Wednesday, May 18, 2011
So close, yet so far away...
yesterday, we pointed out some of the improvements within Georgia's football program. The lack of arrests for months is certainly a great start that players seem to be getting it through their thick heads that downtown causes problems, alcohol causes problems, and you need to make sure your driver's license is current and not suspended.
But there's a major issue right now regarding player/scholarship usage that shows while Richt may be learning a little, he's still a bit slow in coming around. AJ Harmon recently declared his intentions to transfer, which brings about a multitude of issues. One, is Georgia now sits around 5 scholarships short of the 85 allowed by the NCAA, and that's with a summer left for a little more attrition.
When the S&C changes were made last winter, we said a good sign of improvements would be lesser players moving on as they proved incapable or unwilling of the increased expectations. Unfortunately, Richt likes to play the "I'm better than you" card by not "oversigning", even though that puts his program at a severe disadvatange on the field. We may get lucky and have space for Denzel Nkemdiche, a good looking S prospect who is late qualifying and has a superstar younger brother almost certain to follow him wherever he goes to school. But we only needed one open spot to have room for Denzel, not 5. Just how many kids could have impacted this program, either next year or beyond, that we turned away on signing day because of a supposed lack of room? We're claiming tight numbers on a solid 2012 class too, in spite of the obvious situation where 3+ spots WILL open up sometime between the first Wednesday in February 2012 and when practice starts that August. Why doesn't Richt realize how fluid this situation is, and sign accordingly to give imrpove his program?
Also, the loss of AJ Harmon further weakens an already shrinking OL depth chart, that lost probable starting LT Trinton Sturdivant to another knee injury (and we wish Sturdivant all the best in his future, and health as good as the Lord will allow, whether he wants to go for a guaranteed-to-be-granted 6th year or not). But losing Harmon, as well as Sturdivant, all but assures Bean Anderson will start at either RG or RT. So why again did our projected starting RG or RT spend last year working with Rodney Garner and the DL in practice? What a great way to prepare him for a senior season starting at the only place he's seen the field since arriving on campus. When Bean reminds us how much he struggled understanding assignments and responsibilities as a freshman and sophomore, we'll be glad he spent a year learning the defensive playbook.
Will Friend's current unit now looks like Cordy Glenn, Kentarious Gates, and Ben Jones as locks, with Bean, Chris Burnette, Kolton Houston, Austin Long, Brent Benedict, and Dallas Lee competing for the other two jobs (that is if Glenn, Gates, and Jones get lucky healthwise all season), as none of the incoming FR project to be immediate contributors (Ward and Debell need weight, Dantzler has the size but doubtful he has the feet, and that's if twitter-inspired signs of a problem player don't take him out, maybe Andrews or Long can help inside but both would greatly benefit physically from a redshirt year and are probably not ready to play now unless we're willing to sacrifice their shoulders on the altar of Bartley Miller and Josh Brock). But wait, I've got just the solution for Richt and Friend. We should move Kwame Geathers or Arthur Lynch to the OL for a single season, then move them back to their natural positions within 12 months of their failure to produce with the big uglies. It's worked countless times in the past, and they can share horror stories with fellow linemate Bean, and soon-to-be-a-TB-again Richard Samuel (just wait until Caleb King has another mishap or Carlton Thomas gets crushed working an inside iso in August).