Clock Ticking For Dawgs' Duo

ATHENS – The clock is ticking for Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to decide their NFL futures, and Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he expects an answer within the next week.

The two players have until Jan. 15 to decide whether they will forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL draft where they are each expected to be selected in the first round, but as of Monday, Richt wasn't sure which direction his offensive stars were leaning.

"There's been a little bit of contact, but I don't want to put undue pressure on these young men," Richt said. "I do really want what's best for them. I want them to figure that out for themselves."

Both players, along with defensive tackle Geno Atkins, cornerback Asher Allen and safety Reshad Jones have inquired with the NFL advisory board as to their potential draft stock, but Richt said he has yet to hear back on any of his players.

Richt said he does not think anyone other than Stafford or Moreno is seriously considering leaving school early, but that there could be others still making up their minds.

"I don't know exactly what's going through everyone's mind but my gut feeling is there's a lot of guys that have already decided what they're going to do as far as staying," Richt said. "There may be another one or two other than Knowshon or Matthew that is really struggling with it, but for the most part, I think most of them are pretty settled right now."

Both Moreno and Stafford had record-setting seasons in Athens this year, but various scouts have projected each to be the top players available at their respective positions should they venture into the draft.

Richt has spoken with both players about the benefits and drawbacks of leaving school early, and he said he is taking more of a hands-off approach now as the two Bulldogs weigh their options.

"All I can say is that if they do stay, I want their whole heart," Richt said. "If Matthew or Knowshon were to stay, it would absolutely be because their heart said to stay at Georgia. So I'm not worried about those guys. If they stay, it's because they love the place and want to help us win a championship."

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