Hopefully you've had a chance to browse our site and take a look at some of our "Pre-Spring" offerings that we've been giving you to get you ready for spring football. We've got a Pre-Spring Top 10, 5 teams to watch, we've posted 4 Pre-Spring All-Conference Teams and a couple of posts highlighting statistical analysis of returning players. We even cover the NFL draft for you with our mock draft expert. We don't call ourselves College Football Zealots for nothing, we love college football and that's what we will bring to you though-out the year. My goal this year is to cover College Football more on a National level than we did last year.
However, we still have our teams that we follow and live and die with every week and you will see several teams highlighted during the season (and some in the off-season) with a local feel. This year I will once again take you on the up-and-down roller-coaster ride that is the Georgia Bulldogs. I already took a stab at the Offensive Depth Chart a couple of weeks ago. Georgia starts spring practice on March 10th so it wasn't surprising when Mark Richt held a rather lengthy news conference today. Here are some tid-bits from today's news and my opinions...
- Sophomore Alec Ogletree will be moving from Safety to Inside Linebacker this year. Ogletree was the top recruit from last years class and came on strong towards the end of the season last year. He's very athletic, has great size, is fast and loves to hit. Sounds like a really good move to me. He will be manning the middle with junior Christian Robinson (who Grantham will ask to anchor the defense). Ogletree's move to ILB creates 3 interesting points of discussion. The first is that it moves USC transfer Jarvis Jones to OLB which is where I think he can do the most damage. He's most effective attacking and he will be able to do that coming from angles from the outside. The second point is wondering where this leaves Richard Samuel. Will he see time at ILB or OLB and how is he progressing in his move from offense to defense? That will be something that will be interesting to watching during the spring and fall. The third point is that this opens up the safety position opposite Bacarri Rambo. Senior Jakar Hamilton and RS Freshman Marc Deas were named by Grantham as guys who would get the first shot at the position. I think this also might open up a spot for incoming freshmen Damian Swann and Corey Moore to get some playing time pretty quickly. I don't see either of them starting from day one (especially with the brutality of the early schedule) but I think they will get a real good look during the fall and one of them could be starting by the end of the year.
- As I predicted Cordy Glenn will be moving from OG to OT. So Georgia has 3 spots all but sewn up on the line (Ben Jones at C, Trinton Sturdivant at OT and Glenn at OT). I think you can also pencil in Soph Kenarious Gates at one of the guard positions. So who takes the other guard position? With the addition of big John Jenkins at NT, Justin Anderson is being moved back from DL to OL and this could be his spot to take. I hate to get optimistic about the OL but if everything comes together we could be seeing our best line in the last few years.
- One of the biggest story-lines from the off-season so far at Georgia is the Strength and Conditioning program under Joe T. Rantavious Wooten has put on 12 pounds so far in the off-season S&C program and incoming freshman Chris Conley has also put on 11-12 pounds. Seth Emerson also had some interesting things to say on his blog today about Georgia's new Nutrition program. Basically players are now being asked to show what they're eating for all 3 meals of the day and getting approval of it before they eat it. Returning CB Brandon Boykin was quoted as saying that he thinks it's improved his endurance in workouts as he's not feeling tired. One thing I remember from a couple of years ago was Jeff Owens always tweeting about the junk food that he was eating and David Pollack even calling him out on it before. I think it's great that Georgia has finally taken steps to improve their S&C and Nutrition of their athletes and am looking forward to seeing if it can have an effect on the field this year.
- Aaron Murray should be ready to go by the first day of practice as he's out of his walking boot. Another interesting QB storyline is the development of both Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay. As I've said before, I think one of them will red-shirt this year. Richt says it will be deep into camp before they start talking about that.
- Another note was that returning starter at OLB Cornelius Washington and incoming freshman Ray Drew would "compete" at the OLB spot vacated by Justin Houston (he played the "Will" position last year). I love hearing that some of the freshman are going to be given every chance to get on the field early. It will do nothing but push the incumbents to make themselves better and bust their asses to try and be the one on the field making the plays.