Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 5/12/12
He arrived with so much promise. Even though it seems like forever ago, rabid Georgia fans can't forget the day Oconee County star quarterback Zach Mettenberger arrived in Athens: big, strong, and possessing a canon arm that had many expecting another Matthew Stafford-type career. Things didn't work out that way. A much smaller Aaron Murray moved to the top of Mark Richt's QB depth chart, not because of his arm strength, but because of his accuracy, decision making, and leadership: areas where Mettenberger seemed woefully deficient from the get-go. The big man's passes arrived at the wrong spot quickly, and his ability to learn the playbook was suspect. Then came the fateful night at the Flip Flop, a honky-tonk near Valdosta, Ga where an 18-year-old Mettenberger was arrested for underage drinking, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice, and possessing two fake IDs. But it was the "sexual battery of a woman" charge that got him dismissed from the Georgia football team. Mark Richt will put up with a lot (a trait that has earned the coach much criticism over the years) but he won't put up with that. Athens was close to home for Mettenberger, who carried an air of invincibility in his hometown of Watkinsville. That might have been the problem. It is easy for a kid to think the rules don't apply to him, especially if they never have. Once he got to Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas a place not only out of the spotlight but almost off of Google Maps he grew up, calmed down, and found his way. In 2010, Mettenberger completed 59 percent of his 299 passes for 2,678 yards and 32 touchdowns while keeping his nose clean. For the second time, Mettenberger was the talk of college football, the most highly-recruited Juco quarterback since Cam Newton's similarly sordid career path took him from Florida to Blinn College to Auburn. Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Arizona all wanted Mettenberger who eventually settled on LSU. But the hype died down last year when he failed to beat out Jordon Jefferson or Jarrett Lee, neither of whom could throw the ball down the field like Mettenberger. Even when Jefferson struggled against Georgia in the SEC Championship and couldn't do much of anything against Alabama in the BCS Championship, Mettenberger never stepped off the sideline. Now, the show is all his, and the magnifying glass is intensifying. Mettenberger led the White team to victory in the LSU Spring Game, but he barely completed 50 percent of his passes, and some of the downfield efforts were so far off target it was hard to name the intended receiver. He also threw two interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown. The Tigers will likely enter the season ranked in the top-five maybe the top three but the questions will continue, just as they have throughout Mettenberger's career. All eyes will be on him throughout the summer and into the early snaps of fall. It isn't often that a 21-year-old gets a chance to make a first impression in college football. But Mettenberger has one. He needs to make the most of it, because it will be his last.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Texans wouldn’t take Jay Cutler’s calls

John Wall lived up to promise to Atlanta celebrities in Game 6

Let’s watch this devastating tackle sum up today’s Old Firm match

WATCH: Texans announce draft pick from space

Report: Four teams were willing to draft Joe Mixon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Listen to NHL officials who were mic’d up in the first round of the playoffs

WATCH: Actor Michael Ealy butchers Redskins pick announcement

Report: Bills ‘unlikely’ to pick up Sammy Watkins option

Report: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory fails another drug test

Report: Magic want Cavs GM Griffin to run basketball operations

Seven most shocking development from Day 2 of NFL Draft

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker