Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 67 Days (#67 Jonathan Owens)

#67 Jonathan Owens, OG
6-4, 305, Blountsville AL (Susan Moore HS), RS Freshman

Owens signed with UGA over Georgia Tech in 2008, and was considered a "sleeper" on the offensive line. He's a big body with alot of potential, but injuries have hampered his development, and it may be a while still before he sees the field at Sanford Stadium for the Dawgs.

Depth Chart Analysis: Owens suffered a tough knee injury is spring drills, which held him back and probably kept him from making a move up the chart at left guard. He is expected to be ready for the fall, but faces a tough road to get into the rotation. Tanner Strickland's shoulder injury and subsequent surgery that will have him missing 2009 might get Owens a little closer to seeing the field, but given the depth that UGA has along the offensive line, it will be difficult for him. He's probably looking at 2010 before he makes a real push.

Other famous #67s in UGA history: OG Joel Parrish, OG Chester Adams

Monday, June 29, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU:68 Days (#68 Ben Harbin)

#68 Ben Harbin, DE
6-3, 255, Dalton GA (Dalton), RS Soph.

Harbin is a walk-on from Dalton that originally reported to Athens as a tight end on the scout team. He has since moved over to the opposite side of the ball and has worked out primarily on the scout team during his time at UGA thus far. He's an outstanding student in addition to a key member of the practice squad. He is of no relation to Georgia State Representative Ben Harbin (R-Evans.)

Depth Chart Analysis: Unless the Dawgs take some unfortunate hits injury-wise at defensive end before or during the upcoming season, he is more than likely going to continue to simply add depth on the scout team. However, defensive end is a position that the Dawgs are somewhat thin at (on talent if not bodies), so one or two injuries could press Harbin into action.

Other famous #68s in UGA history: OG (and current Athens attorney) Kim Stephens

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 69 Days (Ty Frix)

Ty Frix, SN
6-0, 200, Calhoun GA (Calhoun HS), RS Freshman

Frix played for Georgia high school powerhouse Calhoun, where he played on a team that one 4 consecutive region titles and a State runner-up in 2006. He also played baseball for the 2005 State champions, and played basketball as well. All the while he was an outstanding student and valedictorian of his senior class. Quite a resume, and now he gets to walk on for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Depth Chart Analysis: Frix stands an excellent chance to be the starter at the always important long snapper position for the 2009 season, which actually has been a lifelong dream of his. He's more than just a team GPA booster.

Famous #69s in UGA history: OG Mack Burroughs

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 70 Days (#70 A.J. Harmon)

#70 A.J. Harmon, OL
6-5, 310, Louisville GA (Jefferson County HS), RS Freshman

Harmon was one of the more highly touted recruits to come to Athens in the 2008 signing class, picking the Dawgs over Clemson (where he had previously been committed for a long time.) There were many questions about which side of the ball he'd play on when he first arrived. He made no secret that he preferred defensive tackle, but it was widely known that the UGA coaches wouldn't let him play defense unless he got his weight down. He did come in at a good weight and worked out most of his redshirt season on defense. Late in the year he was moved to offensive line and worked out at both tackle and guard on the left side.

Depth Chart Analysis: Harmon will be hard to keep off the field this year. He's progressed quite nicely since moving to offensive line, and should be able to stay in the two-deep at either guard or tackle (most likely guard.) He's going to be a good one for the Dawgs once he gets himself some consistent playing time.

Other famous #70s in UGA history: OT Ray Rissmiller

Friday, June 26, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 71 Days (#71 Cordy Glenn)

#71 Cordy Glenn, OG
6-5, 330, Riverdale GA (Riverdale HS), Soph.

Glenn might have been the biggest surprise among the incoming freshmen in 2008, starting 10 games at either guard spot. He was a good prospect coming out of Riverdale, but I don't know if anybody expected him to be one of the most versatile and durable pieces on last year's line. He was on just about everyone's All-Freshman team, and heads into the 2009 season as a player to watch for potential All-SEC honors. He was good last year, but he still has alot of room for improvement. He's got the potential to be one of the greats that have worn the Red and Black in the trenches.

Depth Chart Analysis: Whichever guard spot it is ultimately decided that he's best suited for, that's where he'll start. Alot of other pieces fall into place once that is decided. He can also fill in at the right tackle position if need be. Again, more versatility from a Stacy Searles coached offensive lineman. (We have a theme developing here, in case you haven't noticed.)

Other famous #71s in UGA history: DT David Saye, OT George Foster, OT Adam Meadows

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 72 Days (#72 Vince Vance)

#72 Vince Vance, RT
6-8, 325, Hinesville GA (Bradwell Institute - GMC), Sr.

After coming to UGA as one of the better JUCO prospects available, Vance made an immediate impact, playing in all 11 games at both guard and tackle for the 2007 Dawgs. Last year he entered the season as the starter at left guard, starting the first 3 games of the 2008 season there, before moving over to left tackle for the next 3. Unfortunately he suffered a season-ending right knee injury against Tennessee, and was unavailable for the remainder of the 2008 season. He didn't work out this past spring, but he's expected to be ready to roll for summer practice. Vance's versatility and size are two valuable assets that will not only serve the Dawgs well this coming year, but might very well translate to a pro career for him should he manage to stay healthy in 2009.

Depth Chart Analysis: There is some question as to where big Vance will work out to begin the season (assuming he's 100%.) Either guard spot or right tackle are possibilities. Much will depend on how ready Trinton Sturdivant is to begin the season. If Sturdivant is ready, he's your starting left tackle. That could move Clint Boling to right tackle and allow the coaches to decide which guard spot Cordy Glenn would be most effective at. Under that scenario, Vance probably gets into the discussion at the guard spot opposite Glenn. Or, Boling could pick up at the guard spot opposite Glenn, and Vance could move to right tackle. The possibilities are almost endless given the versatility of this group. Its a good problem to have.

Other famous #72s in UGA history: DT Paul Handmacher

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 73 Days (#73 Casey Nickels)

#73 Casey Nickels, RT
6-4, 275, Tignall GA (Washington-Wilkes HS), RS Jr.

Nickels walked on to UGA before the 2006 season, and was immediately recognized as the Most Outstanding Walk-On. It was 2008 before he saw the field at Sanford Stadium (in one game), and this past offseason he was named Most Improved Offensive Lineman, and again was named Outstanding Walk-On. He's worked hard enough that he actually figures to see even more playing time heading into this year.

Depth Chart Analysis: Quite honestly, Nickels may be going into fall in a tight battle for the backup at one offensive tackle spot. That may change when/if Trinton Sturdivant is healthy enough to re-assume his starting left tackle position, but for now Nickels is firmly in the discussion.

Other famous #73s in UGA history: DT Dan Spivey

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 74 Days (#74 Kevin Perez)

#74 Kevin Perez, C
6-3, 270, Miami FL (Killian HS), RS Jr.

Perez was a key recruit out of Florida, who enrolled early in Athens but still redshirted his first season. He came into his redshirt freshman season as the backup center and appeared in 6 games that season. Last season he appeared in 4 games, again at center, but was passed by true freshman Ben Jones early in the year. An offseason DUI arrest didn't help his chances to work back up the depth chart.

Depth Chart Analysis: Dallas Lee moved ahead of Perez this past spring as the backup to Jones. Perez will probably have to work very hard to see the field this year, especially considering the offseason transgressions. Still, he's got some game experience and is one of the team's veteran offensive linemen, so with an injury or two he could become a key backup.

Other famous #74s in UGA history: OG Guy McIntyre, OT Craig "Sky" Hertwig, OL Curtis McGill, OG Max Jean-Gilles

Monday, June 22, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 75 Days (Kiante Tripp)

Kiante Tripp, DE
6-6, 294, Atlanta GA (Westlake HS), RS Jr.

Tripp's career in Athens to this point has been a bit of a roller-coaster. Most thought before he arrived in Athens, many thought that he'd end up as an offensive lineman. During his redshirt season in 2006, the coaches evaluated him mostly at offensive line, but the thought was in place that he could end up switching if injuries or depth created a need for him to play defensive end. Still, he landed at offensive tackle and played 8 games there in 2007. In 2008 he made 3 starts and played in 11 games at tackle. Once the depth at OL got back to normal, Tripp was moved back to defensive end this past spring and played there in G-Day. He's listed in the official UGA roster as #83, but since Cornelius Washington (a fellow DE) also wears that number, something will have to be worked out (in case they are on the field at the same time.)

Depth Chart Analysis: Tripp is big for a defensive end, but supposedly he has the speed and lateral quickness to make it work. If so, he's a nightmare matchup for some tight ends. He isn't expected to start early in the season, but with DE being a position with alot of question marks, Tripp could be a big factor this season.

Famous #75s in UGA history: OL Mack Guest, OL Jonas Jennings

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 76 Days (#76 Ben Harden)

#76 Ben Harden, OL
6-3, 303, Perry GA (Perry HS), RS Soph.

It has been a long haul so far for Harden, as he originally signed with the 2006 class, but took the Hargrave Military route before his arrival in Athens. He's been somewhat slow to develop, taking a redshirt in 2007 and didn't see any playing time in 2008. Harden is a big body with some versatility (he can play guard or center), but to this point he's still trying to find his place along this UGA offensive line.

Depth Chart Analysis: Harden played a good bit in G-Day, but still figures to struggle to find playing time this year. UGA is just too deep on the OL going into the season. The fact that a player like Harden can't crack the 2-deep (at least not as of today) speaks to some tremendous depth that UGA possesses at this position.

Other famous #76s in UGA history: DL George Patton, OT Tim Morrison

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 77 Days (#77 Trinton Sturdivant)

#77 Trinton Sturdivant, LT
6-5, 305, Wadesboro NC (Anson HS), RS Soph.

Sturdivant was an early commitment to the Dawgs in 2006, picking UGA over a number of big programs, including Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, Clemson and Florida. He was penciled in as the starter at left tackle early in the summer before his true freshman season, which understandably made a few Dawg fans a little nervous. Sturdivant made a big splash that year, starting every game at left tackle and being named to just about every freshman All-American team. A devastating knee injury before the 2008 season caused him to miss the entire year, but he should be back in 2009.

Depth Chart Analysis: The loss of Sturdivant last year prior to the season was a big blow for the Dawgs. The offense ended up being OK statistically, but psychologically it seemed to just get the season off on the wrong foot. Hopefully his return will have the opposite effect in 2009. If he’s healthy, he’s the firm starter to protect Joe Cox’s blindside and should have a big year. Sturdivant has first round NFL pick written all over him.

Other famous #77s in UGA history: OG Jim Blakewood, DE Bill Stanfill, OT Mike Wilson, OT Don Leeburn

Friday, June 19, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 78 Days (#78 Josh Davis)

#78 Josh Davis, RT
6-6, 300, Jayess MS (Tylertown HS), RS Jr.

Davis was a late and surprise commitment to UGA with the signing class of 2006, choosing the Dawgs over Ole Miss (where he had previously committed.) He was labeled a "project", but ended up developing a little faster than the UGA coaches probably expected. While he did redshirt in his first season, by the time his second year came around he was a regular member of the rotation. The injury to Trinton Sturdivant made him a part-time starter last season, and he held his own pretty well (even though he probably wasn't completely ready for it.) Unfortunately, he suffered a left shoulder injury in the bowl game vs Michigan State, which required surgery and caused him to miss the entire spring. He'll likely miss most of the serious drills during fall as well (although he has already participated in some of the workouts), and may not be ready to play fully until mid-season. His status for this season is definitely in doubt at this point.

Depth Chart Analysis: Davis got some starting experience last year and held up pretty well given what he was thrown into. He would have definitely made the 2-deep for this season had the shoulder problems not popped up. Dawg fans probably won't be able to count on much from him this year.

Other famous #78s in UGA history: DL Ronnie Swoopes, OL Jon Stinchcomb, OT David "Boog" Powell

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 79 Days (#79 Justin Anderson)

#79 Justin Anderson, OL
6-5, 330, Ocilla GA (Irwin County HS), RS Soph.

"Bean" was one of the more heralded offensive line prospects ever to sign with Georgia in 2005, an extremely rare blend of size and athleticism. He was expected to contribute early at UGA, but academic issues sent him to Hargrave Military for a year. He ended up redshirting in 2007, but came on pretty strong in his redshirt freshman season, starting a number of games in 2008 and proving to have quite a bit of versatility. He's an important cog on this year's offensive line.

Depth Chart Analysis: I listed Bean as an "OL", because there is really some question as to where he'll end up starting. Alot probably depends on Trinton Sturdivant's development and recovery from his preseason injury last year. Anderson can play both guard and both tackle spots, but right now he's probably slotted into right tackle unless Sturdivant gets back 100% by the start of fall practice. Once Sturdivant is well and ready to assume left tackle, Clint Boling moves back to right tackle and Bean ends up at right guard, where he's most comfortable.

Other famous #79s in UGA history: OT Tom Nash, OT Matt Stinchcomb, OT Wilbur Strozier, OT Jim Wilson

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 80 Days (Rantavious Wooten)

Rantavious Wooten, WR
5-10, 160, Belle Glade FL (Glades Central HS), True Freshman

Wooten was a steal for the Dawgs out of Florida in one of the best national WR crops in recent history. Wooten was rated a 4-star prospect, but yet was barely thought of as one of the Top 25 WR prospects in the nation. Still, the Dawgs were pleased to land him and expect big things out of him early in his career. He chose UGA over just about every big program in America, including Florida, Auburn, LSU, Miami and Michigan.

Depth Chart Analysis: Richt has mentioned Wooten in more than one interview that I've seen this offseason, which leads me to believe that there is a good chance he'll play this year. The assessment of alot of people is that WR is a thin position this year, although personally I don't see it that way. Regardless, it doesn't look like Wooten is going to get a redshirt this year.

Famous #80s in UGA football history: WR Damon Evans, TE Dennis Hughes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 81 Days (#81 Aron White)

#81 Aron White, TE
6-4, 230, Columbia MO (Rock Bridge HS), RS Soph.

White followed his high school quarterback (Logan Gray), and big things were expected immediately. Many don't realize that some recruiting services actually had him as the #1 ranked tight end prospect in America coming out of high school. He's been slow to develop, with a redshirt season in 2007, and only 3 catches in 2008. However, his 48 yarder against LSU was one of the longest pass plays of the season for the Dawgs, and his other 2 catches were touchdowns (vs Florida and Michigan State.) Expect more development in 2009.

Depth Chart Analysis: He has probably done enough to earn the starting TE job heading into fall camp, but he’ll have a host of challengers for that spot, with Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch both reporting to school in August. I suspect he’ll be the starter in Stillwater, but will have to fight hard to hold onto it. Still, he’s a nice talent that will have every chance early to solidify his slot as the #1 guy. We could see him develop into a very solid weapon for the UGA offense.

Other notable #81s in UGA history: DE Butch Mulherin

Monday, June 15, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 82 Days (#82 Michael Moore)

#82 Michael Moore, FLK
6-2, 207, Fort Lauderdale FL (North Broward Prep), Sr.

Moore came to UGA in 2005 as a very intriguing prospect at WR. After a redshirt in 2005, he kind of coasted through his next 2 seasons catching only 5 passes. 2008 was his breakout year, as he caught 29 balls for 451 yards and 2 TDs, leaving fans looking for a great senior season from Moore. It seems like he's been at UGA forever. It isn't unreasonable to expect Moore to have an even more improved season in 2009 and be a big part of the UGA offense this year.

Depth Chart Analysis: Moore came on strong at times last year, enough to make himself a big factor going into this season. He has a chance to be a starter early in the season, especially following the injury to Kris Durham that will keep Durham out all year. Moore might get to wear the tag of “possession receiver” this year, which is of course very important in the UGA offense. Make no mistake, he’ll be a big part of any offensive success that UGA has in the passing game.

Other famous #82s in UGA history: WR Gene Washington, WR Amp Arnold, WR Jimmy Harrell, WR Fred Gibson

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 83 Days (#83 Cornelius Washington)

#83 Cornelius Washington, DE
6-4, 283, Hephzibah GA (Burke County HS), RS Freshman

Washington came to UGA last season as a top-rated defensive end prospect, choosing the Dawgs over just about every other school in the South. Slightly undersized when he arrived in Athens, he redshirted in 2008 presumably to get some more weight on. He missed spring drills in 2009 to rehab from various injuries, but it appears he'll be ready to go in August. He's not someone you first think of when you imagine potential defensive surprises this year, but he's got all the tools to be very good.

Depth Chart Analysis: Call me crazy, but this guy is my defensive sleeper for the upcoming season. If he can stay healthy, I think he has the opportunity to be an unstoppable force at defensive end one day, and perhaps the answer to some of the questions about UGA’s pass rush. He’s a freakish athlete with unlimited potential. This may be the year he gets to show it off on the field. He isn’t going to start, at least not early in the season, but he’ll get his chances.

Other famous #83s in UGA history: DE Mixon Robinson, DE Robert Miles (starter on 1980 National Championship team)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 84 Days (#84 Bryce Ros)

#84 Bryce Ros, TE
6-4, 235, Kennesaw GA (Kennesaw Mountain HS), RS Freshman

Bryce's father Frank was a linebacker and captain of the 1980 National Championship team, but that was certainly not the only reason that UGA went after him. Ros had a list of impressive schools after him, including Auburn, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. He was a Top 50 player in Georgia in the 2008 class, and widely considered one of the Top 25 tight end prospects in the nation. There was alot of talk coming into UGA prior to the 2008 season that he might end up playing on the other side of the ball, and although Bryce has indicated he'd be willing to do it if asked, that looks to be a long shot. Ros is locked in (for now) at tight end.

Depth Chart Analysis: With Bruce Figgins' suspension, Ros stands a much better chance of playing this year. He's currently listed on the depth chart at the #2 tight end spot. The competition figures to pick up once Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch get on campus, but Ros isn't conceding anything. Expect to see him getting some meaningful playing time in 2009, especially in the early part of the season.

Other famous #84s in UGA history: TE Clarence Kay, TE Richard Appleby

Friday, June 12, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 85 Days (Orson Charles)

Orson Charles, WR/TE
6-3, 230, Tampa FL (Plant HS), True Freshman

Note: I realize there is a good chance that Charles is going to end up wearing #7, but there are a number of TEs that we are talking about in the 80s, so I wanted to lump him into that group.

Charles committed to UGA this past March (after Signing Day), choosing the Dawgs over just about anybody else in the South (and nationally) that you'd want to guess. Widely considered one of the nation's top WR prospects (although most project him to ultimately play a "hybrid" TE position), Charles was a high school teammate of fellow UGA incoming freshman Aaron Murray. He's big, fast (4.5), and confident. He's going to have a monster career in Athens.

Depth Chart Analysis: It will be a shocker if the UGA coaches don't find a way to get him on the field this season. He's too valuable of a weapon to redshirt. He brings a skill set to the UGA offense that we may not have ever seen before. I hate to compare him to a player from a rival school, but he brings to mind the athleticism of former Florida TE Cornelius Ingram, and the speed of former South Carolina TE Jared Cook. But neither one of those guys is as versatile as Charles.

Famous #85s in UGA history: TE Ulysses Norris, OL Marion Campbell, WR Demiko Goodman

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 86 Days (Arthur Lynch)

Arthur Lynch, TE
6-5, 240, Dartmouth MA (Dartmouth HS), True Freshman

Lynch was a big find for the UGA coaching staff out of the Northeast, continuing the good work up that way from the past few years. Widely considered one of the Top 5 tight end prospects in the nation, Lynch chose the Dawgs over the closer to home Boston College Eagles. He competed in the Under Armour All-American game and made a big impression on both the scouts in attendance and his teammates. He's a complete tight end with great blocking and receiving skills, and will have every opportunity to play in Athens early in his career.

Depth Chart Analysis: I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him battling for early playing time. Orson Charles is likely to see some time at slot receiver, but Lynch is more of a traditional tight end. There's a good chance both will play as true freshmen, especially with Figgins suspended for 6 games and not alot of experience on the rest of the roster.

Famous #86's in UGA history: TE Randy McMichael, OL Dick Yelvington, DE Barry Wilson

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 87 Days (#87 Vernon Spellman)

#87 Vernon Spellman, FLK
6-1, 187, Marietta GA (Sprayberry HS), Sr.

Spellman is a proud walk-on who has managed to stick in there through 4 full seasons with the Dawgs. After a nice career at Sprayberry where he managed to set some Cobb County records as a quarterback in passing yards and touchdowns in a game, (and posting a very accomplished track career), he came to UGA and filled many scout team roles, mostly on special teams. As a redshirt freshman he worked more with the offense on special teams, until the last 2 seasons where he actually started to see some game time (playing 10 games in the last 2 years combined.)

Depth Chart Analysis: Unfortunately for Spellman, wide receiver is not a position where the Dawgs are short on depth. As a result, we're probably going to merely see more of the same from him. However, guys like Spellman are invaluable to game preparation. He's got plenty of talent and speed to make the defensive backs work hard in practice, and he obviously loves wearing the UGA uniform or he would have quit along time ago. Let's hope he gets in a game situation where we can see him make a catch or two.

Other famous #87s in UGA history: DE Billy Payne, TE Troy Sadowski, DT Jimmy Payne, DE Dicky Clark, E Pat Hodgson, TE Larry Brown

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 88 Days (Brandon Bogotay)

Brandon Bogotay, K
6-3, 200, El Cajon CA (Grossman College), Soph.(?)

In one of the more unheralded but no less important signings of the 2009 recruiting class, the Dawgs picked up Bogotay in March, long after Signing Day. This presumably fills a long overdue need that the Dawgs will have on kickoffs. As a freshman at Grossman College, he connected on 15 of 23 field goals, including a long of 52. He was 1st team All-Conference as a freshman at Grossman (a junior college.)

Depth Chart Analysis: He is rumored to have a big leg but perhaps lack some accuracy, which would make one think he is a perfect fit for the gaping hole the Dawgs have on kickoff coverage. However, if Blair Walsh struggles as a sophomore (which I certainly don't think he will), it would be nice to have someone else available to give it a try. Hopefully Richt and the special teams coaches will just let Bogotay kick it as far as he absolutely can, and take our chances. Lord knows the current methods are not working any better.

Other famous #88s in UGA history: TE Norris Brown, WR Brice Hunter

Monday, June 8, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 89 Days (#89 Bruce Figgins)

#89 Bruce Figgins, TE
6-4, 260, Columbus GA (Shaw HS), Jr.

After the Dawgs landed Figgins from Columbus prior to the 2007 season, his career looked like it was headed for big things. His first career collegiate catch was an 11 yard touchdown pass against Oklahoma State. In that game, he was the first true freshman to start at TE for UGA in a season opener in 43 years, and the first true freshman to start any game at TE for UGA in 17 years. However, the rest of Figgins' first season fell off somewhat, as he only caught 2 more balls the rest of the season. 2008 was an injury-filled year, as he only caught 2 balls on the season. Bruce did show alot of heart mid-year when it was announced that he would miss the season due to shoulder surgery, but decided to put it off until the end of the season after the Dawgs suffered some further injuries at the position. Still, he wasn't able to produce much offensively. He had shoulder surgery this past offseason, but it looks as though he'll be ready to roll for the fall. However, he did something really bad in the offseason and will have to miss half the season due to the suspension, which according to reports had something to do with the University's substance abuse policy.

Depth Chart Analysis: Tight end is going to be an interesting battle in fall camp. Aron White probably has the inside track, given his late season surge in production last year and the fact that he's stayed relatively healthy. Bryce Ros and the 2 incoming freshman (Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch) should have something to say about it as well. Figgins would have been right there had it not been for the suspension. He's going to have to work really hard to get himself in the rotation by the time Game 7 rolls around. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see him just shut it down for the year, maybe take a redshirt (if that is even possible), and then have 2 full seasons of eligibility remaining. Or, maybe I'm in left field on that idea.

Other famous #89s in UGA history: WR Charlie Whittemore, E Frank Orgel

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 90 Days (Derek Rich)

Derek Rich, TE
6-2, 255, Gainesville GA (North Hall HS), Soph.

Rich transferred to UGA from UConn prior to the 2008 season, and thus sat out a year under NCAA rules. Before leaving UConn, he managed to play in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman, and also handled the important duties of long snapper. He was also Academic All-Big East during his time in Storrs, CT, before deciding to head south to become a walk-on at UGA. He seems to have a great attitude and appears genuinely happy to be wearing the UGA uniform.

Depth Chart Analysis: While the question is still up in the air about who will start at TE for UGA, there are no shortage of options, especially considering that 2 very talented true freshman in Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch are coming into town very soon. Rich did manage to catch a couple of nice passes in the G-Day game, and had a very good spring practice offensively. His best bet to see the field at Sanford Stadium is probably as the long snapper. He has game experience from UConn, and probably would be considered the early favorite to handle that position for UGA this fall.

A famous #90 in UGA history: DE Freddie Gilbert (26 career sacks at UGA)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 91 Days (#91 Kade Weston)

Editorial comment: My apologies for the delay on the countdown. I returned from vacation to find my home in shambles thanks to a faulty roof job, which unfortunately has brought my life (and more importantly my family life) to a complete standstill for the past 4 days. Life goes on, as does the countdown. I just ask the loyal readership to give me a few days to get caught up. Thanks for hanging in there. (And many thanks to Otto for filling in more than admirably.)

#91 Kade Weston, DT
6-5, 325, Red Bank NJ (Red Bank Regional), Sr.

Here's another one that I can't believe is already a senior. Even though he did get a redshirt, it seems like just yesterday that he was signing with the Dawgs as a Parade All-American. Kade had a very promising RS freshman season, playing in every game for the Dawgs and getting himself in the backfield 12 times. After being named a Freshman All-American, big things were expected in his sophomore season, and he delivered with quite a bit of production. 6.5 tackles for loss and memorable sack in the win against Corch Urban Meyers and the Gator. Kade's junior season was a step back thanks to an early season injury that nagged him all season long.

Depth Chart Analysis: As has been the theme over the past few days, a good season from big Kade is crucial to UGA's success this year. He won't be a starter barring injury, but he'll be expected to be a major contributor. He is talented and big, he just needs to stay healthy. 2008 was a tough year for him due to the injury bug. If he can pick up where he left off in late 2007, it will be huge for Georgia.

Other famous #91s at UGA: DT Chuck Heard (follow the link on Heard and read the story..really a great piece by Loran Smith), DL Tim Crowe

Friday, June 5, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 92 Days(#92 Neland Ball)

#92 Neland Ball, DE
6-6, 232, Jackson GA (Jackson HS) RS So.

Neland was a AJC Top 50 coming out of high school. Rivals rated him one of the Top 10 weakside DE's in the Nation and a Top 15 Recruit in GA. He was a member of the All-Dixie Team as well as a Prep Star All-American. He led Jackson HS to the 2nd rd of the playoffs his Sr year.
After he redshirted his Fr. year, Ball appeared in 5 games in 08 where he had one QB hurry. Ball missed spring drills following patella tendon surgery in January. He should be ready by fall.

Depth Chart Analysis: DE is the #1 question mark(again) for UGA going into 09. CWM's scheme seems to rely heavily on getting pressure on the QB with the front four. UGA has not done that consistently since M. Howard got drafted by the Colts. With the interior talent that is on the DL and all the attention the opposing teams will have to give to clog the middle it seems like our DE's should thrive. Somebody from this group has to step up! J. Houston looks like he is the man to do just that after a great spring and he should hold one spot(after his suspension). The other spot is wide open with Battle, Dobbs and Longo holding the inside track. One thing that is for sure is that UGA needs a lot of healing to take place over the summer as almost all DE's our hurt. Ball has the frame and athletic ability to become a monster on the edge.....will he get there?? We shall see. Ball will have his chance to shine in 09!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 93 Days(#93 Brandon Wheeling)

#93 Brandon Wheeling, DT
6-3, 277, Dallas GA (Paulding Co HS) Sr.

Okay, lets see... who is this guy??

Well, he transferred to UGA from West Georgia(also spent some time at GSU??) in 08. He played for West Georgia in 06 and 07 after a RS Fr. year in 05. I really can't find any stats from his time at West Georgia so I'm going to move on to his high school stats. Brandon made All-Region(7AAAA) as a Sr. captain at Paulding County High school. He recorded 48 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries. He was voted Most Valuable Lineman his Junior yr. Brandon seems to be a hard worker and has even had some of the coaches talk about him to the media. He recorded 1 sack in the G-Day game and had a few more in scrimmages throughout the spring. CRG seems to think he will provide extra depth at the DT position (Garner mention his name before a couple other DT's on the team) and G. Atkins has some good things to say about Brandon as well........READ HERE.

Depth Chart Analysis: Brandon will have to really impress to get in any kind of steady rotation. With J. Owens, G. Atkins, K. Weston and D. Tyson getting the bulk of the snaps, he will be mixed in with a group fighting for the leftovers. Maybe this guy surprises us and really contributes. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what hes got and at the least learning more about him.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 94 Days(#94 DeAngelo Tyson)

#94 DeAngelo Tyson, DT
6-2, 294, Statesboro GA (Statesboro), So.

DeAngelo was one of the big dawgs in the 07 class. He was rated a 5* by Scout, the #3 DT in the nation and the #44 player overall. He was also a USA Today First Team Defense, Parade All-American, U.S Army All-American, SuperPrep Elite 50, #45 on ESPN.com 150 and the awards go on...
DeAngelo got thrown into the fire last year as a Fr after Jeff Owens went down in game one. DeAngelo worked hard and earned his spot in the DT rotation, playing in 13 games. He recorded 11 tackles and 5 Qb hurries on his way to being named to the Freshman All-SEC by the SEC coaches. The UGA coaching staff awarded him the Newcomer of the Year award for the Defense.
DeAngelo is not as big as some of the other DT's on the roster but he makes up for it in strength and quickness. Look for his numbers and impact to skyrocket in 09 as he has another yr to grow in strength and football knowledge. This is already evident by his performance this Spring. He recorded 3 tackles in the G-day game and was named Most Improved Defensive Tackle at the conclusion of spring drills.

Depth Chart Analysis: Tyson will be in the regular DT rotation alongside K. Weston and behind J. Owens and G. Atkins. UGA will have one of the best interior D lines in the nation next year as well as SOLID depth to keep everybody fresh for 4 quarters. It is very important for Tyson to grow as a player and to learn as much as possible from the SR's in front of him as he will be counted on as one of the leaders in 2010 and beyond.

Note: Not only is DeAngelo a DGD on the field but he is off the field as well. He volunteers his time to help young kids when he can. All you have to do is look at his childhood to see what molded him into the "gentle giant" that he is today. DeAngelo choose the right path for his life under circumstances that many others would have used as an excuse to go the other way. I am very happy this young man represents UGA and look forward to watching his growth on his way to playing on Sundays. This is a great read on his youth.......CLICK HERE

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 95 Days (#95 Jeff Owens)

#95 Jeff Owens, DT
6-3, 306, Sunrise FL (Plantation HS), Sr.

Time flies. I don't know about the rest of you, but it doesn't seem like almost 5 years ago that Owens began his career at UGA. After coming to UGA from Florida, Owens was a big part of the success of the defense on the SEC Championship squad of 2005, playing in all 13 games as a true freshman and recording 2.5 sacks that season. (He was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News that year.) Over the next 2 seasons, he'd start all but one game at DT, becoming a stalwart on the defensive line. In what might have been the pivotal event of the 2008 season, Owens blew out his knee in the first quarter of the first game. He got a redshirt and has been rehabbing ever since. He should be ready to go in Stillwater, not a moment too soon for this defense. A healthy Owens for the 2009 season is crucial. He's been named to the 2009 Lott Trophy watch list, presented annually to the college football Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. (IMPACT is an acronym for: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity.)

Depth Chart Analysis: As long as he's 100%, Owens will be the starter in Stillwater. He's earned that in what has quietly been an outstanding career at UGA. He's a rare blend of run-stuffer and pass rusher that has the potential to be a gamechanger for this defense. Hopefully we'll find out early in the season that Owens was what this UGA defense was missing in 2008.

Note: Owens writes a very entertaining and insightful blog called appropriately "Jeff Owens: The Real Deal", that you can find here. Understandably, he doesn't post all that often, but what he has posted has been great stuff. Enjoy.

Other famous #95s in UGA history: DT Bill Goldberg

Monday, June 1, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 96 Days (#96 Andrew Jensen)

#96 Andrew Jensen, PK
6-3, 219, Lawrenceville GA (Brookwood HS), RS Sr.

To be honest, I don't have much on Mr Jensen, other than that he kicked for one of the stronger high school programs in the State, and that he is a walk-on at UGA. To date, his career highlight has been kicking a 48 yard field goal in the past spring's G-Day game.

Depth Chart Analysis: Based on the strength of the G-Day game performance alone, we could have expected to see him vying for kickoff duties. But much like Jamie Lindley, the signing of Brandon Bogotay this past spring probably takes that possibility out of play for Jensen. At 6-3/219, he can always fill in at outside linebacker if UGA gets a little thin on the scout team.

Other famous #96s in UGA history: DE Dale Carver, DE David McKnight, DT Ken Veal