-point margin of victory tied for the biggest in Richt’s 10 years as coach. The first was in this season’s opener, when the Bulldogs beat Louisiana-Lafayette by an identical score.