Returning to the dispiriting news of Trinton Sturdivant’s third major knee injury definitely isn’t the way you want to come back from a week away from following the Dogs.
It’s hard to imagine a crueler blow to both the fifth-year senior and the team.
Having already rehabbed ACL tears twice on his left knee, Sturdivant, who was a freshman All-American in 2007 when he started all 13 games at left tackle, now faces some really hard choices.
Try to do it all over again and apply for a hardship sixth season as a Dog? The precedent certainly is there since he will have missed two seasons to injury.
Skip a return to UGA and try to go straight to the pros with two rehabbed knees? Sturdivant has talked in the past about how playing in the NFL has always been his dream and worried about being viewed as damaged goods by the league’s scouts. In fact, that’s why he decided to return to Georgia this season, he said, “to make the GMs in the NFL feel more comfortable about drafting someone with two ACL [surgeries].”
How will they feel about drafting a guy who’s had three ACLs?
And then there’s the option that could either be toughest for Sturdivant to face: Coming to the conclusion that, if not a higher power, then at the very least his body is trying to tell him something and perhaps he should hang up his cleats for good.
Meanwhile, new offensive line coach Will Friend is certainly getting his baptism by fire. He also faces some tough choices. Would it be best to give A.J. Harmon or one of the other backups the chance to finally claim a starting position, or should he shift Kenarious Gates or Justin Anderson over from guard? Certainly, depending on one of the true freshmen coming in August would be the worst-case scenario.
The inconsistency of the offensive line already was considered one of the main obstacles, besides the transition from high school to the SEC, facing incoming would-be star Isaiah Crowell. And this past Saturday’s scrimmage results weren’t too encouraging, with Mark Richt noting that there was “not much in the way of running the ball,” though at least the pass protection was good.
You’d like to think maybe Todd Grantham’s run defense really has simply gotten a lot better, but we won’t know that really until September.
All in all, a sucky turn of events.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg