UGA football chatter: O-line shakeup, tailback update and G-Day countdown
ATHENS — Cleaning out the notebook after Tuesday’s football practice:
- Offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant’s third major knee injury occurred in a Saturday scrimmage that was closed to the media and the public, but even those who were there -– the players and coaches -– apparently didn’t realize the severity of it. “We thought it was just a sprain,” center Ben Jones said Tuesday. “Then he calls me [with the news of a torn ACL], and I was, like, ‘Oh, you’re kidding, right?’ … We thought everything was going to be fine.”
- The four players chosen by Mark Richt to draft the teams for the G-Day game –- Aaron Murray and Brandon Boykin on one side, Jones and Christian Robinson on the other -– obviously enjoyed the experience Monday night. They were still bantering back and forth, in good fun, after practice Tuesday. Said Murray: “Boykin and I absolutely dominated the draft.” Countered Jones: “We got a winning team. We got the O-line –- we got Cordy [Glenn]; we got [Kenarious] Gates. . . . I was saying, ‘I’m going to pick my buddies.’ I told my boy Cordy I was going to get him first, and I got him first.” Said Boykin: “I think me and Aaron did a tremendous job picking, and [Jones and Robinson] helped us by picking some not-too-good choices, as well, to start off.”
- Boykin said the “steal of the draft” was his side’s selection of Taylor Bradberry, a walk-on wide receiver. “He’s sure-handed — similar to A.J. Green, just not as fast,” Boykin claimed. “He always makes plays on G-Day.”
- Spring practice has produced no big breakthrough at the tailback position, which awaits the summer arrival of Isaiah Crowell. A hamstring injury has sidelined Washaun Ealey for most of the spring, and a groin injury has slowed Ken Malcome. Caleb King has stayed healthy and “shown flashes,” said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, adding: “I wouldn’t say anybody has stepped out and said, ‘Hey, I’m the man.’”
- Before Sturdivant’s injury, he and converted guard Cordy Glenn were alternating between left and right tackles. Now, Glenn is the obvious starter at left tackle. Offensive line coach Will Friend said Glenn has had a good spring but needs to shed a little weight.
- As for the now-open job at right tackle, Justin Anderson and A.J. Harmon are the top contenders. “I feel good about those two guys as far as seeing potential and seeing the things they can do,” Friend said.
- Anderson started 12 games on Georgia’s offensive line –- seven in 2008 and five in 2009 -– before a short-lived and ill-fated move to the defensive line last year saw him appear in only one game in a season cut short by toe surgery.
- Harmon, entering his fourth season in the program, has appeared in just seven games and started none. Asked if he’s ready to be a starter, Harmon said: “Of course. I mean, it’s been three years. I would hope I’m ready.”
- Bobo on Harmon: “A.J. is a guy who’s got a lot of talent. Hasn’t been consistent enough to play like he should. I think he sees it as an opportunity. A lot of times, when an opportunity presents itself like this, guys tend to step up. That’s what we think A.J. will do; he’s got the ability.”
- The Bulldogs will be back on the practice field Thursday, their only remaining practice before G-Day.
- And speaking of G-Day, former UGA quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, D.J. Shockley, David Greene and Eric Zeier will participate in a skills competition at halftime. Another former UGA quarterback was asked why he’s not participating. “Because I would win,” Bobo said.
- Tim Tucker, AJC