UGA youth movement

UGA youth movement

August 8th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports - College

In a perfect world, Georgia football coach Mark Richt would love to redshirt all six offensive linemen who signed in February.

Yet when was the last time the Bulldogs lived in a perfect world up front?

"Those guys are the type of guys that will take a little time," Richt said. "Not many linemen come in ready to play, but I have a feeling that a couple, if not more, will be in second-team roles and may have to play this year. We're going to get them ready as fast as we can."

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours Sunday morning, which was the fourth session of the preseason. Players will put on full pads for the first time this morning.

Throwing true freshman offensive linemen into the starting lineup has become a common practice in recent seasons, with some instances the result of ability and others more need-based due to injuries. Trinton Sturdivant earned freshman All-American honors in 2007, but Clint Boling ('07), Ben Jones ('08), Cordy Glenn ('08) and Kenarious Gates ('10) had to start as freshmen more out of necessity.

At the midway mark of last season, Sturdivant, Glenn, Jones, Gates and Boling comprised the starting line, giving Georgia an entire front of players who had multiple starts as true freshmen.

Provided this year's projected starting group of Glenn, Gates, Jones, redshirt sophomore right guard Chris Burnette and redshirt senior right tackle Justin Anderson stays healthy, newcomers may be needed for quality depth only. New line coach Will Friend said after Sunday's workout that David Andrews is off to the fastest start among the freshman linemen and that he is backing up Jones at center.

Next in the headway department is tackle Watts Dantzler, the 6-foot-7, 310-pounder out of Dalton.

"Watts has done a pretty good job so far," Friend said. "He's in good shape. He did a great job this summer."

Dantzler is working as Glenn's backup at left tackle, though Gates is cross-training there as well. Georgia's freshmen are scheduled to be made available to the media later this week.

"We don't want anybody to get injured, but at the same time, guys get hurt every year," Glenn said. "I'm positive that some of these freshmen will have to step up. It seems like they have to every year."

Crowell crowing

One day after Richt offered early praise for touted freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo joined him.

"Isaiah has done a pretty good job for a freshman of understanding what to do -- a little better than we thought and hoped, so he's ahead of the curve," Bobo told reporters Sunday. "It is tough for any freshman coming in and you throw everything on them, but we are happy with what we see."