Decisions to be Made

ATHENS – Georgia's seniors were honored before the Bulldogs' 45-42 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, but after the game, it was junior Matthew Stafford and sophomore Knowshon Moreno who were barraged with questions about their future.

Both players are eligible to enter the NFL draft after the season ends and are likely first-round picks, but neither was interested in discussing any decisions in the wake of a difficult loss.

"That's the last thing on my mind right now," said Stafford, who set career highs with 407 yards passing and five touchdowns. "I'm hurting for these senior guys and guys that have played for a program for a really long time. It meant a lot to them, so that's what's on my mind right now."

While Stafford was setting new career highs in what could have been his final home game as a Georgia player, Moreno was limited to a few flashes of brilliance against a Tech defense bent on stopping the run.

A 32-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter salvaged Moreno's rushing stats – which added up to 94 yards on 17 carries – but he also chipped in with 74 yards on four receptions in the passing game.

Afterward, Moreno dodged questions about his NFL plans with a deft bit of circular logic.

"Decisions are decisions, and when it's time to make them, we're going to do that," Moreno said. "Besides that, I'm moving forward to this next game."

With Stafford and Moreno both high on the wish lists of many NFL teams, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said both players will search out plenty of advice prior to making a decision he knows will be a tough one.

"I think for those guys it's going to be a hard decision because they are both very talented young men," Richt said, "and I imagine both have a very bright future playing football for a while."

Whether that future includes another year of games at Sanford Stadium will depend on more than simply where they might go in the draft, Richt said.

"I know Matthew had some goals besides making it to the NFL. I'm sure Knowshon did, too. These guys wanted to win championships and play well enough to be in position for some national awards."

The sales pitch Richt could offer is a good one.

Stafford and Moreno have each had career seasons behind an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries. What the future might hold behind a line that should be more experienced and healthy next season, Richt said, could be an exciting proposition.

"I really would love to see Knowshon and Matthew play behind a mature, veteran group of linemen," Richt said. "I think they would have a blast."

That, however, is for next year. Right now, Richt said, both Stafford and Moreno will be weighing their options, and he expects they'll both have a clearer picture of their future by the time Georgia concludes its bowl game in January.

"They'll have to do some soul searching and just decide, ‘Do I want college to end right now?' " Richt said. "But I think they've done a pretty good job of focusing on the here and now."

Dawg Post Top Stories