ATHENS -- Ran into Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray this week and asked him if he had caught coach Mark Richt’s latest comments about Jadeveon Clowney. At UGA Day in Gwinnett this past Monday, Richt asserted that the South Carolina defensive end “might be the very best player who exists today, at any level.”
Meanwhile, Murray just laughed and smiled about Richt’s latest remarks. He had heard them and he didn’t disagree with them.
“He’s a stud,” Murray said of Clowney. “He’s good.”
Georgia gets the Gamecocks in Week 2. So, given that Clowney is now being talked about as the best football player on the planet, I asked Murray how in the world the Bulldogs can hope to neutralize him when they play on Sept. 7 at Sanford Stadium.
“You’ve got to chip him; you’ve got to slide-protect to his side; you’ve got to hit him every time you can,” Murray said. “You’ve got to get two bodies on him, knock him around a little bit, run at him. We know when that time comes we’ll game plan for him. I know Coach Bobo will have us set and ready to go. But that’s the problem. You’ve got to put so much focus on (Clowney), but you’ve got to also prepare for 10 other players on the field. So it’s kind of tough when you have an athlete like that out there on one side of the defense. Everybody wants to focus on him but, as a whole, they’re a solid defense. It’s tough because you don’t want put too much attention on him because those other guys are good, too.”
None of which, Murray added, is a priority right now. Preseason camp got under way Wednesday with physicals, testing and orientation and the 2013 Bulldogs will take the practice fields as a full team for the first time Thursday afternoon. The focus will will start on themselves and quickly shift to Clemson. Georgia opens the season on the road against the Tigers Aug. 31.
On Sept. 1, the focus will shift fully onto the Gamecocks. And, of course, onto Clowney.