Notes from Memphis: Sturdivant, others face decisions on future

MEMPHIS – Three items to start the day:

  • Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant, who started six games this season after missing almost all of the previous two seasons because of knee surgeries, is undecided on whether to enter the 2011 NFL draft or return for another year with the Bulldogs.

“I don’t have a clue,” he said Tuesday. “We’ll just see how everything plays out. We’ll see after the bowl game how it looks. . . . I haven’t really weighed all my options with my family.”

Sturdivant described his 2010 season as “all right” but “no All-American type year.” Mark Richt put it this way: “He’s had a good season. Hopefully he’ll come back and have a great season next year.”

Sturidvant said he feels “very close” to regaining the pre-injuries form that made him a season-long starter at left tackle as a freshman in 2007.

“At first, there was a little issue with, ‘Oh, is he going to fall into the mental battle?’” Sturdivant said. “But now I’m at the end of the season, and I’m feeling good, just going all out.”

  • Richt said Tuesday that none of Georgia’s underclassmen who are considering the NFL draft have told him whether they are going or staying.

“Even if they knew in their heart what they were doing, I don’t think they’ll say anything until after the [Liberty Bowl] game,” Richt said. “And from what I understand, I don’t know if anybody’s going to be ready that moment.

“There might be a couple who know they’re staying, but I think the guys that are thinking about going … they’re going to want a little time to reflect with their families after the bowl game.”

Georgia’s draft-eligible underclassmen include: wide receiver A.J. Green, a likely top-10 pick who just about everyone assumes will go; offensive linemen Sturdivant and Cordy Glenn; outside linebacker Justin Houston; cornerback Brandon Boykin; punter Drew Butler and kicker Blair Walsh. All of those players have asked the NFL’s underclassmen advisory board for a projection of their draft stock – except Green, who doesn’t need anybody to tell him he’s projected to be a first-round pick. The others expect responses from the NFL board by next week.

The NFL deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Jan. 15, but the Georgia players are generally expected to announce their decisions by the start of spring-semester classes on Jan. 10.

  • Green, suspended the first four games this season for selling last year’s Independence Bowl jersey, had little reaction to the NCAA’s suspension last week of five Ohio State players for the first five games of next season for selling memorabilia and/or receiving discounts on tattoos. The NCAA is allowing the Ohio State players to play in the Sugar Bowl.

“They know best; that’s their job,” said Green, referring to the NCAA. “I’m not going to question them.”

Please follow @ajcuga on Twitter for updates from Georgia’s Liberty Bowl practices in Memphis.

– Tim Tucker

182 comments Add your comment

Old Boy

December 29th, 2010
6:31 am

Bye AJ. Good luck at the next level.

JB

December 29th, 2010
6:48 am

Better get some players in Athens…….Look to Tech for No Talent and No depth……..Lost to the Military’s part time team….Geez.

NC Dawg

December 29th, 2010
7:02 am

Butler and Walsh….really? I don’t think I have ever heard of a kicker going early.

NerdCentral@NorthAve

December 29th, 2010
7:31 am

Your season next year is not looking promising. How can you be better this year without AJ, Houston, and Boykin. Your program is in big trouble and CMR will be lucky to keep his job next year. Tech on the other hand should be much improved! Look for T. Washington to have a big year. Go Jackets!!!! Oh….and there’s no way you get the Crowell kid. He goes to Bama…..

dawgerbrown

December 29th, 2010
7:38 am

With the exception of Greems, and, possibly Houston, all of these kids would benefit more if they stayed in school for another year. Especially with the uncertainty concerning the NFL season right now. They will only get better and go higher in the draft. Would be great to see UGA’s develop the kind of loyalty we see at other schools where players who could leave early decide to stay.

Inspector G

December 29th, 2010
7:40 am

Haha…Nerd Central…wow, you sure know how to self rationalize a sub-par program. Didn’t you just lose to Air Force? Hasn’t Tevin Washington thrown 3 game ending interceptions (including Va Tech)? Why can’t you sell out your stadium? Why are you still living at home with your parents? All valid questions for you to answer.

-Inspector G

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
7:45 am

I would think Green is the only NFL ready player of the bunch. All the others would greatly benefit from another year of college.

Moonpie

December 29th, 2010
7:46 am

Nerd Central,

You just keep wishing for Moral Victories and leave the winning football games to the boys in Athens.

Go Air Force! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Moonpie

December 29th, 2010
7:48 am

The joke by coke! Yep,that pretty much sums up Tech!

Columbus Dawg

December 29th, 2010
7:49 am

Richt has created a declining program that the current players can’t wait to get away from. Richt had better start worrying about how he is going to min the East without all of these players. Whenever any players from the 2010 class, or even the 2009 class who have not seen playing time yet are mentioned,it’s always ” he has a long way to go”. If a redshirt is not ready to contribute by next season, then a scholarship is being wasted. The days of waiting around three years for players to become SEC ready are gone. Championship teams are getting more and more out of incoming freshmen and redshirts these days. It is much more important to ready this program for 2011 than worry about this joke of a bowl game that Richt has UGA in. He should start what ever players that he really feels will replace these that are jumping to NFL. It is hard for me to believe that Richt does not know how hot his seat is. McGarity will not be the one making the decision on Richt’s future. The money people have been relatively quiet thus far, but that is about to change.

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
7:55 am

I agree Columbus Dawg–I am not sure the coaches in Athens know what a game ready kid is right now… Murray was way ahead of them game wise. One thing that really worries me is, kids look better as freshman than as sophmores. I think Richt said it best in an interview–”old habits are hard to break”….well its time to break in a new philosophy in Athens.

SOGADOG

December 29th, 2010
8:10 am

Early departures to the NFL are a major problem at UGA. It seems CMR does nothing to encourage players to stay in school and win a Heisman or championship. UGA is just a training camp for the NFL, not a championship program anymore. We need some Tim Tebows instead of Staffords, Morenos, Currans etc.

Old Flatulent Dawg

December 29th, 2010
8:13 am

NerdCentral@NorthAve…at least our coach ain’t always looking constipated…..but then again we ain’t playing in Shreveport are we Techie…..for Tech to get better, they better find some players, looks like Gaileys are about out and Constipated Coach ain’t shone to much recruiting wise.

Columbus Dawg

December 29th, 2010
8:14 am

Richt’s comments are very telling, to him it’s more important to avoid a losing season this year than to ready players that may save his job in 2011. I know that I will get flack from this but if Richt were serious about getting the disipline problem under hand, he would suspended Green for at least two more games after the NCAA was through with him. There will be kind of an unspoken zero tolerance for disiplinary issues for 2011 in the minds of the money people. UGA has been embarrassed more this year than any other, maybe with the exception of the Jan Kemp thing years ago. I wondered what Dooley was thinking when he named Damon Evans AD to begin with. This will be McGarity’s first preseason with the Dawgs, and all of the Bulldog meetings leading up to the 2011 season will undoubtedly present pointed questions about the direction of the program, and Richt had better take these questions seiously if he really wnats to remain at UGA. I saw where he said that he hopes he is still there to coach against Ohio State in ten years. I hate to make depressing predictions, but if Richt does not beat Boise and South Carolina, the drums will start beating loudly imediately.

Cam

December 29th, 2010
8:38 am

At least 3 will leave. It’s not like I will miss many of them. 6-6 season. Good riddance.

Mark

December 29th, 2010
8:39 am

sogadawg… your an idiot!!! Don’t you realize when players are projected to go 1st round… they would be stupid to stay? What is CMR going to say to AJ? “Come on AJ, pass up millions of dollars in guarenteed money and risk injury to come back and help us win a few games”…. Put yourself in those 1st round pick’s shoes. As for other players trying to see where they draft stock is at…. if you could make it to the league wouldn’t you know where you might end up? It doesn’t mean they are leaving just evaluating themselves…

PS. Georgia Tech is horrible this year and will be horrible next year. They have no passing game for late 4th quarter drives so they will lose every game they are behind in the 4th quarter. CMR wins a Sugar Bowl and TWO SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS and we have a couple of down years and people are ready to throw him off the bus… I can’t wait til next year when we go 10-2 and people will still be saying CMR is in the hot seat. Nobody wins the National Championship every year!!!

Dawg '94

December 29th, 2010
8:43 am

I hope all of them come back. I can’t believe Sturviant is even thinking about leaving. If Houston & Sturviant come back & have big years, they could both go in the first round. Green is the only one I see going. If there is a lockout, only Green will remain a top pick. The others will drop off the map. I hope the players understand that. GO DAWGS!!! 42-34

Dawg '94

December 29th, 2010
8:45 am

Boykin could also go early in the draft if he has a big year at Georgia next season.

hike!!!

December 29th, 2010
8:47 am

No loyalty anymore.
Everyone….including Green, should respect the school and coaches enough and return. Look at Ala.
What do they do differently that makes their players more loyal?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 29th, 2010
8:56 am

Boykin would be a possible 1st-2nd round pick this season. If he returns he would be a solid 1st rounder. He plays the run strong and has enough coverage skills to play in the NFL. His value will be the return game. Once NFL exec’s see he highlight real and his measurables they will vault him to the top of the CB board.

It now looks like Green, Houston and Boykin will leave. It is going to be a interesting season in Athens next year.

Columbus Dawg

December 29th, 2010
8:58 am

I’ve got news for you Mark, 10 and 2 may or may not save Richt next year, it depends on how it unfolds. If 10 and 2 is good enough to get to Atlanta, then okay, and with UF bringing in a new coach, and folks, South Carolina is still South Carolina it may be. I don’t see the “Tennesee will be world beaters in 2011″ crowd being anything but an overly optimistic bunch at this point. Richt faces more problems than just improving the record in 2011. If he does not stand up and proclaim that the disipline problems are not going to be tolerated, whether it is by breaking the law, or academics, or whatever, then he will not survive it. I am not going to sit here and condemn A.J. for going out and getting a large NFL contract, I am saying that Richt has better worry about UGA’s football program and not Green’s future there. It is that all of these unready players are wanting to jump ship that bothers most Georgia people.

gomdawg

December 29th, 2010
9:02 am

I THINK YOU COMMENT TO GEORGIA FOR 4 YEAS YOU STAY 4 YEARS.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 29th, 2010
9:10 am

Columbus,

I am not a huge fan of the players leaving early, but you have to look at it from the perspective of the level of players willing to commit to the University. Elite athletes no matter the school will leave early. I applaud the coaching staff for the ability to get the players in the door, now go do something with the dang talent when its here. It is unfair to blame the players when they have the option to leave early. The coaches have got to do a better job with the talent.

Dawg_Mike

December 29th, 2010
9:12 am

It happens every year at this time. Underclassmen ponder leaving for millions. Can any of us honestly blame them? I work hard and struggle paying my bills- if I had an option to continue struggling or cash in I’d cash in. Money talks.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 29th, 2010
9:16 am

There is alot of Nerds on here posing as Dawgs.

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
9:17 am

You go to college to improve your position in life…Let me ask a question—if you hit the lottery today for 20 million payout over 5 years, would you leave your current job? If you answered yes—get off the kids—they are doing what is best for them and their family. The game has changed—adapt and over come. Play the best players on your team—early. Due to injury or the NFL, you may not have them for 4-5 years.

GA Dawg

December 29th, 2010
9:17 am

SOGA dog and Columbus dog you are both morons. If Richt goes 10-2 he is keeping his job. As far as the comment that we need some Tebows at UGA-yes that would be great, but he was once in a lifetime. The program has declined and if CMR has another 6-6, 7-5, or even 8-4 year he might be fired.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 29th, 2010
9:18 am

There will be at least 4 underclassmen that leave Alabama.

Paul N Destin

December 29th, 2010
9:18 am

Mark will be gone after the 2011 season regardless to the record. It’s a done deal. Flame away.The folks with the money think the world of Mark but they understand he’s not what is needed for the program to move forward.

Wild Blue Yonder

December 29th, 2010
9:20 am

The limitations of Johnson’s approach are coming home to roost at TECH. Big time college players are simply not going to go to a place that depends on a scheme that has no relevance outside of a few programs in college. Also, the ACC teams have seen it and played against it enough that it is no longer a big mystery. Yeah, TECH gained 500 yards or something against UGA. BUT they lost that game and got the yards as a result of UGA scoring quickly and TECH time of possession. If you lose after your team gains 500 yards on another team there is a problem.

UGA will be fine, with or without Richt. I think he will turn it around but if he does not UGA is one of the premeir coaching jobs in the game and won;t have a problem. I’ll preempt the arguments of the idiots and point out why UGA will always provide one of the better coaching opportunities in the country: the number of recruits in the state of Georgia. It can be argued UGA has not done a great job finding the right ones or coaching up the ones they get, but the recruits will always be there.

Coaching does matter and I think Richt will get it done. If he does not someone else almost certainly will. So, UGA’s present State of the Program is still light years above that of TECH. There is certainly more talent in Georgia than Alabama year in and out, and Georgia does not have to compete with Miami, Florida State and several other legitimate programs in Florida for home grown talent. This year was a perfect storm of bad luck and circumstance at UGA. Oh, and they still beat TECH.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 29th, 2010
9:21 am

I would love to recruit the Tebows. Too bad there is only one of him!

Old Coach

December 29th, 2010
9:21 am

@ Hike!!!
I think you NEED to look at Alabama and see who leaves early for millions of dollars before you make such stupid statements. @SOGADOG We do not need the Staffords, Morenos, or Currens at UGA because they left early for the NFL. You, sir, have absolutely NO clue about college football.Comments like yours shows that you are in a dream world!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 29th, 2010
9:25 am

As a side note the Miami Hurricanes in 2004 had 7 1st round picks. Plenty were underclassmen. In 2005 they went 9-3. If this program cannot withstand the loss of 3 players who leave early then it is a larger indictment of where CMR and company are really at.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 29th, 2010
9:26 am

Green is gone. Good for him. All I want back from that list is HOUSTON. He is a difference maker!

steve

December 29th, 2010
9:27 am

Could next year be Murrays last year at UGA???

Mark

December 29th, 2010
9:28 am

@Paul Destin……….. So if we go 11-1 and win a National Championship CMR is gone??? I can’t wait for the blogs this time next year when we are headed to a BCS Bowl game and everyone condemning CMR will be eating their words. Let the coaching changes over the past year and a half have time to get their system into place.

Don’t all of you remember complaining about the amount of penalties we had last year???????? How many did we have this year??? We are down but not out. We’ll be a force next year and strong contender for the SEC East. I agree if we have another bad season next year, CMR will probably be gone but I have confidence that Murray will be even better and carry our team to early victories over Boise and South Carolina at home and on to the SEC Championship.

nerds! nerds! nerds!

December 29th, 2010
9:31 am

This just in… Tech fumbles again.

JB

December 29th, 2010
9:37 am

This team has not the talent or coaching to win 11 games. I didn’t see anything this year or anybody that got in a game to make be believe we can win 11. Richt has just enough good athletes in Athens to beat the weak, But this team against the best ain’t there. I’m a Georgia Alum, I love this University and I like Richt, But I study this team, this roster, the redshirts and this league.
Tech ran all over us this year( yes, we won) and Air Force holds them to 7. We love to throw, and no one PROVEN that can catch is returning. Our OL could not push a tired, undersized Tech defense out of the way on fourth and one for a first down late in the game. This staff has no imagination or willingness to shake the offense up. Does anyone on here see 11 wins next year. How about 7,8?

Paul H

December 29th, 2010
9:39 am

Can we quit with all the leaving early talk until after the bowl game please?

bruce mac

December 29th, 2010
9:41 am

Does the AJC go out and hire morons to post on these blogs? UGA has great players and they go pro when they can make milions. If that is CMR’s fault, keep them coming.

The kid has to eat sometimes

December 29th, 2010
9:41 am

Did Baby Daddy Rennie Curran ever start making child support payments to his girlfriend after he signed the NFL contract, or is the baby still hungry?

That’s what I thought.

Brooksdawg

December 29th, 2010
9:44 am

I don’t see 11 wins….Neither did I see 6 loses this year.

UGA Insider

December 29th, 2010
9:48 am

It has been my experience that when kids don’t announce they are coming back by the bowl game that generally means they are leaving for the NFL. I would say it’s a 90% guarantee that we are losing Green, Houston, Glenn, Boykin, and Sturdivant. Next year will be a total rebuilding year for the dogs next season. Also, we have 20 departing seniors and 4 or 5 juniors who are contemplating not playing out their eligibility like Tanner Strickland. UGA is going to look like a single A high school next year when you look over at our sidelines. We don’t have the numbers. It would no surprise me if CMR took the Maryland job. UGA is in real trouble.

BirdDog

December 29th, 2010
9:50 am

Mark, please stop with the National Championship talk. It’s embarassing to other UGA fans…

Academically provisionally accepted

December 29th, 2010
9:51 am

Outside of Sean Bedford, how many Tech footballers could have been accepted into school as regular students or have the average SAT score of Tech non-athletes? My guess is very few. This is common across the country. You don’t believe all those Duke basketball players have 1400 SATs do you?.

AJ

December 29th, 2010
9:55 am

Let me see: Do I want to write a 10 page term paper or cash my $10 million signing bonus check? Tough question…

JB

December 29th, 2010
9:57 am

UGA Insider, I agree….We’ll look back at this year as a good one……You’re right, it’s just pure numbers….and talent…Richt has been caught short handed and UGA will not get out of this quickly….OK, we sign 28 this year…you see him starting 10 true Freshman. No. We win 6-7 next year and the talk ALL YEAR will be about who’s next. That’s just the nature of this business.. I hate in for us, because next year will make 4 of being average, and it’s gonna take new blood to revive it. Good news, this state produces a ton of blue chip talent and the cupboard won’t be totally bare for the next guy, like Tenn. was. He’ll have Murray as a junior to work around.

bruce mac

December 29th, 2010
9:59 am

UGA insider, you are an idiot. Of course we lose the seniors and AJ, what a scoop. Did you think they were coming back? It is the SEC’s best quarterback and Crowell and Ealey in Red and Black in 2011, we are in real trouble alright. Trouble for the rest of the conference.

Who Cares

December 29th, 2010
9:59 am

Mark, stay away from the eggnog. UGA will go 11-1 next year? UGA couldn’t win 11 games next year if they were playing UGA. This team lacks talent, coaching, and discipline. It starts at the top, and works it’s way down to the players. Coaches don’t work hard, players don’t practice hard, and that equals no wins on saturdays. These coaches can’t recruit, they can’t evaluate talent when recruiting,and they can’t design a game plan that utilizes the talent they do have. And god help if they have to make adjustments at the half of a big game. A prime example of how they can’t evaluate talent in state: 3 of the defensive player of the year awards to high school players in ga per the ajc. signed with Tenn. and Bama. UGA signed guys that made the team, but weren’t players of the year in their classification. Those players are A.J. Johnson, and Brain Randolph who committed to Tenn, and Shannon Brown who committed to Bama. Just shows you that these clowns coaching at UGA have no clue when it comes to recognizing talent. Tenn. has better coaches, and they are killing UGA on in state talent, not to mention Auburn, and Bama. this dream class, is just thay a big DREAM!! 11-1, that might be the biggest DREAM of all

AltamahaDawg

December 29th, 2010
10:00 am

“It seems CMR does nothing to encourage players to stay in school and win a Heisman or championship.”

You base that on some inside knowledge of his in-depth conversations and personal relationships developed with those player over the course of years?