Georgia finds itself featured prominently in preseason prognostications as one of the favorites to win the SEC East and contend for the BCS National Championship.
However, a key piece of the puzzle finds himself in some trouble.
According to Maria Pretty Brock of The Eatonton Messenger, sophomore place-kicker Marshall Morgan was arrested on June 29 on charges of boating under the influence on Lake Sinclair, about an hour south of Athens, GA.
Brock writes that Morgan, 19, was pulled over by Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers after he was spotted by helicopter pulling two inner tubes without a spotter.
Morgan was cooperative when approached by Cpl. Lynn Stanford, admitted to drinking and was charged with operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol in addition to towing a skier without an observer onboard.
“He admitted to drinking, and I administered a field sobriety test. He refused the state test,” Stanford said.
According to ESPN.com, Marshall registered a .083 blood alcohol reading, which is over the limit of .02 for people under 21. He also asked if "football could help him out" to fellow ranger Jeremy Reese while they were still on the boat.
The report also indicates that head coach Mark Richt is "aware of the situation."
So what does this mean for Morgan?
Georgia's student-athlete handbook states that arrests for DUIs result in a suspension for 20 percent of the season from athletic competition, but there is no specific policy for boating under the influence (BUI).
Will either of Georgia's first two games come down to a field goal?
If it's classified as an alcohol-related violation of a motor vehicle, it could be treated as a first positive drug test. Morgan would then miss 10 percent of the season.
Morgan connected on 8-of-14 field goals and 63-of-67 extra points last season as a true freshman and is expected to be the primary place-kicker for the Bulldogs in 2013.
Kickers take a lot of grief, but Georgia needs Morgan early in the season.
The Bulldogs open with Clemson on the road and South Carolina at home. Field goals may not be ideal in either of the early-season showdowns, but points are always at a premium in big games. Georgia certainly doesn't need punters Collin Barber or Adam Erickson handling the place-kicking.
College kickers, you can't trust them but you always need them. Georgia certainly needs Morgan early in 2013.