Quarterback Hutson Mason said Tuesday there was some concern among teammates, too.
“Yeah, I think there was, but I think it speaks high of Todd’s character and what this means and what this season means to him to keep fighting through that adversity because I know it was frustrating for him,” Mason said. “It was definitely what some people may have been thinking could happen.”
The NCAA ultimately determined Gurley had to sit for four games and Gurley continued to practice with the team even after he was suspended for taking more than $3,000 for signing autographs.
He will start Saturday for the No. 16 Bulldogs against No. 9 Auburn.
“I don’t plan on him missing a beat,” Mason said. “He looks just as fresh and healthy as he’s ever looked. It’s nice to be able to not only have him but (Nick) Chubb and Sony (Michel) and have all those fresh legs back there. It’s been a while since we’ve had that.”
Asked if Gurley apologized to the team, coach Mark Richt referenced Gurley’s statement released publicly when he was seeking reinstatement in which he took “full responsibility for the mistakes I made.”
Said Richt: “You know, he wanted to move on after that, but we didn’t—we tried not to make a big deal about it. We tried to just keep working, try to keep focusing.”
He added: “I’m going to say this, too, whether anybody wants to hear it or not. I’m proud of the guy being truthful. You know, I still think it’s the best policy. I still think if I’m an NFL team and I’m looking at Gurley, I’m going to say, you know what, the guy might have done this thing, which I don’t know how much they care that he got some money to sign some autographs or not, but I think they care about his character and they care about what kind of person he is.
“As far as just, you know, if you make a mistake, you know, fess up to it, and he did, and I’m proud of him, and I’m glad the suspension is over, and I’m looking forward to watching him play.”