No Ordinary Joe

ATHENS – Matthew Stafford said he discussed his potential future in the NFL with fellow quarterback Joe Cox on a few occasions, but he swears Cox has never tried to convince him to leave early.

Both quarterbacks are juniors, and while Cox battled for the starting job early in his career, the snaps have nearly all belonged to Stafford for the past two seasons.

While Stafford said he still hasn't reached any decision on whether he will leave Georgia after the season to enter the NFL draft, he said he is certain the offense will be in good hands with Cox should the job open up.

"We see it every day in practice," Stafford said. "The guy's got a bunch of skill, he's a really accurate passer, and I think he could run this offense just fine."

Cox has thrown just 15 passes this season, but he has completed 11 of them, including two for touchdowns, but never complained about a lack of playing time.

"He doesn't want to play as something to console him," Richt said. "He's like, ‘If I deserve to play, then I'll play. If you guys think Matt's better, then play Matt.'"

Richt compared Cox to former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley, who spent four years on the bench behind incumbent starter David Greene, but immediately commanded the respect of his teammates once he assumed the starter's job after Greene's graduation.

"He's got some similarities to Shockley in that he has the ability to become a leader without being a starter," Richt said. "Guys know him and respect him, they've seen him practice and play, and they believe in Joe."

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