Georgia linebacker Tim Kimbrough will not play in the Bulldogs’ bowl game next week. Georgia has suspended the team’s third-leading tackler for the TaxSlayer Bowl for a violation of team rules. The extent of the violations were not disclosed. It remains to be seen if the junior will face any further discipline by new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
“Right now it’s just this game,” Georgia interim head coach Bryan McClendon said after practice Monday, according to Athens Banner-Herald. “Kind of just how I told him, anything beyond this game is up for coach Smart.”
Kimbrough recorded 67 tackles this season for Georgia’s defense. He also had one sack and forced a fumble this season for Georgia’s typically solid defense. Kimbrough’s absence will lead to more snaps for freshman Natrez Patrick. Patrick appeared in 10 games this season, in which he recorded 18 tackles in backup duty. He recorded a season-high four tackles against Georgia Tech in the final game of the regular season, including three solo tackles.
Georgia will also be playing slightly shorthanded at running back. Backup running back Brendan Douglas will be out of action for the game against Penn State as he rehabs his wrist following surgery. The good news for Georgia is they have their top two running backs in the fold with Sony Michel and Keith Marshall ready to go.
After some conflicting reports surfaced Monday morning, Georgia cleared everything up as the day unfolded. Mark Richt announced the addition of running back coach Thomas Brown and a new assignment for Bryan McClendon for his assistant coaching staff.
Brown, a former Georgia Bulldog and assistant coach under Richt, returns to Athens after one season at Wisconsin. After graduating from Georgia in 2007, Brown joined the coaching staff in 2011 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. He then moved to Chattanooga to take on duties as a running backs coach and then moved to Marshall to hold the same role the following season. Following one year at Marshall, Brown joined the Wisconsin coaching staff, where he coached Heisman Trophy finalist running back Melvin Gordon during a record-breaking season. Now he takes on the responsibility of coaching one of the nation’s top young running backs in 2015, Nick Chubb.
To make room for Brown on the staff, Richt has moved McClendon from coaching the running backs to coaching the wide receivers. McClendon played wide receiver at Georgia and has been a part of the coaching staff since 2009. He si also a former teammate of Brown’s, which seems to have Richt pretty happy.
“These moves with two former Georgia teammates will add a great dimension to our offensive coaching staff,” Richt said in a statement released by the school Monday afternoon. “It brings back a great Bulldog running back in Thomas who has NFL playing experience and has had success as a college coach at multiple schools. He also inherits a position that has been built to an elite level by Bryan. And it gives Bryan the opportunity to return to coaching the position he played and the one where he cut his teeth serving as a graduate assistant under wide receiver coach John Eason here at UGA. It also provides him with a new experience as passing game coordinator.”
It had previously been reported Georgia was set to add Stanford running back coach Lance Taylor. It was later reported Taylor is staying at Stanford.