Friday, May 6, 2011
Hope and concern: Georgia
By Edward Aschoff
Georgia yet again has the talent to win the SEC East, but will everything come together to get coach Mark Richt off the hot seat?
Biggest reason for hope: Quarterback Aaron Murray and talented linebacker unit
Murray is arguably the most talented quarterback in the SEC. He's got a huge arm and has great touch on his passes. He went through a few growing pains during his freshman season and endured a 6-7 season, but this spring he really took hold of his team. He stepped up as a leader and made it a point to not only improve his own game but tried to improve the guys around him as well. Georgia's coaches found Murray hanging out in the film room a lot more this spring and could see the subtle changes he was making that made him a much more efficient passer this spring. On defense, Georgia's linebacker unit could be the most athletic in the league. Losing Justin Houston hurt, but two names to remember are Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. Jones was praised countless times for his play this spring and should shine at strongside linebacker, while Ogletree, a converted safety, will play in the middle. Ogletree will be able to fly all over the field to make plays. Christian Robinson will also be very good in the middle with Ogletree.
Biggest reason for concern: Unproven offensive skill players
The Bulldogs have a ton of offensive talent, but only Murray, wide receiver Tavarres King and tight end Orson Charles have really made any sort of impact. Those three are reliable, but the rest of the group has yet to prove themselves. The Bulldogs haven't found that elite running back. Washaun Ealey's future is unknown and senior Caleb King was solid this spring, but has yet to really break out. Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas struggled with injuries this spring. Incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell will have a ton of expectations to live up to when he arrives and he will immediately be in the thick of the running back competition. At receiver, King will be the go-to-guy, but after him there is a cloud of uncertainty. Marlon Brown seemed to come along at times this spring, but was inconsistent. Rantavious Wooten might be the most athletic receiver, but he, too, was inconsistent this spring and didn't play in Georgia's spring game. The rest of Georgia's group hardly has any experience.