Head coach Mark Richt is using the spring football season to develop each player on his Georgia roster, he told Ben Cook of The Randolph Leader.
“Our goal is not to have any scout team type work in the spring. We want everyone to get a chance to get some reps,” Richt said.
Georgia returns likely Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Aaron Murray, who spurned the NFL draft for one more year to pursue an SEC championship. Murray’s played in consecutive conference title games, but has fallen short twice — this most recent time, by three yards.
Also returning is freshman breakout running back tandem Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Wide receiver Michael Bennett missed much of 2012 with a knee injury, and will remain out for spring football. He could return to the fold by the start of the season, though. The offense is less of a concern in Athens.
Richt’s area of emphasis and depth building is on defense, where Georgia must replace Bacarri Rambo, Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones.
An albatross vexing Georgia in recent years is in fact a Gamecock. South Carolina has won three straight over its SEC East rival, but only represented the division once in the conference title game in that span. Getting the Gamecocks over the hump is the next milestone for Steve Spurrier, but the big news out of Columbia during spring football is that he’s doing so with shirt on.
In equally innocuous news, the Associated Press reported that South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney never considered sitting out the 2013 season to protect his NFL draft stock. Well OK, then.
Elsewhere in the Palmetto State, another team opens spring football harboring dreams of a BCS title run in 2013. The Clemson Tigers are coming off the emotional high of defeating the LSU Tigers in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Quarterback Tajh Boyd was stellar against the LSU defense that night, beginning his Heisman campaign for this season in earnest.
“When you have a guy like Tajh Boyd coming back that’s won so many games, that creates enthusiasm. All that’s great, but it’s a new beginning, it’s a fresh start,” head coach Dabo Swinney told FOX WACH.