ATHENS — Barring injury, Trinton Sturdivant and Cordy Glenn surely will be Georgia’s starting offensive tackles this year. It’s not clear at this point, though, which one of them will play left tackle and which one will play right tackle.
Both are getting work at both spots during spring practice, new offensive line coach Will Friend said Tuesday night.
“Whoever wins that job,” Friend said, “will be the left tackle,” entrusted to protect quarterback Aaron Murray’s blind side.
Glenn started all 13 games last season at left guard and moved this spring to tackle, where he is “rusty,” Friend said, but “could be a dominant player.” Sturdivant started seven games last season at left tackle, where he also started 13 games as a freshman in 2007 before missing almost all of the ‘08 and ‘09 seasons with knee injuries.
Kenarious Gates and Justin Anderson have been considered the leading candidates to start at the guards, but Friend said backup center Chris Burnette worked some at first-team guard Tuesday.
“I grade everything that goes on,” Friend said, “and Chris has graded pretty good, so he got to work with the 1’s at the guard spot.”
Brandon Boykin, Georgia’s career record-holder in kickoff return yards, also might return punts this year.
He is getting a serious look in the role this spring, along with Branden Smith, Tavarres King, Carlton Thomas and Rantavious Wooten.
“We’ve got to try all those guys; that’s what spring is for,” said Bryan McClendon, who coaches the punt-return unit. “Hopefully somebody is taking that job over pretty soon here.”
Boykin, a rising senior cornerback, has 1,813 career kickoff return yards, including an SEC-record three 100-yard returns.
As for why Boykin hasn’t returned punts in the past, McClendon noted that he already was playing a large number of snaps between defense and special teams. “But right now if he’s the best guy for the job, he’s the one that’s going to do it,” McClendon said.
By all accounts, the defense dominated the offense in Tuesday’s practice.
“The defense pretty much got the best of us,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We got it kind of handed to us, but it’ll be interesting to see how we respond on Thursday to a little adversity we had [Tuesday].”
Coach Mark Richt didn’t meet with reporters Tuesday but said in a statement that the defense “pretty much shut down the offense.”
– Tim Tucker
Click here for an update on Washaun Ealey, who missed practice Tuesday with a hamstring injury.