Georgia football coach Mark Richt may undergo hip-replacement surgery to alleviate worsening pain, but he said Wednesday he would delay having it until after securing what's expected to be a large recruiting class this February.
"If I do it, there's different windows of time," Richt said. "The earliest possible time would be after signing date. I think there would be a window of time that I could recover enough to be able to do the things I would need to do. There would be a couple of things I would have to move around that are already on my schedule, but things that could be moved."
Richt may wait until after spring practices wrap up on April 6, but then there would be his spring speaking tour. He could wait until that finishes, but then come summer football camps.
"What I really don't want to do is go too deep into the summer where I'm not really into the kind of condition I want to be to start the year," Richt said.
Richt said he first hurt the hip about 25 years ago on of all things--a swing set—during a family gathering in Indiana.
After Richt's postpractice news conference Wednesday, Richt diagrammed to reporters on a whiteboard how it happened when he swung too high showing off for his wife Katharyn on the swing set and landed on his hip on the ground.
More recently, he felt like he pulled a hip flexor muscle doing the "P 90X" workout and the pain didn't go away. He kept exercising and the pain increased to where he had trouble sleeping at night.
When he played racquetball this past summer, his back and hip hurt so much, he had to stop. The pain later spread to his knee and ankle.
Doctors told Richt he probably needs to have the replacement surgery.
"I don't want it to affect other joints in my body so I'm thinking it's about time to do it," Richt said.
Morgan shrugs off miss
Kicker Marshall Morgan said after practice Wednesday that he's done "amazing" on his field goals in practice this week.
That jibed with the strong report a day earlier from assistant coach Joh Lilly, who oversees the kickers.
All of which followed the freshman missing his only field goal attempt Saturday against Ole Miss from 47 yards. Missing might be too kind a word for the second-quarter try that that went way wide left.
"The only thing I told him is the one thing to keep in mind is you'll never have one that is that bad again," Lilly said. "You got your worst one out of the way. You're going to have a great career the next three and a half years."
Said Morgan of his misfire: "It happens. I'm glad I made all my extra points. I've been doing good on those (of late)."
Morgan has hit 6 of 9 field goals this season including a long from 52 against Missouri. He boomed a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half against Tennessee and converting from 27 yards to end the second quarter at Kentucky.
"In a lot of cases, the bigger the kick, the better he's been," Lilly said. "I think freshmen all go through different curves. He's made some big kicks for us. We've got a lot of faith in him and his ability. I think he'll continue to improve."
Bobo on VanGorder and Martinez
There's plenty more at stake than steaks when Mike Bobo's Georgia offense goes up against an Auburn defense coached by former Georgia coordinators Brian VanGorder and Willie Martinez.
Martinez, now the secondary coach under VanGorder for Auburn, was Georgia defensive coordinator from 2005-09.
"There's going to be some stuff that obviously Willie knows going against each other in practice," Bobo said. "There will be some familiarity. It's nothing that we're overly concerned about. We've got to go out and execute and do our job. Everybody's going to have tendency and stuff. It's going to come down to execution."
Who won more of the G-Day spring game battles between Bobo and Martinez when the winning side got steaks and the losing side beanie weenies?
"I don't know, I can't remember," Bobo said. "I got beanie weenies a lot of the time and sometimes I got steak. I don't even remember if I won this past year. That's the only game of the year I like. There's no stress that day."
Bobo said he studied Atlanta Falcons film—VanGorder was defensive coordinator the past four seasons—this summer and did again this week because Auburn has faced several teams that run spread offenses and have running quarterbacks. Bobo said he was looking for teams that ran more conventional offenses "to compare how they might line up."
This and that
Offensive right guard Chris Burnette hasn't practice this week due to a left shoulder injury, but Richt isn't ruling him out for Saturday. "There's a good chance he'll still travel with us and possibly be ready," Richt said. "Just don't know." Dallas Lee is likely to shift to right guard and Kenarious Gates move to left guard with Mark Beard starting left tackle if Burnette doesn't go. "Austin Long has been getting some reps in there, too," Richt said.
Fullback Merritt Hall (sprained ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday. Linebacker Chase Vasser (sprained shoulder) remains out.