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Knee injury ends Brown's UGA career

ATHENS, Ga. -- The worst has been confirmed regarding the left knee injury sustained by senior wide receiver Marlon Brown during Saturday's victory over Ole Miss.

Brown injured the anterior cruciate ligament and will require season-ending surgery, UGA coach Mark Richt said Sunday evening.

An MRI revealed the injury, which will prematurely end Brown's 2012 season and his UGA playing career.

"His career at Georgia will be over or is over," Richt said. "We're expecting a full recovery. That's just an injury that people recover from well, and we know he'll be able to continue on with his pro career. I think he was well on his way to have that happen for him. We're very sad and sorry that happened for Marlon and for Georgia too. But he'll recover. He'll do fine. It's just a hard thing to swallow right now."

Brown is currently tied for the team-lead in receptions with 27 and is second on the team with 469 receiving yards. He is coming off a 113-yard effort against the Rebels, during which he caught a 66-yard touchdown.

He exited with an injury on a 30-yard reception in the third quarter when Ole Miss defensive back Trae Elston's helmet struck Brown's left knee on the tackle.

"God never puts you (through) something he doesn't think you can handle," Brown tweeted on Sunday after the news went public. "I'm still very blessed and love you guys. Thanks for the prayers #godawgs."

This is the second ACL injury this season for Georgia's receiving corps. Michael Bennett tore his in practice the week of the South Carolina game and is also out for the season.

"There's still guys that can do it, but Marlon and Michael were just two outstanding football players," Richt said. "At the time of the injuries, they were both leading the team in receptions. They have a nice physicality to them as well to that position. We'll miss that. Other guys are just going to have to step up and get after it."

Bennett and Brown each technically play Georgia's split end role, now leaving Malcolm Mitchell and Rhett McGowan as the two remaining players at that position. Redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley also learned split end in August before moving back to flanker.

"It could be Justin Scott-Wesley getting some more work. It could be (Taylor) Bradberry getting more work," Richt said. "The guys we've already been using, (Rantavious) Wooten has made plays for us. I'm sure he'll get more work. Guys will probably just get more opportunities that were getting maybe fewer opportunities but still playing. And guys that weren't playing might need to get in there and get some reps to keep everybody fresh."

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Brown was one of the nation's top recruits when he signed with UGA in 2009. He finishes his career with 55 catches for 851 yards and eight touchdowns.

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