Today, we take a look at what should be the strongest and weakest positions for Georgia entering the 2010 season:
Strongest position: Offensive line
Key returnees: Clint Boling, Ben Jones, Chris Davis, Josh Davis, Tanner Strickland, Trinton Sturdivant, Cordy Glenn, Justin Anderson
Key departures: Vince Vance
The skinny: Georgia coach Mark Richt is holding off before he showers this offensive line with too much praise. He wants to see it on the field. But with eight lettermen and all five starters returning, there’s no reason that the offensive line shouldn’t be the strength of this team in 2010. There are a couple of wild cards. Sturdivant has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. He’s the Bulldogs’ left tackle if he’s healthy. The Georgia coaches thought he was their best lineman before he was hurt prior to the 2008 season. Strickland is another guy who was hurt last season and would have been a factor. Boling is an All-SEC performer who’s played both guard and tackle, and Ben Jones is one of the better centers in the league. In short, the Bulldogs will have experience, depth and versatility up front this fall.
Weakest position: Secondary
Key returnees: Brandon Boykin, Branden Smith, Vance Cuff
Key departures: Reshad Jones, Prince Miller, Bryan Evans
The skinny: This isn’t so much a knock on the Bulldogs’ talent in the secondary, because the talent is there. The frightening part is their lack of depth, and it’s especially glaring at cornerback. Boykin, who’s also one of the top kickoff returners in the league, simply can’t get hurt. Cuff has been a part-time starter, while Smith has a ton of talent. He just needs to learn to play the position at this level. He was juggling some offense and special-teams duties last season as a true freshman. Junior college newcomer Jakar Hamilton has been impressive this spring at safety. The Bulldogs gave up 19 touchdown passes in SEC games last season, which was five more than anybody else in the league. They were also last in pass defense, giving up 244.5 yards per game against league foes. Obviously, that’s not all on the secondary, but it goes without saying that the Bulldogs need to do a better job of covering and tackling in the secondary in 2010.