Reducing media availability to those players was “mostly to get some mature guys in there that would be able to handle those types of questions,” Richt said.
Richt said he didn’t want the week to be “too much focus on one guy. I wanted it to be more of a team focus.”
Thornton said Gurley’s suspension and return hasn’t been “a distraction because Todd’s never been that kind of guy to put his personal things on us. It’s definitely going to be great to have him back. It will definitely be a boost to our team I feel.”
Marshall's QB potential apparent at UGA
Before the Georgia-Florida game in 2011 in Jacksonville, Hutson Mason remembers Marshall, then a freshman defensive back, just “messing around” during warmups.
“He threw the ball, no kidding, 80 yards in the air,” Mason said. “It was one of those things where the ball was just like in the air and everyone was like, `He’s back there and the ball just landed down there,’” Mason said. “I was kind of jealous. …The guy has a super special arm and that’s so much God given. It’s freaky. You saw how far he threw the ball last year at the end of the game.”
Mason said he thought to himself if Georgia ever needed to call a ‘Hail Mary’ with Marshall on the team, “I’d probably be coming out.”
Marshall was dismissed from Georgia along with two other players in February, 2012 after a theft from a teammate.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said about Marshall facing Georgia again: “Any time you have that experience one time, it’s not as big of a deal the second time.”
Richt said 18 to 22 year olds “sometimes make mistakes, and when they make those mistakes during their college years, I’m excited when a guy can turn it around and move in a positive direction after a bad choice, you know. I’m happy for the guy. I mean I’m not happy that we’ve got to try to defend him, but I’m happy for any young man that can get his act together and do great things.”