Morant, a freshman defensive end/linebacker from Manning, S.C., could not be reached for comment.
“Football’s just not for everybody,” Richt said after Wednesday’s practice. “I think he just felt like he lost the desire to play. We tried to convince him that it’d be in his best interest to stay and fight through it. Because a lot of guys had been through that before. But in the end he just really felt like it wasn’t for him, at least not right now in his life. So we honored that.”
Morant went back and forth for awhile. Finally, he approached Richt five minutes before Tuesday’s practice; Morant was holding his keys in his hand, and it was evident his decision was made.
Morant still might continue his career at a lower level, perhaps South Carolina State, according to a source.
“Right now I don’t know what he’s going to do,” Richt said. “As I spoke to him it didn’t seem like he was that interested in playing football period. It wasn’t like it was this level of ball. He even said to me, ‘Coach if I really wanted to play football Georgia’s where I want to be. I just don’t know if it’s what I want to do.’ It’s more like feeling like he’s lost the desire to play the game.”
QB RIVALRY RENEWED
Both starting quarterbacks in this year's Georgia-South Carolina game will be products of Tampa, Fla., and the two know each other, though they're separated by a couple years.
Georgia's Aaron Murray was a sophomore at Plant High School when Garcia was a senior at rival Jefferson High. Plant was quarterbacked by Robert Mavre that year. (Mavre now starts for Purdue.) But Garcia and Murray have met a few times since then.
“I’m just excited to play at South Carolina. It’s pretty cool that it’s against another Tampa quarterback, so it should be pretty exciting,” Murray said.
Murray is being thrown into the fire as a redshirt freshman. Garcia was too, though later in the season, started every game last year and enters this year as one of the SEC’s most experienced signal callers.
“There’s a lot of hype about him this year. I’m excited to see what he can do," Murray said. "He definitely matured over the past couple years, on the field, and continually got better, so it’s looking like he should have a good season.”
Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger has enrolled at Butler (Kan.) Community College, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Richt was not able to comment, since Mettenberger is now a recruitable athlete.
KING FOR A GAME
- Receiver Tavarres King’s suspension is “a minimum of one” game, but the sophomore will likely play the second game at South Carolina.
“I can’t imagine something happening between now and the first game that would change it to be more than one game,” Richt said.
- Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Monday that the staff was “toying” with some double tight-end sets. Richt added to that on Wednesday, saying they would “major” in about four or five personnel groupings.
“I don’t wanna give away too much of the gameplan. But we’ll be pretty versatile,” Richt said. “We’ll probably be more versatile than we’ve been in awhile.”
TAKING IT SLOW
Linebacker Jarvis Jones, who transferred from Southern California, is practicing in a green jersey. The team is taking it slow with Jones, who suffered a neck injury at USC and has to sit out this year.
“I’ll just say this: We’re not in a rush to get him into a lot of contact,” Richt said. “We know he’s redshirting. We know it’s been awhile since he played. We want to get him as strong as he can and as confident as he can before we get into the physical aspect of it.”