Offensive line: Starting a summer series of synopses up front

I’m on vacation, so the UGA blog is on quasi-hiatus. But rather than shutting down entirely, I thought we could use this lull for a leisurely look at the 2010 football team. I put together synopses of the various position groups,  and one will post each weekday. Then the floor will be yours — at least those of you not on a beach somewhere. I hope everyone has a great summer. Just 82 days, by the way, until the season opener between the hedges.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE

  • Returning starters: LT Clint Boling, LG Cordy Glenn, C Ben Jones, RG Chris Davis and RT Josh Davis.
  • Others to watch: Trinton Sturdivant and Tanner Strickland are due back from knee and shoulder injuries, respectively, and  redshirt freshman Chris Burnette could make his presence felt.
  • Key losses: All of the players who started at the end of last season are back, but one player with starting experience graduated (Vince Vance) and another shifted to the defensive line (Justin Anderson).
  • Key fact: Georgia’s roster boasts players who have started an impressive total of 155 collegiate games on the O-line –- 38 by C. Davis, 36 by Boling, 23 by Glenn, 23 by Jones, 14 by Sturdivant, 12 by Anderson and 9 by J. Davis.
  • Key fact II: Georgia had double the rushing yardage per game in the final seven games last season as in the first six –- improvement that coincided with a reconfiguring of the line when J. Davis took over at RT.
  • Key question: Will Sturdivant, who has missed almost all of the past two seasons with knee injuries, be able to pick up where he left off as a freshman and reclaim his spot on the starting unit? (The latest from Mark Richt is that Sturdivant’s rehab has gone extremely well, that he should be ready for preseason practice and that there’s every reason to expect the best for him and from him.)
  • Recent developments: Boling had arthroscopic surgery to “clean up” an ankle but is expected to resume full workouts soon. Glenn was a dominating player in spring practice, which culminated with him being named Offensive MVP.
  • Outlook: Excellent. If the unit stays relatively healthy for the first time in three years, it should be the strength of the team. And it needs to be.
  • Your turn: What say you about the offensive line?

Tomorrow: wide receivers.

Click here for Georgia’s latest football depth chart.

And please follow @ajcuga on Twitter for the latest on the Bulldogs all summer.

158 comments Add your comment

Frank Lane

June 14th, 2010
6:25 am

I would rather have the best offensive line in the conference than the best running backs, the best quarterback, the best receivers, whatever. Hopefully they will stay healthy.

Big L

June 14th, 2010
6:33 am

Ak anyone who knows anything about football. The game is won up front on the line. Gonna be awesome.

Bulldog59

June 14th, 2010
6:37 am

Frank and Big L, agreed, the game is won in the trenches, and CMR knows that as well as anyone.

Spike

June 14th, 2010
6:41 am

These guys should be steamrollers. If they don’t get hurt or arrested between now and when the season starts, this O line should dominate. They need to sknock off the false start penalties. A line with this experience and with King, Ealy and the others our running game should click and help Murray. I know, a lot of “ifs” and “shoulds”. Just my two cents.

Tide Roll

June 14th, 2010
6:57 am

The Starters should be Sturdivant, Glenn, Burnette, Anderson and Davis. This group compares favorably to Florida,s starting Offensive line of Xavier Nixon, Carl Johnson, Mike Pouncey, Maurice Hurt and Marcus Gilbert. Thses types of athletes have been a large part of Florida’s domination of Uga through the years. Richt’s problem at UGA always been his offensive line and his personnel decisions. Moving Kiante Tripp and now Justin Anderson are collossal mistakes. Just follow Florida’s model and win instead of going against the laws of nature and continuing to lose. It’s an arrogant and stubborn stance by Richt and Bobo and continues to cost Uga football games. It makes you wonder what the real purpose behind these kids not playing is.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 14th, 2010
7:01 am

Should be a solid O-line to help Murray get his feet wet. Add that to experienced WRs/Rbs- Offense should be great!!

82Dawg

June 14th, 2010
7:06 am

Tide Roll …if you are such an expert why don’t you go apply for the job?

dawgerbrown

June 14th, 2010
7:09 am

Here’s hoping this group stays healthy. It would have been interesting to see what Staffortd could have done had he ever had a healthy, experienced line. The success of this unit is the key to the season along with the defense. Now, let’s get some of these “big uglies” committed for this incoming 2011 class. We’ve got some outstanding athletes coming in, but, we need the hogs to clear the way.

JB

June 14th, 2010
7:25 am

Tide Roll is another quality example of a gut that obviously pays no attention to other teams. Sheeesh!

That said, this should be the best OL in the league. Time will tell. If it is and Murray can just be decent, will will score often and regularly.

HBTD!!!

Tide Roll

June 14th, 2010
7:31 am

I give up! Do Georgia fans not want to win. You’re considered one of the most under acheiving progams in America by everyone but yourselves! You’re being dominated by Florida (97-20 the last two years!) because of their offensive line personnel vs. yours. You trailed Alabma 31-0 at half for the very same reason. You have the personnel on campus to alleviate the problem and either refuse to play them or move them to defense ! To hell with georgia. May you get what you deserve.

Mr D

June 14th, 2010
7:34 am

Tide roll, you are absolutely correct. 100%. But you don’t buy that Boling & Jones are the 2 best ol’s on the team??

Tide Roll

June 14th, 2010
7:43 am

Thank you Mr. D. at the risk of getting waylayed, I think they are two of the most over-rated ol’s on the team. Burnette is better than Jones right now and will only get better with time. Boling continues to kill you with holding calls, and should be replaced by Sturdivant There is no way Boling is better than James Carpenter another offensive lineman from georgia now anchoring Bama’s left side, and instrumental in our win over Texas. By the way, rumer has it that Sentrel Henderson is transferring from USC to Florida. Easily the top Ol in America last year.

FBR

June 14th, 2010
7:57 am

Should be solid. To win in the SEC, you need 1-good offensive line play 2-good defensive line play and 3-good special teams play. Let’s hope we’ll have all of these this fall—I think we’ll need them against S.C.

AltamahaDawg

June 14th, 2010
7:59 am

Tide roll, not only the sole expert on the Georgia offensive line, but also knows what everybody in America thinks.

destin dawg

June 14th, 2010
8:07 am

we’ve got great talent at skill positions !! need to work on basics… line play.. tackling, special teams.. I think Grantham, Belin, Lagotoes, will be a big improvement !!!!

Monticello Dawg

June 14th, 2010
8:15 am

Many are saying this is the best O-line in the SEC. And we were able to move Anderson and Tripp to defense due to the depth we have piled up on offense. As knowledgeable fans are aware, out 08 offensive line was in a shambles due to large number of injuries. The offensive line last year was one of the least of our problems. We were done in mainly by an inconsistent defense and a terrible turnover ration.

One, two, free, fo, fi, them der Gator don't take no jive!

June 14th, 2010
8:16 am

Tide Roll is the foremost expert on offensive line talent in the country. LOL!
Seriously, o-line should be a strength for the Dawgs this year. Hope Sturdivant stays healthy. It’s a shame to see such a promising career continuously hampered by injuries.
Good luck Dawgs and see ya in Jax.

amelia isl.mike

June 14th, 2010
8:32 am

Tide roll obviously doesnt like Jones cuz he defected from L.A. (lower Alabama) Jones has been Steller. No complaints about his play. Why shouldnt he continue to Start. Burnett may also slide in at guard. Hes very intelligent and has size. And Burnett is a solid #2 center. No way he should start over Jones at center.

Bulldog

June 14th, 2010
8:39 am

Has UGA been recruiting well on OL to lessen the dropoff in quality/experience as these guys graduate?

Jim Tressell

June 14th, 2010
8:45 am

Tide Roll – you have spoken to quick and revealed your real weakness – stupidity and ignorance. Mr. Henderson is going to USC because he will not be released by Kiffin and if he is able to manage a release, he will be coming to Buckeye Land.

You should leave the UGA team alone because clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. Why do they care what your assessment is of their program? Why do you know so much about their program? Are you cheating on your name? I happen to be friends with Mr. Richt and you guys will be sorry because he is adapting and changing down there in A-town. I suspect I might be meeting him for the BCS Championship soon, which hopefully turn out different than when I played Florida or LSU.

It will be simple – the Big Ten is changing and will own your ass in the future. So you should study up on OSU…. Also – is Saban still at Alabama and it is about time he left to go somewhere else isn’t it? My guess – he probably quits this year or next..

BullyMack

June 14th, 2010
8:50 am

Roll Tide come on. It’s a conspiracy that Justin Anderson had problems with the playbook on the OL? I recall reading Tripp is happier now at D-End finally. He looked good at G-Day too. If he was the best we had on the OL he would have stayed there, same for Bean. Guess what, they weren’t. Sheesh. How could you possibly surmise that Burnette, who has yet to play a collegiate down, is better than Ben Jones who has been making all conference teams who also BTW handled Mount Cody admirably as a Freshman? No need for facts, it’s a conspiracy to keep them off the field right?

turkeycaller

June 14th, 2010
8:50 am

Key to the season will be how OF line handles opposing defensive schemes. I know we have the experience and skill at those positions but still question how effective they can be as a unit. Seemed we didn’t really click on all cylinders on the OF line last year when situations involved guards pulling on running plays that were misdirectional and looked lacking on pass protection in several games. Maybe experience and continued work has alleviated many of the problem areas but until we have actually played 3 to 4 games we won’t really know how things stack up.Regardless of hopes, it is going to be difficult for an untested qb to guide the ship unless our strength is the OF line. I am as hopeful as anyone that Murray will grow and mature into the leader the team needs. Despite fears regarding timelines for the new defense, I really feel more motivation provided by the new coaching staff will put some new spark into things. This has been missing for a while. Elimination of stupid penalties from celebrating and late hits, taunting and other boneheaded maladies hopefully will be behind us. Another plus is our entire kicking game which is certainly good enough to be relied upon not only for points but also helping control field position. Ga. usually does a good job with the kicking game year after year and this is an especially talented unit. The fact we will actually kick the ball into the end zone can’t do anything but help in relation to the boneheaded, senseless approach that was taken last season. Can’t believe we kept on and on with a mindless strategy that never worked and downplayed one of the team;s strengths. The defense did lose some folks but I think we will be hitting hard and playing more of a game flow defense that in past seasons. Excited and willing to let this team grow and watch the momentum going forward each week. Don’t kid ourselves. Each game is important and no one game is more important than the next one. I want to beat TN and Fla but the other games have to be as important for us to be in the SEC hunt. Go Dawgs.

AltamahaDawg

June 14th, 2010
8:51 am

I wouldn’t say the line was the “least” of the ‘09 problems. Maybe not the most visually obvious. When a DB bothes coverage, or a QB throws an int., you see the mistake, but in terms of doing your job, that’s no worse than an OL misses the block that caused the 3rd down play to fail. It’s just not as visual. As the article points out, the first half of the season we did not have a running game. Inability to pick up yards is not a TO or poor defense issue. I would argue that (while those 2 were big problems) the inability to run the ball set up and contributed TO those problem. In fact given a choice of one of the three, I would pick a more solid run blocking fix. That would, without a doubt, help solve the other two, and I don’t know if you can really know that going the other way.

It’s probably worth pointing out that part of the issue early on running the ball was in the backfield, and not totally on the OL.

BullyMack

June 14th, 2010
8:53 am

Hey Tressel, wake me up when you beat an SEC team. BTW, you spelled your name wrong. I may not agree with Roll Tide but we can certainly agree that the Suckeyes are chumps. The crap teams you are adding will still get their arse handed to them head to head with the SEC. Period.

1eyedJack

June 14th, 2010
9:04 am

Sounds like Roll Tide is harboring a grudge against Boling and C. Davis ’cause they’re light tan…and Ben Jones cause he left Alabammer.

Adonisdaking

June 14th, 2010
9:04 am

Why I Repeat Why Do NON-GEORGIA FANS OR SUPPORTERS CONTINUE TO COMMENT ON THINGS THEY DONT KNOW!…UGA Is A Program On The Rise I Assure U!…We Will Win The SEC and A NC…Soon…The Talent..Coaches…and Pedigree Of Players We Are Putting Together Will Only Bring On Much Success…Also CMR is 3-1 Against Alabama! We Beat U All In Tuscaloosa!…Florida Needs To Bring The Game To Atlanta!…Switch Out Home Games Cause If Its In Jacksonville Thats Still Considered The State Of Florida….

ga gator

June 14th, 2010
9:06 am

Well said BullyMack.

AltamahaDawg

June 14th, 2010
9:08 am

turkeycaller, I think you have it pretty wrapped up. Dead on with all of that, except that you seem to think we didnt kick the ball deep last year on the KO. Actually we were top the league in touchbacks, by FAR, and the vast majority of the KO were inside the 5 yard line at worst. Nobody in the league was kicking it any deeper than UGA, and as I saw several including the “I run the special teams” Meyer specifically DID utilize the high directional kick that place the ball much shorter than we did.

Now getting down there and tackling the guy with the ball was another matter.

ga gator

June 14th, 2010
9:09 am

Adonis, the site in jax means nothing except to the fans. Both teams travel. UGA flys in about an hour. UF travels by bus in about an hour. Both teams arrive on Friday afternoon and workout in the Stadium. Quit making excuses; Vince Dooley never did and he owned UF. All that said, I wouldn’t mind home and home.

TampaGator

June 14th, 2010
9:24 am

Georgia will go as far as the OL next year…and that is potentially very far. Georgia’s running game could be the best in the SEC and, if Murray plays well, they are a contender for the SEC East title. Georgia and FLorida have the two best OLs in the SEC East, no doubt. It should be a very good game in Jax this year. But, of course, Florida wins.

One, two, free, fo, fi, them der Gator don't take no jive!

June 14th, 2010
9:27 am

ga gator,
I’m from Jax and grew up watching ole Vince beat us down with great regularity. That being said, I’d be for making it home and home. Sanford stadium is a great venue to take in a ballgame.
Looks to be an exciting season ahead.
Good luck to all!

AltamahaDawg

June 14th, 2010
9:37 am

I agree, “stop making excuses”. The better team wins in J-ville, with very rare exceptions and that would still be true if the every single game was in Athens. (and be a million dollar a year poorer)

ga gator

June 14th, 2010
9:41 am

Altamahdawg, I dont agree that the best team has always won in Jax. There were quite a few games in the 70’s and 80’s that UGA won despite UF having more talent, just as there have been quite a few since 1990 when UGA had the superior team and lost. It has been a series of amazing streaks depending on who was in who’s head. Currently UF is in UGA’s head, but it won’t be forever.

Zeb

June 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Hey Alt, I guess I’m gonna have to cut the Tide fans some slack from now on. My oldest son will be starting his matriculation career there in a couple of months. He would’ve gone to UGA, but they don’t have a wheelchair basketball program. Anyway, I’m a proud papa and will pull for UA except when they play the Dawgs.

On to our O-line………if this bunch can’t open some holes, then something’s rotten in Denmark. Playing either side of the line is not just about size, strength, or pure athleticism. A lot of us on here understand the concept of cohesion, and that affords these guys the opportunity to execute like a well oiled machine. The most successful lines in football do this because each individual knows the blocking assignments of the whole group on any given play.

It’s gonna be a long, hot summer and I’m chompin at the bit to get this football show on the road.

jason

June 14th, 2010
9:51 am

The biggest “IF” of the season is the OL remaining healthy for the entire season. Every season for the past 5 or so, UGA has had huge problems keeping the OL healthy. It forces youngsters like Ben Jones having to play early. If and I say IF Sturdivant is healthy and dominate as he was as a Frosh, the OL will fall into place. The past few seasons UGA’s Ol has looked like a MLB BP when relievers don’t know therir roles. Once the OL is established with starters, the reserves will fall into place. The one good thing about all the injuries is that UGA has alot of OL with game experience, and there should be no Continuity problems as everyone has played with each other.

76-Dawg

June 14th, 2010
9:53 am

Sturdivant is the most dominate offensive lineman UGA has if he can stay healthy. He has only played in 12 games ,i think, but I watched him a lot when he was playing and nobody playing against him could match his upper body strength. If he can stay healthy for the next two years , he will be a 1st round draft choice two years from now.

Chipper Jones

June 14th, 2010
10:00 am

The key to the OL staying healthy is to avoid ring finger injuries.

Rome Dawg

June 14th, 2010
10:05 am

If Roll Tide is such an expert on UGA’s O-line, how come he doesn’t know that Sturdivant would’ve been the starter the past two years except for injury? Yes, Sturdivant may be the best lineman on the unit (though I think Glenn should be poised for a breakout year), but he needs to stay healthy. There’s no conspiracy to keep him off the field. Having said all of that, if our O-line satys fairly healthy but doesn’t produce at a high level this season, then there may need to be some changes at the coaching level.

JC in Powder Springs

June 14th, 2010
10:31 am

Hey Tide roll. Need to go back and learn something about football before advising others. Boling has been the steadiest and arguably best O-lineman since joining the Dawgs – he’ll be a 4 year starter this season. Per fl, they shift players to new positions frequently. Didn’t Pouncey fill in on the D-line as a frosh when fl had injuries? Patchan too? Wasn’t their starting TE recruited as a QB? FB Pridemore was a LB? DT Marsh was a TE?

Bucket

June 14th, 2010
10:33 am

I just love comments from posters like Tide Roll. Do you guys really believe that CMR just wants to lose? Do you really believe that he keeps guys on the bench that he knows are better than the people who are in the game? How exactly does the conversation between CMR and CMB go? “Look Mike, I know that Tripp is our best option @ tackle, but we are going to move him to defense so that we can get killed by Florida and Alabama and so that all the arm-chair QBs can kill us on the AJC blogs.” Really?

BurningRedBleedingBlack

June 14th, 2010
10:34 am

GA Gator, i agree with you. I was talking with my father about the series between the Gator and Dawg. He said the same thing. Right now its hard being a Dawg fan in that series. The Gators are on top right now. Things don’t always stay the same i.e. Southern Cal. Too think that one team will dominate forever is foolish. I think Uga will be on top again soon and win some games down the strecth against the gators. I however don’t think the days of dominating years after year will happen like the old days for either team. I really feel we will have alot of close, great football games down in Jax. Good luck to your team next year, And like i always tell my friends, you never know whats gonna happen down in jax, thats what makes this rival game one of the best. Go DAWGS

harold

June 14th, 2010
10:51 am

THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE WEAKEST LINE IN THE SEC. LAST YEAR, FLORIDA,TENNESSEE,AND EVEN KENTUCKY JUST HAD THESE GUYS BACK PEDDLEING AS IF TO SAY……..OHHHHHH CRAP! ALL ARE VASTLY OVER WEIGHT. THERE IS NO MEAN STREAK IN THEM. AHHHH…..TO HAVE A BIG HUGE OFFENSIVE LINE LIKE ALABAMA ( MOUNT CODY), AND FLORIDA! OF COURSE GEORGIA FOOTBALL IS AVERAGE COMPARED TO ALABAMA AND FLORIDA!

dawgs01

June 14th, 2010
10:55 am

I just hope we start off rolling. Last yr we ended hot, but look at the defenses we played. They were horrible defenses some of the worst in the country outside of Florida. We played Vandy, Tenn. Tech, Kent.,Auburn-had no depth, Ga. Tech-horrible on defense, T A&M-they knew they had to outscore us. So i want us to dominate a good defense like S. Carolina that is the only way we will win that game. The OLine has to take control. S.C. will be ready and that stadium will be rockin. They feel like it is their yr. That game could determine our season and their season, and it scares the hell out of me.

Bucket

June 14th, 2010
10:57 am

Uh, Harold, Cody played on the DEFENSIVE line for Alabama.

tide roll

June 14th, 2010
11:08 am

Thank you Harold. If bean anderson is the big and powerful man that Richt says he is, then why is Chris Davis starting ahead of him. if Davis is bigger and more powerful than Bean (which he obviously isn’t) then start davis at nose tackle. I’m tired of these Bobo like good ole boy asessments that a kid “can’t pick up the system”, or “can’t read the playbook” is this some recent discovery? They should have never recruited the kid in the first place, and he certainly shouldn’t still be in school if that is the case. The truth is it”s the reason Uga coaches always give to start one particular type of player over another. Know what I mean? Until that attitude changes, (and it never will) Uga will continue to be what it is: the most over-rated team in America.

tide roll

June 14th, 2010
11:14 am

Also, if Sturdivant is healthy, there is no way, based on the history of uga football, that he starts over Boling. These idiots are going to bench Josh Davis!

RDR

June 14th, 2010
11:16 am

I smell another championship!

DAWGS 2010

June 14th, 2010
11:22 am

Harold you are an idiot,UGA O-line is the best in SEC.Watch and see how the Dawgs pound the rock this year,Murray will also have a great year because he has more weapons to throw to than any team is SEC.UGA will contend foe SEC east title,AJ Green must stay healthy.GO DAWGS

1eyedJack

June 14th, 2010
11:22 am

tide roll, don’t worry about us, we’ll start the best five each week.

AltamahaDawg

June 14th, 2010
11:29 am

Zeb, I predict your son will have a fine college career. I don’t have a problem with U of Alabama either. The truth is that between the 2 schools, the differnce is zip codes where you were born. You could probably flip the two flag including the fan base and not notice the difference.

I do have an issue with the Bama fans that hang out too much in a UGA blog, but I have a feeling that has less to do with actual school alliances and more about broader personality issues. Don’t particularly care for some of the dawg fans in here either.