Dogs’ freshmen could have early impact

While fan talk in the wake of starting tight end Bruce Figgins’ suspension for half the season largely has centered on Orson Charles, the blue-chip receiver/tight end hybrid out of Tampa, the need to replace Figgins’ blocking skills seems to be weighing more on the Georgia coaches’ minds, as reported in the Athens Banner-Herald.

Mark Richt says both Charles and the other incoming freshman tight end, Arthur Lynch of Dartmouth, Mass., are “going to have to play. I doubt any tight end gets redshirted this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds.”

But Lynch, who tops 6-foot-5 and weighs 258, has the more typical tight end size and has been told by tight ends coach John Lilly to be ready to play as a “point of attack blocker and receiver” against Oklahoma State on Sept. 5. “He always said he expected me to play Oklahoma State, but now it’s even more of a reality,” Lynch told the ABH. “I know I’m the heaviest one there.”

Richt said he’s “a big, strong kid” who “I figure can block well for us, but again has good hands.” 

As for 6-foot-3, 230-pound Charles, he could be used to shore up the Dogs’ rather skimpy corps of just six wide receivers. “Orson might be effective as a wide receiver, too, because he’s got wide receiver skills. He may be used in more than one way,” Richt said. The coach also mentioned incoming freshman cornerback Branden Smith, who “has got some abilities as a receiver. We’ll try to find a way to use those guys, too, to fortify that number.”

As for defensive end, where spring star Justin Houston will miss two games on suspension, Richt told the ABH he did not anticipate moving anyone to that position, but he noted that in the spring the Dogs already practiced having linebackers Darryl Gamble, Marcus Washington and Darius Dewberry line up as an end some of the time to bolster the pass rush.

On the other side of the ball, Richt talked with David Hale of the Macon and Columbus papers’ Bulldogs Blog about the need to get his backup quarterbacks some playing time this season. “You want to, but you’ve got to be careful of disrupting your starter and his rhythm,” Richt said. 

Unfortunately, playing a tough nonconference schedule doesn’t help. “The best way to do it is if you play well enough, toward the end of the game you can get the guys some playing time. … But with our schedule, that doesn’t happen too often.”

As Joe Cox found out the past couple of seasons when he rarely got in to relieve Matthew Stafford. 

Still, the fact that the backups, particularly Logan Gray, bring a different look than Cox might loosen up the typically tight, conservative way Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo have tended to use their quarterbacks. 

“If there’s a way to insert a guy in a situation or a down-and-distance or field position, that might be part of what we’d do and it would be comfortable for everybody,” Richt said. “So that’s a possibility.”

Sounds promising, but Richt often talks a more adventurous approach than he actually uses in games. Here’s hoping he rolls the dice a bit more this season.

107 comments Add your comment


May 13th, 2009
7:41 am

Got you now. I think our main point of disagreement is that you seem to suggest that 10 games seasons are chicken scratch and any highly touted freshman could do that, so why not get him some experience so that he takes us so much further in the future. Didn’t we just live through a compelling example of that not nessesarily being true?

I also think you are grossly overestimating the fan bases willingness to endure losses for the sake of an uncertain future.

BS Patrol

May 13th, 2009
10:42 am

You don’t REALLY think ga is going to beat UF, LSU & Tech, do you? If you do I recommend you seek the help of professional counseling. Or maybe intervention.


May 13th, 2009
12:30 pm

Last year proved the point that having a great offense coupled with a subpar defense only gets you so far.It was evident in our team as well as the Big 12 scoring machines who all came up short as well.The offense put up over 40 pts on GT they did their job in that game,the defense let us down then and in all our losses.Trinton going down hampered us on offense to be sure but we had enough talent at the skill positions to overcome that.On defense however losing Owens,Washington,Banks and basically Ellerbe for the year was too much.You could throw in C.Washington,Ball,Battle and Hebron as well as the suspension stuff but if those 4 kids would have been healthy we would have overcome that stuff.Maybe later or another day I will post in detail why I think this defense is going to be so special.Tell you this…if Branden and Jordan are as good as advertised at corner look out!!!!!Back to the QB situation CMR started Green and Stafford played Shockley and even Cox as freshman.So why is it a shocker that Murray or Logan will likely end up with the job before the season is over?One of them is going to play a lot ANYWAY…Cox is a sr thin resume and all, at least you have an idea of how he would perform in a real game.The other guys are questions marks in that regard..give you that.But they guy hasn’t played well enough so far to warrant the coaching staff putting him in the game plan for at least a couple of series.I mean Stafford went 1st overall..I’m sure the coaching staff had to know there was a very strong chance he was going pro if he had a good junior year.I’m just saying it out loud..I don’t think Cox is a playmaker and one of these kids will take over once they get their teeth cut.Time will tell on that score.As for the other spots if one of these RB’s step it up it could take some pressure of the QB.We have talent there but if it turns more into a group thing it can add pressure on the QB to make plays.Overall they will be a lot of young guys getting their first taste of SEC football this year.I expect some great plays coupled with a fair shake of miscues.But I think the fans will be excited about this team.We will be very competitive in all our games win or lose.


May 13th, 2009
12:50 pm

LSU,GT and FLA yep I said it.Quote me on it!


May 14th, 2009
3:16 pm

Did Tebow play defense in 2007? As best that I can remember, the Dawgs scored 42 on Fla in 2007. Was Tebow out on defense only in that game? I must admit; I’m confused about Tebow being hurt. Maybe I’m confused because I’m not a Gator fan.


May 15th, 2009
6:54 pm

Bill, neither you nor many of the other posters mentioned Marlon Brown. Does the staff not feel that he will be ready to contribute?


May 26th, 2009
8:28 am

Perhaps if Richt bribes the parole officers, he can have as many as 22 players on the field.