ATHENS — This is the first January in three years that Trinton Sturdivant is not rehabbing from knee surgery. Come March, he’ll participate in spring practice for the first time in three years.
“I’m actually really excited about it,” the UGA offensive tackle said Tuesday. “I’ve been dreaming about it sometimes.”
Season-ending knee injuries in 2008 and 2009 resulted in surgeries and long, arduous stretches of rehabilitation, but Sturdivant made it through the 2010 season healthy and looks forward to 2011, his senior season.
He said he considered “pretty seriously” the possibility of entering the NFL draft but “came to the conclusion it’d be best for me to stay here” for several reasons.
“I graduate in December with a degree in finance and management,” he said. “And my goal coming in to Georgia was to win, and I don’t want to leave on a losing note. . . . Another reason it’s a good idea I stayed [is] to make the GMs in the NFL feel more comfortable about drafting someone with two ACL [surgeries].”
Sturdivant said he was “disappointed at first” about offensive line coach Stacy Searels‘ decision last week to leave for the same job (and higher pay) at Texas, “but I talked to him and it was a good business move for him. I’m confident coach [Mark] Richt is going to hire a really good offensive line coach.”
Richt eased the offensive linemen’s concerns after Searels’ departure, Sturdivant said. Richt “talked to us about how the calls weren’t going to change, the blocking style wasn’t going to change too much -– only, like, small techniques. So hopefully it won’t be too much of a transition.”
Sturdivant started all 13 games at left tackle as a freshman in 2007, then missed the entire 2008 season after blowing out his left knee in preseason camp. He made it back by the start of the 2009 season, only to reinjure the same knee in the first game, starting again the surgery-rehab cycle. He started seven games during the 2010 season, his workload increasing as the season progressed.
After all that he has been through, Sturdivant clearly is happy to be healthy, happy to be here. . . .
“Even though we had not such a great season . . . I love being at Georgia,” he said.
– Tim Tucker, UGA Sports Blog