published Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Murray, Jones plan to stay at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray has submitted paperwork to the NFL's Draft Advisory Board but admitted it was purely out of curiosity.

Murray said Friday that he will definitely return for the Bulldogs next season, adding, "I could use some more work."

That sentiment was shared by another redshirt sophomore, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Just days after being named by the Associated Press as a first-team All-American, Jones reiterated Friday that he is returning to Georgia.

Jones said he didn't bother submitting paperwork to the draft board, which projects the round in which an underclassman might be selected.

"I love being here, I love the guys I play with and I love the coaches," Jones said. "I don't think I'm ready to let that go yet."

Two juniors who submitted paperwork and do face looming decisions are tight end Orson Charles and free safety Bacarri Rambo. Charles discussed the subject with Murray at dinner earlier this week, and he has sought advice from former Georgia tight end Ben Watson and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.

Rambo also was tabbed an AP All-American this week.

"I'm about 50-50," Rambo said. "That's a big decision, and it's a bigger decision than recruiting because it will determine your future. I'm trying to weigh both options, and it can get frustrating."

Said Charles: "I'm blessed to have this decision to make in the first place. I grew up hoping I would have this decision."

Opening it up

Coach Mark Richt said earlier this month that he would have an open competition to determine the starting tailback for the Outback Bowl against Michigan State. He was asked Friday if that was because of injuries or inconsistencies down the stretch.

"Do you guys think anybody established themselves as a solid starter at the tailback position?" Richt responded. "I'm not seeing that. Competition is a good thing, so I'm looking forward to it."

Isaiah Crowell, Richard Samuel, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome have started this season, and Brandon Harton had a 101-yard performance Nov. 19 against Kentucky. Samuel has missed the past five games due to ligament damage in his ankle, but Richt expects him to handle everything in practice once the team gets to Tampa.

Not looking back

The Bulldogs are now two weeks removed from their 42-10 loss to top-ranked LSU in the SEC championship game, and there appears to be no looking back.

"We haven't even watched the film of it," Jones said. "It was a learning experience. A game is four quarters and not a half. We didn't get a turnover in that game, and that was the biggest difference.

"If we could have gotten a couple of turnovers, the game would have been a lot different."

Making the walk

A handful of players missed Friday's practice because they were graduating.

Heading that list were Samuel (sport management), tackle Justin Anderson (housing), fullback Bruce Figgins (communication studies) and injured tackle Trinton Sturdivant (finance).

Former Bulldogs Nic Clemons, who played in the NFL with Denver and Washington, and Demetric Evans, who played with Washington, San Francisco and Dallas, also received their diplomas.

Odds and ends

Junior inside linebacker Michael Gilliard, who injured his right ankle during the first half of the SEC title game, is questionable for the bowl. ... Richt did not know if any players would be academically ineligible for the bowl but said there were "no major concerns" going into exams. ... Michigan State is 36-16 the past four seasons; the win total is the most for any senior class in the 115 years of Spartans football. ... Richt on Friday morning's 90-minute practice amid sunny skies and 70 degrees: "It felt like the first day of spring ball."

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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