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Georgia Vs. Missouri: OT Austin Long Eager To Contribute

Junior Georgia Bulldogs offensive tackle Austin Long is finally contributing on Saturdays after his first three years on campus cast serious doubts over his career.

Long could be the first offensive lineman off the bench Saturday night for Georgia against the Missouri Tigers. Right tackle Watts Dantzler did not make the trip to Columbia after suffering an ankle injury last week against Buffalo. Starting tackle John Theus is traveling, according to Travis Ragsdale of, but is banged up with a similar injury. It's unclear how much he'll play Saturday night.

Long is eager to finally get to this stage in his career. He was sidelined his entire freshman season in 2009 after two back surgeries, and he was relegated to the scout team in 2010 as a redshirt freshman. He appeared in two games last season.

March Richt has the following to say about Long, from Yousef Baig of Dog Bytes Online:

We want him to fight for playing time. We want him to fight for an opportunity to start. Let's say Theus gets in there and he guts it out for a while, but he can't go anymore, then who's going in? Whoever that is, whether it's Austin, you've got to prove you can do it. Sometimes that's how guys win jobs. rated Long the No. 5 offensive tackle in the Class of 2009.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage, head over toGeorgia Bulldogs blog Dawg Sports. For more news, notes and analysis from around NCAA football, visit SB Nation's college football hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.