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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Notes: Dawgs View Sturdivant as 'Luxury'

After missing all but about 40 minutes of the past two seasons, Trinton Sturdivant hasn’t been forgotten by Georgia’s coaches. But just the same, they’re not exactly counting on him either.

After an impressive freshman season at left tackle in 2007, Sturdivant tore multiple ligaments in his left knee in fall camp in 2008, then suffered a torn ACL in Georgia’s opening game last season.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Sturdivant is ahead of schedule in his recovery from his most recent knee surgery, but the battle plan for the Bulldogs’ offense is to proceed as if their left tackle won’t be around in 2010.

“When we’re talking about our objectives as an offense and what we want to accomplish this spring, we want to establish depth at the offensive line with out counting on Trinton Sturdivant,” Bobo said. “He’s a luxury. We think he’s going to be back, he’s ahead of schedule, he’s doing great, but we have to establish depth besides him.”

In each of the past two seasons, Georgia shuffled replacements at left tackle after Sturdivant’s injuries, and in both cases, it took the offensive line a while to find its groove.

So this season, Bobo hopes to have a group ready to play with or without Sturdivant – which likely means opening with senior Clint Boling filling the left tackle job, where he worked at the ends of both the 2008 and 2009 season and performed well enough to earn All-SEC honors.

Of course, while that’s the plan for now, it’s certainly not etched in stone if that luxury becomes a reality, Bobo said.

“If we get ‘The Luxury,’ he’ll probably be at left tackle,” Bobo said of Sturdivant. “Whoever those best five are, we’re going to put them in the best position where we think they can be successful. If Trinton’s out there, and he’s one of our best five, my bet is he’d be at left tackle.”

QUIETING THE CONTROVERSY

After soon-to-be Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers spurned Georgia just days before signing day this year, Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo voiced some displeasure with the lack of commitment shown by players who were once committed to coming to Athens.

On his Facebook page, Rambo wrote he though it was “messed up” for players to renege on a commitment at the last minute and promised, “When I catch you on the field I’m going to knock fire from you.”

That started an ongoing war of words between Rambo and Rogers in which the receiver lambasted the safety via Facebook and Twitter and Rambo returned serve with a few quips of his own.

Now that the feud seems to have simmered down, Rambo said it was all a bit of a misunderstanding.

“I wasn’t really directly talking to him,” Rambo said. “I was just shocked that you would say you were going to one school and then change your mind at the last (minute). It wasn’t directed to him. It was directed to no one. I was just confused and curious as to why they would do things like that. But if he wanted to think it was him, I can’t stop him from thinking that, so it’s whatever.”

Regardless of any confusion, Rambo doesn’t think he has much to clear up. He said he has no plans to contact Rogers, but won’t continue the war of words either.

“I’m going to try to be the better man and just let that die down and not say anything to him,” Rambo said.

A GOOD MOVE

A large contingent of Georgia fans that drooled over Richard Samuel’s physical skills but scratched their heads at his inability to avoid contact as a tailback got their wish this offseason when the rising junior was moved to linebacker.

As it turns out, those fans weren’t alone in hoping for a change for the talented former tailback. Junior linebacker Marcus Dowtin said he has been lobbying Samuel to make the switch for two years.

“I spoke to Richard when we first got up here freshman year and told him you should make that switch and come over to linebacker with me,” Dowtin said. “So I always wanted him to do that, and now that he’s over there, he’s definitely going to do something great. He’s an athlete. He’s strong, he’s fast, and I think he’ll be a great complement to me, and I can be a great complement to him out there. He’s made our linebacker corps a lot more athletic and a lot faster.”

EXTRA POINTS

* Tailback Washaun Ealey said he still hopes to swap his uniform number from 24 to 3 – the number he and all of his family members wore during their high-school playing days – but he has yet to get a final OK from head coach Mark Richt.

* Cornerback Chad Gloer was moved to wide receiver this month to help fill in the gaps on a shallow depth chart.

* Despite some rumors that a move to the offensive line could be in store, Bobo said Kwame Geathers is staying put on defense.

* Cornerback Jordan Love is back at work after missing much of last season with a toe injury that has nagged him since high school. He underwent surgery to repair the injury, and fellow corner Branden Smith said the results are encouraging so far. “Right now, he’s feeling good,” Smith said. “He’s ready for the season to start right now. His recovery is coming along very well.”

* Spring practice officially begins Thursday, but Bobo said that is more of an opportunity to meet with the players and maximize their practice time. The team will then take 12 days off during Georgia’s spring break before reconvening – and essentially re-doing the Day 1 workouts – on March 14.

* Bobo was also sporting a black eye during interviews Thursday. The injury came courtesy of grad assistant Mitch Doolittle during Wednesday's pick-up basketball game.

I got lots more info, including plenty on the defensive changes, from today’s meetings with players, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that.

9 comments:

Carter said...

I would think that it would make more sense to play Sturdivant at RT or even G in the early going. LT requires more moving around in protecting the QB's blindside, and thus, a greater range of motion with the knee. I think he was asked to do too much, too soon in playing LT against OSU last year.

Sturdivant is one of my favorite Dawgs, and I think he was one of the 2 or 3 players who (whom?...I never learned how that works) were the most vital keys to our success in '07. I wish the kid nothing but the best. Also, I can't say enough good things about what Clint Boling has done since ‘07.

brad said...

I am hoping the Richard Samuel story turns out with a great ending--two years of ass-kicking at LB. I am in his corner.

UGA69Dawg said...

Here's hoping the new coaches can get the round pegs in the round holds better than the old ones.

Anonymous said...

Carter:

FYI...use "whom" after prepositions.

Good point about Sturdivant.

ifmercyfalls said...

David,

Has anyone talked about Branden Smith playing on offense again this year? Or is that experiment over?

Thanks,
Ben S.

Mark1stLtUSMC said...

to anon 12:05 AM

stfu... you stinking spell cop

whom ever cares

Anonymous said...

Wait?! I can't wait! Just kidding - great stuff!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing about Sturtivant. Not only should the move to RT or guard make it easier on his knee, they won't have to shuffle the whole line each time he's in or, God forbid, out. Let the guys master one position if possible. Imagine Clint at LT at TS at RT. Talk about luxury.

Chance Hardy said...

to Mark1stLtUSMC, all anon did was answer the question that Carter asked so no need to be hostile