ATHENS – Georgia’s most dynamic special teams player is set to return to his duties.
Isaiah McKenzie wasn’t on kickoff or punt returns in Saturday’s opener, as the coaches took it cautiously with the speedy sophomore. McKenzie missed a couple weeks of preseason practice with a hamstring injury. He also hurt his hamstring during the spring.
But McKenzie, who returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns last season, will be back there on Saturday at Vanderbilt, coach Mark Richt indicated on Tuesday.
“McKenzie will be ready to go. You can expect to see him back there returning punts and kicks,” Richt said, before adding: “Or at least available to do that. I’m not sure he’ll do both of those. More apt to get punt return than kick return to start out.”
Junior receiver Reggie Davis is “still in the mix” to return punts, Richt added. In fact Davis was named the special teams captain this week based on his performance against Louisiana-Monroe, when he returned two punts for a combined 28 yards.
McKenzie did see the field last Saturday on offense, but didn’t have any passes thrown his way.
In other special teams news, Richt said it was undecided whether Marshall Morgan or Collin Barber will handle kickoffs. It was Morgan’s job the past three years, but Barber handled it during the first half of the Louisiana-Monroe game, and did well, booting four out of six kickoffs for touchbacks.
Morgan didn’t do it until the second half because of a small groin injury, which didn’t prevent him from kicking extra points. He handled two kickoffs in the second half of the game.
“Marshall proved that he’s healthy and he’s fine,” Richt said. “We just have to decide whether we’re going to use him there.”