Deas continues 2010 class attrition

ATHENS, Ga. -- Attrition from Georgia’s 2010 signing class continued on Saturday when Bulldogs coach Mark Richt announced that safety Marc Deas intends to transfer.

Seven members of that 19-player signing class have now either transferred, been kicked off the team or never arrived on campus to begin with.

“I talked to him yesterday. Really almost identical situation [to junior defensive lineman Derrick Lott, who on Friday announced plans to transfer, as well],” Richt said. “Just feeling like he wasn’t going to get the kind of playing time he was hoping for at Georgia.

“Both kids love Georgia and we love them. They just didn’t feel like it was going to happen for them during the timeframe that they were here, so they decided to move on and go where they feel they’re going to have a better chance of playing. That’s their choice to make.”

Deas will become the fourth player from Georgia’s 2010 signing class to transfer, joining Brent Benedict, Derek Owens and Jakar Hamilton. In addition, Demetre Baker was dismissed for violating team rules and signees Lonnie Outlaw and Jalen Fields never enrolled at UGA after failing to qualify academically out of high school.

Further, Dexter Morant and Brandon Burrows have never played because of injuries and T.J. Stripling is just now getting back to full strength after suffering a career-threatening knee injury while covering a kickoff against Colorado in the fifth game of the 2010 season.

Additionally, offensive lineman Kolton Houston redshirted in 2010 and sat out the entire last season while embroiled in an NCAA eligibility issue. Georgia expects him to contribute this season, however, and he has practiced as a starting left guard throughout spring practice.

Still, Deas’ departure brings the number to 11 players out of the 19 signees who have either left the team or who have yet to contribute in any meaningful way thus far.

Players like Alec Ogletree, Michael Bennett, Garrison Smith, Kenarious Gates, Hutson Mason, Zander Ogletree and Ken Malcome rank among the 2010 signees who have either contributed heavily or figure to play increased roles in the future.

But that group -- which ranked 12th overall in ESPN’s team recruiting rankings that year -- has by and large been a disappointment because of significant attrition and injuries that prevented players from competing.

Deas opted to join that growing list of departed 2010 signees, despite the possibility that Georgia’s shallow depth at safety might provide a greater opportunity for playing time.

Richt added that neither Deas’ nor Lott’s departure was related to anything other than a desire to play a greater role.

“I think they’re great kids and we do wish them well,” Richt said of Deas and Lott. “The normal question is about releases and all that, it’s an unconditional release. There’s no discipline issue, there’s no problems, no academic issues. They just were really looking for an opportunity to play, get more playing time.”