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Monday, April 25, 2011

Post-spring depth chart: Skill positions

Georgia hasn’t yet released an official depth chart – and why should it, considering most position rankings will be moot once the recruits step on campus. But we’ll take a stab at where things stand after G-Day.

For the purposes of this blog, we will not include the incoming players on the depth chart. But they bear mention with each grouping. I also assign a percentage to the chances the depth chart looks like this when Georgia runs onto the Georgia Dome field to take on Boise State.

We weigh in today with the offensive skill positions. Not that the linemen don’t need skills. But we didn’t make up the term. So anyway:

QUARTERBACK
Starter:
Aaron Murray, (R-Soph.)
Top backup: Hutson Mason (Soph.)
Also: Christian LeMay (Fr.), Parker Welch (walk-on, R-Fr.) Greg Bingham (walk-on, R-Fr.).

CHANCE IT STAYS LIKS THIS: 95 percent. … The 5 percent is for whether Mason will actually play this year or the team will try to get him his redshirt back. But there’s no doubt right now that Murray is the starter – after all, many consider him the SEC’s top returning quarterback – and that Mason is best equipped to play next.

LOOMING: None. … LeMay is the only quarterback recruit, and he enrolled early.

TAILBACK
Starter:
Caleb King, (Sr.)
Top backup: Washaun Ealey (Jr.)
Also: Carlton Thomas (Jr.), Ken Malcome (R-Fr.), Alex Parsons (walk-on, R-Soph.), Brandon Harton (walk-on, R-Soph.)

CHANCE IT STAYS: 10 percent. … There’s at least one newcomer who should vault into one of the top two spots. King had a better spring than Ealey, who was hurt the vast majority of time. But coaches said no one separated themselves, and no one else really stood out. King gets the edge because of his better spring and experience, but you get the feeling that everything will reset to zero once preseason camp begins.

LOOMING: You may have heard of Isaiah Crowell. He’s still the best bet to be the starter against Boise State. Yes, that’s not a certainty. But let’s put it this way: Of the five scholarship tailbacks, almost any of them could start the opener, but the one who seems certain to at least get multiple carries is Crowell.

FULLBACK
Starter:
Zander Ogletree (Soph.)
Top backup: Bruce Figgins (Sr.)
Also: Dustin Royston (walk-on, R-Soph.), Chris Young (R-Soph.)

CHANCES IT STAYS: 50 percent. Ogletree and Figgins should both get plenty of time. Figgins is likely to get the nod if he masters the blocking scheme after his move from tight end. For now, Ogletree gets the (slight) nod because of his experience.

LOOMING: None.

FLANKER
Starter:
Tavarres King (Jr.)
Top backup: Israel Troupe (Sr.)
Also: Rantavious Wooten (Jr.), Chris Conley (Fr.), Taylor Bradberry (walk-on, Jr.)

CHANCES IT STAYS: 60 percent. … King is set at the top spot, but the rest is up in the air. Bennett seems likely to play somewhere, as does Conley. Troupe gets the nod as the top backup because of experience, but his playing time is far from assured. Wooten didn’t help himself in the spring, and missed G-Day with an undisclosed injury. Wooten and Troupe should play too, but it could be at split end, or the third receiver spot. And how much any of the backups play depends on whether they can hold off the recruits in August.

LOOMING: Malcolm Mitchell is likely to play receiver and not cornerback, and is just as likely to see the field against Boise State. Justin Scott-Wesley could also figure in the rotation, though that could take longer. Don’t count out Sanford Seay either.

SPLIT END
Starter:
Marlon Brown (Jr.)
Top backup: Michael Bennett (R-Fr.)
Also: Bennett, Wooten, Conley.

CHANCES IT STAYS: 45 percent. … Brown will be the favorite entering camp, but he’ll have to hold off Mitchell, Bennett and possibly Conley. Wooten and Troupe can also switch to the other side of the field too.

LOOMING: See above.

TIGHT END
Starter:
Orson Charles (Jr.)
Top backup: Aron White (Sr.)
Also: Arthur Lynch (R-Soph.)

CHANCES IT STAYS: 85 percent. … Charles had the edge entering spring and separated himself through a strong set of practices. But White, who was injured, will still see plenty of time. Lynch made the smart decision by redshirting last year, but will still be fighting to see the field at the team’s deepest position.

LOOMING: Jay Rome was one of the team’s highest-rated recruits, but whether he plays this year remains an open question. The Bulldogs don’t really need him unless there’s an injury, but Rome is also so good he may force the team to use him.

36 comments:

Ben said...

One of the first plays of the G-Day game I saw Charles line up in a receiver spot. I don't remember if he motioned out from the tight end position or if he lined up there right off the bat. With White, Lynch and now Rome incoming, what are the chances that Charles becomes a functional wide receiver this season? It doesn't make sense to have him making blocks when we've got plenty of bodies behind him and he's got arguably more "playmaking" ability than any of our current receivers.

Anonymous said...

One reason the coaches do not want Charles as a receiver is because he creates such a mismatch between the linebackers that cover him when he goes out on routes. If you made Charles a receiver he would be getting covered by cornerbacks/safeties, and the mismatch would, for all intesive purposes, become negligible. Don't get me wrong, Orson is a great player with good speed and fantastic "playmaking" abilities. But he is not fast enough to outrun SEC corners/safeties, and the coverage problems he causes for opposing linebacking corps are too precious of advantages.

Anonymous said...

Figgins has a considerable lead on Ogletree to start at FB due to Ogletree's size. He may have the heart, but he's greatly undersized at the FB position.

You tip your hand there as a writer and show football is something you cover in great depth but still don't totally get.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56, amen. The Crowell being the top bet at starter is ridiculous. If he starts the first game, it will be ceremonial at best. Calling him a likely starter by the third or fourth game makes more sense, but to make him the top bet to start the first game when he hasn't even been to a college practice with our particular offense is a huge stretch.

Ben said...

@ Anon 10:45

That's a good point, thanks.

Anonymous said...

A.J. Green started from the first play of his career and was considered one of the top ten recruits in the country. Crowell also is a top recruit, some had him the top runningback in the country, at a position of need. It's not that farfetched. Ask Lattimore. If Crowell doesn't start right away, look out, he's probably over rated.

Lawrence said...

I agree with Anon, but White has those same mismatch ability. Use Charles as BOTH TE and WR. Just keep him in the game as a WR when the other TEs are in the game. Seems logical to me. Put the best players on the field, right? If Lynch, Charles and White all on the field are better than Wooten or Troupe, I don't see why not do that.

Anonymous said...

Question:

We've already seen various predictions for the OL, but I was wondering what your insights were after seeing Coach Friend in action during the spring. What is he like? How are the players responding to him? Do you see him fitting into a role or making a strong impact from the start?

Anonymous said...

actually AJ Green didn't start his first game.

Doug said...

anon 10:56-

You need to learn to read.

You tip your hand when you failed to read the part about Figgins starting hinges on his ability to master the skills to play FB. Seth assumes the coaches won't play a kid just because he is big.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Joe Terishinski a lock as starter a few years ago. Amazing wehat a few losses out of the gate did to Joe's career.

David P said...

I feel like I am on crazy pills sometimes when I read this blog.

AJ did not start as a freshman from the first game. Use that as a small factor when comparing the talent level of Crowell and whether or not he will receive "multiple reps" as a starter or otherwise. ALL the tailbacks receive multiple reps, at least CK and WE and CT do, because they play for several downs in a row. Why in H3ll do we still keep talking about Crowell as though the job is his to lose?

CK was just as hyped coming into the program, but guess what? IF YOU CANT UNDERSTAND THE BLOCKING, YOU DON'T PLAY!!!

What makes anyone think that IC will be so awesome is watching his HIGH SCHOOL tapes. Good for him, good for all of you sunshine pumpers. He can run, and I am excited to watch it, but that does not mean that he will be able to run if the OLINE is a cesspool of blocking like is has been for the last two years.

And IC sure as H3LL wont be playing if he can't pick up the blocking schemes to protect the golden boy quarterback Aaron Murray. Murray is THE biggest thing that needs to be protected. Think the coaches want to put in a back that cannot block properly, or can't tell what his assignment is so that AM's ass is hanging out to be clobbered by some LB that puts him out for a game or several or the season? PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS!!!

I loathe predictions, but in full hypocrisy here goes:

LT Glenn-experience, the best bet for protecting murray.
LG Gates
C Jones
RG Burnette-so he has more experience to take over C next year.
RT Bean big and fast, better than Harmon

And NO! None of the frosh are going to be ready to start.

King and Brown at Receiver, with Bennett company back ups. Brown has the size and speed, lacks the confidence but can get it quickly if given a game or two to flip the switch.

Charles at tight end, white backing up, regardless of what people think or say, these two are interchangeable. White is as good when used the same and given the same playcalls.

Figgins at FB-size and catching ability, this is a no brainer. Thanks zander, love you too, but this is just reality.

Caleb will be the starter, the only exception is if there is some other than football factor like injury or grades, or a promise to a prize recruit. He knows the system, knows the blocks, is not still having issues like WE, and is running for his last time as a senior, hoping to make an impact for the pro scouts.

Done. NONE of these frosh are going to make the impact that many are hyping about. Look at Charles, a fiver that is great but will show you that all the hype and talent in the world is not going to get you the starting job from day one.

Anonymous said...

Anon12:28. Sorry, I was at the game. Green was out there the first play. I believe it was Western Kentucky but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Anonymous said...

Looked it up, it was Georgia Southern, I remember when I saw him out there on the first play it told me all I needed to know about what kind of player he would be. When Marlon Brown, who was almost as hyped didn't play right away, it told me all I needed to know about him. If you're a Georgia fan, you better hope Crowell plays right away or that's a bad sign.

dawgfan10 said...

To all you anons (can't tell any of you apart. Please just use some sort of name to identify yourself so that these threads are readable):

1) Didn't knowshon and stafford have to wait their turn to play as well? Look how they turned out - 1st rounders.

Pollack and Greene same way (Greene redshirted). Again, both awesome players (all SEC).

2) Didn't Hitman Hamilton start his first game here last year? Look how that turned out - a Frosh beat him out by the end of the year and will be a starting LB this coming year


My point is, just because a player does or does not start his FIRST ever college game does not mean he is over(or under)rated. It means that he has or has not EARNED the right to be on the field as a starter.

Dennis Nedry said...

Seriously, why is the starting RB spot Crowell's already? Because it isn't. He isn't even there yet, and Richt only made mention of Crowell in the past to show how the competition will be open. Right now, King and Ealey are the solid starters (as they have been for some time). Crowell will have to come in and prove himself as an RB (and a blocker) in order to get a shot.

Also, starting a game against Boise at running back is WAY different than starting a game against Georgia Southern as a WR. There are almost always multiple WRs on the field during any play, and that was against crappy GSU. RB is much more important as there generally will only be 1 on the field and they will take the ball. Plus, it's a huge game.

The job isn't Crowell's YET.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Stafford had to wait all the way to the second game to start. Against South Carolina. On the road. Georgia won. I was there.The super studs play right away. You could watch Stafford warming up next to the other guys before the game and could tell the job would be his soon. Try going to the games and watching them instead of fluffing the covers with depth charts and stats. It adds to the enjoyment and you might learn a few things. If Crowell is a great player he will play and help Georgia win. Soon.

ReservoirDawg said...

I would move Ken Malcome up the depth chart.

JeffG said...

I just hope Crowell is good enough to get on the field right away, bc it will be a good sign for Uga. If he's not doesn't mean he won't be great though! You just don't know yet!

And fwiw, Stafford didn't start game at usc, Joe T got hurt in 1st qtr.

Anonymous said...

No Stafford started but you are correct they said Joe T was "hurt". Like I said, I was in Columbia that night. The Cocks got shut out, one of the few times that has happened to Spurrier if I recall.

Anonymous said...

100 percent Mark Richt will be fired at seasons end.

Swalt said...

Please check facts. Joe T dis start against SC in 2006, got hurt and Stafford came in relief. I'll bet a steak dinner on it.

Jack said...

I think that crowell will start the first game

Hooper T said...

I think the coaches made a good decision by leaving King as a starter over Crowell because of his experience at tailback.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Joe T played the first series Swalt. I'm glad I'm not a betting man.

Boxer said...

Seth,

Ever wonder why you get more comments on the gray site than the white site?

Swalt said...

If I were a betting man, I'd be quite poor!

Anonymous said...

The Top QB in The Entire Southeastern Conference is 5' 11" 198 lbs who beat 6 teams all of whom had a losing record, and lost to all 7 other teams stealing 8 carries a game from the non-existent running backs, averaging himself, 2 yards per carry for his 2nd season on campus here.

Returning 10 of the 11 Starters on Offense for his 2nd season on campus, he led his team to Number 72 in the nation in even gaining a 1st Down for the entire season playing a soft schedule of chalk full of cupcakes.

# 56 in the nation in Total Offense this ball hog ran an Offense that was awful.

# 55 in the nation in 3rd Down Conversions for the season, this clutch performer against quality opponents, now faces a season of hot seat for his "Offensive Line," for his "Wide Receivers," for especially his "running backs" and for his ill-prepared non-existent fullbacks of which there are none on the roster and none recruited. He faces this season, too, with a Position Coordinator for the Offense who is the most embattled O.C. in the nation Mike Bobo, with uncertain and unproven position coaches at WR and RB. And, their Head Coach is on the Hot Seat to produce with this talent.

A head coach who is 3-10 vs teams finishing in the top 10 of the AP Poll his 1st 10 years here, and who has not even been to The SEC Championship Game in over Five Consecutive Years now. A head coach who has the # 7 recruiting class every single year. But, this up-coming season is different. We play 9 cupcakes, so with all the talent coming in this season unlike any other failed year, all he has to do is go 9-4 when the top teams in the nation will play instead by direct contrast 14 games, with 25 teams again all winning more games than we.

# 62 in the nation at being sacked, this offensive stud, is the clear and concise consensus best QB in the Southeastern Conference as I stand here.

Everything is everyone else's fault, not Aaron Murray. He just had an amazing 2nd season on our campus. You have to go back 58 years in UGA Bulldogs' Football History to find a season we Lost more than 7 games - 1953 was the last time UGA Lost more than 7 games in a season.

Amazing

Stud

Best QB in the Southeastern Conference

Hogwash.

He isn't a leader.

He isn't a winner.

He isn't big.

He does not take the team on his back and will us to wins.

He does not beat the good or even average opponents we play.

He calls his own number, or checks off at the line to his own number, and stands back there without a care in the world.

He will not be drafted by anyone, ever.

He cannot run the football at all.

His passes are not accurate.

He does not convert 3rd Downs.

He does not make 1st Downs.

He has no timer in his head back there to get rid of the football.

He actually thinks he can run the football like Cam Newton.

He is not a leader.

It is everyone else's fault that Aaron Murray led UGA to a 7-Loss season, scoring TDs on cupcakes only and beating only them, and putting together a season for the ages which only 58 years ago did we actually lose more games than his 7 Losses as our Starter.

David Greene was the best quarterback for us because he Won Games as Our Starting QB, but now, 7 years later, we are much more sophisticated now - for now, it is anything but being a team leader, being able to run the ball and not be a drag on the running game, and beating the good teams in a year in which we are ourselves relevant on the national stage playing in a big bowl game against a 13-1 or 12-2 opponent ourselves 13-1 or 12-2.

Nah. 6-7 makes him the best.

B.S.

Anonymous said...

And Georgia Tech still sucks eggs ^^^^

Redcoat98 said...

You would think that after months of failure trying to convince us to jump on the anti-Murray bandwagon, that he'd find some new statistics to use. Also, how hypocritical does one have to be to complain about Richt's steady approach and yet "keep to the course" themsleves.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:14;

blah, blah, rant, rant, blah, blah.

Aaron Murray was All-Freshman QB selected by SEC coaches.

He's good. End of story.

Anonymous said...

"...schedule of chalk full of cupcakes."

I think someone has been eating the chalk-filled cupcakes

Jake said...

Guys, guys... let's give the Anon poster some respect. Afterall, according to him, he's a very smart, successful professional at a massive law firm. What law firm you ask? He didn't specify. What is his role at this law firm? He didn't specify. What is the name of this brilliant and opinionated man, you ask? He didn't specify. But he sure can write some choppy, repetitive posts. And he sure does get his feelings hurt when Seth deletes his posts (which I hope happens again soon).

Anonymous said...

I guess big successful lawyers suffer from insomnia when confronted with Murray's greatness according to his post time.

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing...check out the latest blog entry on ESPN's SEC Blog:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/21994/richt-impressed-with-murrays-spring

Anonymous said...

Seth, Like many fans, I'd disagree with your assessment that Murray is a lock at QB. Thought Mason & Murray both played well enough over Spring to send a message about starting, and by end of summer, think 1 of them will be there. At least I hope so, like many of the fans here, I don't think Murray gives up the best chance to win, nor does Caleb King, or Aaron White. I'd like to see Mason at QB, Charles at TE, and Crowell at RB. After last season, we need to change it up.