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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Richt elaborates on the impact of Harmon's departure

GAINESVILLE – Mark Richt is here to speak at the tour stop in Gainesville – that would be Georgia – and per usual he spent a few minutes with us media hacks.

First off, Richt didn’t want to say much about A.J. Harmon’s announced transfer.

“That’s kind of why you say it’s personal reasons. Because it’s personal,” Richt said. So that’s all I can really say about that.”

But Richt did make clear that after the departures of Harmon and Washaun Ealey, he didn’t expect any more, at least for academic reasons.

“I don’t. I don’t,” Richt said. I expect everybody to be here in the fall.”

He also elaborated on what Harmon’s departure means for the offensive line. Harmon finished the spring as essentially the third tackle, the top backup on the left and right side.

Kenarious Gates, projected as the starter at left guard, could move out to tackle “if need be,” according to Richt. And if that happened, Kolton Houston would be the next option at one of the guard spots.

Richt said the “jury was still out” on Austin Long, but said he has time to move up the depth chart. Brent Benedict knows he has a ways to go as he heals from his surgery, the coach added. Dallas Lee, a guard, missed most of spring practice.

Throw in the injury to Trinton Sturdivant, and Richt admitted the team is scraping a bit on the line.

“You’d like to have more depth by now. You’d like to have more guys waiting in the wings for their opportunity,” he said. “I’d rather not go through another cycle of freshmen playing, they kind of go through the program and when they leave you’re playing freshmen again. It really is not ideal. But if that’s what it takes, that’s what we’ll do.”

Watts Dantzler, Zach DeBell and Xzavier Ward are the signees who project as tackles.

”I do feel like we’ve got enough guys right now to be able to play well,” Richt said. “But as we all know, when you’re short on depth, you’ve gotta stay healthy.”

In other news, Richt confirmed that the plan “at this time” was not to sign a quarterback for the 2012 class. But he cautioned that they didn’t plan to before they signed Hutson Mason.


IveyLeaguer said...

To lose TWO 5-star Tackles to injury before they even get to Athens is a lot of misfortune. That Richt stuck with them and honored their scholarships is very commendable, not every coach in the SEC would do that.

But it does leave us in a bind. Had they stayed healthy, they'd be at the tackles, Glenn would be at guard and Gates, Anderson, Burnette, and Houston would be battling for the other guard spot. We'd have 3 solid backups ready to go, even with Sturdivant and Harmon gone.

Some of Georgia's problems with the OL under Richt are self-inflicted. Our OL recruiting hasn't been the best over the decade. But I don't think I've ever seen a coach more snakebit in terms of his OL.

Bob said...

Mark Richt is the Job of the SEC. How much more bad can he withstand. It's really disheartening to the fans for the OL to be an annual disappointment.

Russ said...

You know what, just when you think our OL is going to be "less than optimal" this year because of the injuries, they might just step up and play great. It seems any time our expectations are too high for this group they disappoint. When we don't expect much are the years when they turn out to be a pleasant surprise. I'm betting these young guys step up and play well. Go Dawgs!!

DawgInVA25 said...

We have a few kids coming in who can help with depth. We are planning to take 6 OL's in the 2012 class, a few of which will be JUCOs and one will be Theus who will start for us next year. Keep faith.