Loss of Brandon Burrows adds to UGA’s depth concerns at linebacker

Apologies for the brief absence. I had the matter of a 20th wedding anniversary to attend to. Thanks for your patience. Now, back to football. . . .

Georgia lost another linebacker on Thursday. The Bulldogs announced that Brandon Burrows, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound redshirt freshman from Marietta, will undergo shoulder surgery Tuesday morning at St. Mary’s. The procedure is meant to repair what they’re calling “chronic instability” in Burrows’ right shoulder. As one might expect, surgery on a linebacker’s shoulder the day players report for camp rules out any chance to play this season. It is not, however, expected to be a career-ending injury for Burrows.

Burrows

Burrows

Not to ring the panic bell or anything but the linebacker position is beginning to look perilously thin. By my count, Burrows’ loss means the Bulldogs are now down to six eligible and healthy scholarship lettermen for their four linebacker positions.

That, of course, is not counting sophomore Jarvis Jones, who is slated to start at strong-side outside linebacker. But Jones’ eligibility is in question due to his relationship with a Columbus parks and recreation administrator recently convicted of theft and fraud. A new report out of Columbus this week alleges there may be more issues raised.

So assuming Jones is not available at least for a game or two, that leaves Georgia with three experienced inside linebackers and three experienced outside linebacker. That’s not ideal.

Junior Christian Robinson is a team leader with All-SEC potential at the “Mike” inside linebacker position. Sophomore Alec Ogletree also has all-conference potential, but he has never played a snap at the “Mo” inside ‘backer spot. He was moved there after excelling as a freshman at strong safety. Junior Michael Gilliard backs up Robinson and Burrows was behind those two on the depth chart.

Georgia’s not any deeper out on the flanks. Without Jones in the lineup, redshirt sophomore Chase Vasser is the only letterman left at Sam. Sophomores Cornelius Washington and Reuben Faloughi (a former walkon) man the “Will,” or weak-side position. The availability of sophomore T.J. Stripling (knee) and Dexter Morant (shoulder) remains unclear. Junior Richard Samuel, who was working at both inside and outside linebacker, moved back to tailback recently to shore up depth problems there.

What’s all this mean? Chiefly that the Bulldogs’ are going to need significant contributions from freshman linebackers. Georgia signed five in February. Two of those are currently unavailable. Sterling Bailey is still recovering from surgery last spring and Kent Turene has yet to receive the blessing of the NCAA Eligibility Center for freshman eligibility.

That leaves five-star prospect Ray Drew of Thomasville to shore up depth at outside linebacker and four-star prospects Amarlo Herrera of College Park and Ramik Wilson of Tampa for the inside positions. After that at least nine walkons stand at the ready.

Robinson met with reporters on Wednesday and I asked him about the depth issues at his position.

“People think we have depth issues,” Robinson said. “I just think we need guys to step up. That’s at any position. We have enough guys here at Georgia to get it done. Richard’s going to step up and help us at the running back position and somebody’s going to step up at linebacker and make those plays. They may not have as many reps, but it’s a matter of guys realizing they have shoes to fill.”

In the meantime, the Bulldogs might want to bubblewrap their remaining linebackers when camp gets underway late next week.

So who do you expect to step up at linebacker for Georgia this fall?

GEORGIA’S LINEBACKERS

  • Mike — Christian Robinson (6-2, 226, Jr.), Mike Gilliard (6-2, 220, Jr.), Taylor Maxey (5-10, 220, Fr.), Jason Veal (5-11, 220, So)
  • Mo – Alec Ogletree (6-3, 236, So), Jeremy Sulek (6-1, 209, Sr.), Kosta Vavlas (6-0, 219, Fr.), Cory Campbell (5-10, 210, Fr.), Robert Davis (6-2, 214, So.)
  • Will – Cornelius Washington (6-4, 260, So.), Reuben Faloughi (6-5, 255, So.), Ricky Lowe (6-7, 258, Jr.)
  • * Sam – Chase Vasser (6-3, 227, So.), Matthew DeGenova (6-1, 236, Sr.), Jamel Allen (6-2, 226, Jr.)
  • Injured: OLB T.J. Stripling, OLB Dexter Morant, ILB Brandon Burrows
  • Freshmen: Sterling Bailey (6-5, 260), Ray Drew (6-5, 243), Amarlo Herrera (6-1, 224), **Kent Turene (6-3, 225), Ramik Wilson (6-2, 218)

* Sophomore Jarvis Jones is expected to start once the NCAA addresses his eligibility issues.

** Turene has not yet been granted freshman eligibility by the NCAA.

233 comments Add your comment

McDawg

July 28th, 2011
3:37 pm

we need Turene on campus

jwritz

July 28th, 2011
3:38 pm

The trials and tribulation of college football….oh well

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 28th, 2011
3:39 pm

Looks like the Special Teams units are going to be filled by some Freshmen. That could get dicey. Congrats Chip on the Anniversary!

bill king is a..............

July 28th, 2011
3:42 pm

All of this means that there are plenty of opportunities for these young guys to make a name for themselves. Thats why they go to play college ball. Hoping to get the opportunity to do something great. These guys were good enough to receive full rides from UGA…..they arent bad players. All of you people have some faith and hope Bobo gets better with the play calling. UGA’s attitude problem that we had the last cpl of years seems to have vanished. Thank goodness for Coach Joe T. He’s installing the old school mentality in these young players. Everybody needs to quit being so damn negative….and wait to see how we makeout in the first two games!!

RedandBlackDAWG

July 28th, 2011
3:42 pm

If a few of those freshmen catch on a little faster than UGA wants, and the others stay healthy, I don’t think it will be a problem.

j

July 28th, 2011
3:43 pm

first……Ray Drew is the man

bill king is a..............

July 28th, 2011
3:43 pm

And I believe Coach Lily will have the special teams kicking some ass too

Tampa Gator

July 28th, 2011
3:43 pm

McDawg…..

Turene should have applied himself more in middle school…..and he would be in Athens already.

Will

July 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

Two sources independent of each other but both well connected to the growing Columbus mess are telling me that the Jones mess is getting worse. Also, I am being told that the UGA Athletic Department MUST BE VERY CAREFUL regarding this as well as a much more potentially damaging situation involving other Columbus athletes.

It appears that it would be in the best interest of UGA to cut all ties with Jones and possibly get out front of this by suspending at least one other football player pending the result of this growing mess.

UGA need look no further than tech or USC to see how NOT to handle this growing concern.

Bring Back Wally Butts

July 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

Gee, doesn’t look too “periously thin to me”.

Bobo, Bobo, a pirate's life for me

July 28th, 2011
3:46 pm

UGA always has depth issues, WHY?!?!?

And even though RB needs Samuel there, I’d still rather have him playing defense, I think he would have absolutely destroyed his competition in games. Just a thought.

nash

July 28th, 2011
3:46 pm

I expect that if Boo and I.C. play up to their expectations we could see Richard back in the L.B core by the middle of the season. T.J is a stud and, should be ready around the start of the season if not by game one. This unit will be ready to go and, GATA

GeoffDawg

July 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

Congrats on the anniversary! The work 20 years of marriage must take makes Coach T’s workout regimen look like a weekend in wine country.

PMC

July 28th, 2011
3:49 pm

This is sort of depressing. A position that looked strong in the spring is back to being shot full of holes.

May be another long year.

bill king is a..............

July 28th, 2011
3:49 pm

@ Will….you mean to tell me that the NCAA will let Auburn and Cam/Cecil Newton receive all of that $$$$, but will punish good ol UGA for a couple of flights to Cali? I hope to god that doesnt happen. We need Jones, good lord we need that kid. But, the player that will make our beloved 34 work is going to be Jenkins. As long as we have him….the defense will be ok

theman..

July 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

Guys the one thing that is critical in a 3-4 scheme is having lots of athleticism and depth at LB. Hope this does not come back to bite us.

GeoffDawg

July 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

Will – what does Georgia have to be very careful about? This is USC and Jones’ issue to deal with. As long as they don’t play him until the NCAA rules, they’re not attached to this at all.

Bring Back Wally Butts

July 28th, 2011
3:51 pm

Never want to see a guy hurt but having Bailey and Drew in the wings makes you feel a little better. Coach ‘em up and give them some playing time.

bill king is a..............

July 28th, 2011
3:54 pm

Pman….i dont think class starts at 530 in hte morning.

MCDAVIDASTRO

July 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

Unbalanced recruiting will cause these kind of problems. Nothing new in the Richt era.

Nomobama

July 28th, 2011
4:01 pm

Seems with each passing day, the JJ situation is getting worse. Ncaa may punt him to the bench by suspention

Nomobama

July 28th, 2011
4:02 pm

dawg from a distance

July 28th, 2011
4:02 pm

Freshmen have to come in and be men. We must have some play makers on D. Hopefully Coach G learned a few things last year and we are ready. NOW fill the slots and lets kick off already!

Go DAWGS!

Columbus Insider

July 28th, 2011
4:03 pm

Don’t be surprised when you connect the dots and find out that Crowell was being recruited by USC.

RichtHasToGo

July 28th, 2011
4:03 pm

So last offseason everyone was getting arrested. This offseason everyone is either injured,quitting, getting kicked off the team or not eligible. I’m not sure what is better to be honest.

ga gator

July 28th, 2011
4:08 pm

I can feel your pain Dawgs, I predict another down year for both of us.

Taco

July 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

Go Dawgs! If they don’t hurry up and get to kickoff there will be no one left to play.

Taco

July 28th, 2011
4:16 pm

Crooked folks at Carver and in Columbus? Say it ain’t so Joe? Lay down with Dawgs and get fleas? The only Columbus in America with more crooks is in Ohio.

Bo

July 28th, 2011
4:20 pm

I think Amarlo Herrera could step up this year at ILB. Drew could be solid as a freshman if he’s just asked to rush the passer.

Frank Lane

July 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

Hope he was not referring to a possible problem in Columbus with IC.

KINGDAWG

July 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

We’ll be fine folks… just wait and see

outkasted

July 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

so where did nick williams and marcus dowtin transfer to? just curious

frannie mae

July 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

UGA is in BIG BIG trouble…….

Starring William Conrad as Frank Cannon

July 28th, 2011
4:41 pm

Like I said Fire Gardner and I agree! Why does UGA slways have depth problems? This year should prove that its time to run these clowns out of Athens. The student body is tired of Richt as well..

JP

July 28th, 2011
4:46 pm

We are due for some good news…nothing but bad news so far in 2011.

Starring William Conrad as Frank Cannon

July 28th, 2011
4:52 pm

@ JP……the day Brian Van Gorder left UGA football its been nothin but bad news.

GASHawty

July 28th, 2011
4:53 pm

@Outkasted: Both Nick and Marcus transferred to North Alabama.

how2fish

July 28th, 2011
4:55 pm

So Jarvis might get in trouble with the NCAA for something that happened while he was a player in good standing at USC..hate it if the kid has to miss games but someone please explain to me how this is in anyway CMR’s or UGA’s fault ? Anything the NCAA will do to Jarvis will be to Jarvis alone except of course he will miss time playing but for the love of pete….as long as UGA is working with the NCAA and all indications are that they are they have done nothing wrong…

WDE

July 28th, 2011
4:56 pm

@Starring William Conrad as Frank Cannon your still dead now shut up…and JP…us signing Theus is pretty good news..

zulucanibal

July 28th, 2011
5:06 pm

Reuben Faloughi is going to shine…just wait…this kid has a unreal motor and alot of heart.

dawgster

July 28th, 2011
5:22 pm

Amazing that so many of you put any stock to rumors you see on here…I doubt very seriously that “Will” has any inside info that is factual…The dawgs are doing their homework and you can be assured he won’t play unitl it’s resolved…Don’t buy into the negative comments or rumors started by someone just to read their remarks on here….I suspect the people on top of this are gathering the info and we will find out soon, but I expect it won’t be more than having to sit out a game or two in my opinion…but to come on here and ay that we should cut ties with a young man due to alleged allegations is absolutely absurd…go dawgs

Cmon man

July 28th, 2011
5:26 pm

Since everyone is always concerned about the depth at rb maybe you should know that your beloved nick saban is in the same situation as cmr. Word is going around that eddie lacy was injured during a workout that leaves bama with richardson and a rfr rb so they may have to allow brent calloway to play rb instead of lb.

tide roll

July 28th, 2011
5:27 pm

DO IT JOE T. Chip, how was Burrow’s injured ? That Uga football program is crazy man.

Columbus Law Dog

July 28th, 2011
5:28 pm

Will

July 28th, 2011
3:45 pm
Two sources independent of each other but both well connected to the growing Columbus mess are telling me that the Jones mess is getting worse. Also, I am being told that the UGA Athletic Department MUST BE VERY CAREFUL regarding this as well as a much more potentially damaging situation involving other Columbus athletes.

It appears that it would be in the best interest of UGA to cut all ties with Jones and possibly get out front of this by suspending at least one other football player pending the result of this growing mess.

UGA need look no further than tech or USC to see how NOT to handle this growing concern.

As someone who has been close, very close to this situation in other aspects, I can say you are very very correct Sir! The situation is tenable at best. There apparently are others involved who can the UGA connections look very unstable. Walk away from this situation and hopefully the other is unprovable and some folks learn their lessons.

You have to love our fans who first thing throw up the Auburn and Cam Newton situation. The Auburn deal will take care of itself. As a very prominent sports reporter just told me this past weekend. ” The three past recruiters of the year” all have been found guilty of violating NCAA rules and now have been issued ’show causes” and either are out of college football or are awaiting additional rulings. That being said, the Trooper Taylor at Auburn is on slow crock pot mode and it seems the NCAA is going to get Auburn and make it stink for other actions.

Lets take care of ourselves and leave the NCAA to lay the entire book on Auburn and their cronies for all their actions.

Chip Towers

July 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

tide roll: Like UGA said, shoulder ‘chronically’ injured. Heard he may have aggravated it in summer pass skel or 7-on-7 work but haven’t been able to get that verified.

Columbus Law Dog

July 28th, 2011
5:32 pm

how2fish…

JJ’s situation is NOT about UGA, it is about violating his amateurism status. People have cut deals and the monies he was paid to play basketball and to travel to and from USC has hit the reports and with all respect to you, he is going to lose games if not his entire eligiblity. But that is not the real issue, it is some overzeolous Columbus fans who are also UGA fans that is going to play into the entire situation.

cornbread

July 28th, 2011
5:34 pm

outkasted wasn’t nick Williams a quarterback in highschool

Columbus Law Dog

July 28th, 2011
5:37 pm

Congratulations Chip. 20 Years. Good man!

UGA

July 28th, 2011
5:40 pm

All we ever hear out of the Richt pre-seasons is how players are injured…and then this excuse is used for why we underperform. Sick of it!!! Every team has injury problems and yet seem to overcome such limitations but not a Richt coached team. Way past time for some new blood to bring vigor back into our program.

cornbread

July 28th, 2011
5:46 pm

OK,Nick Marshal is who i was thinking of.