Friday, March 23, 2012
Spring shoes to fill: Georgia
By Chris Low
Georgia is losing a couple of key seniors on its offensive line. One of the priorities this spring is finding a new left tackle.
OUT: OT Cordy Glenn. After starting his college career at guard, Glenn settled in at left tackle last season and developed into a first-team All-SEC performer. Glenn could pass protect and clear the way in the running game equally well, and the Bulldogs were never hesitant to run behind him in key situations. Glenn was massive (6-foot-5, 345 pounds), but he moved very well for his size, which made him an even more effective blocker. Wherever the Bulldogs needed him during his career, he delivered. He made 50 career starts at left guard, right guard and left tackle, and there's a reason he's being projected as a first-round NFL draft pick next month.
IN: Kenarious Gates, Mark Beard, Austin Long or John Theus. Gates is currently lining up as the first-team left tackle during spring practice, and is the favorite to stay there. A rising junior, the 6-5, 328-pound Gates started nine games last season at guard. So perhaps he will take the same path to the starting left tackle job as Glenn. Gates will have some competition. Beard, a junior college newcomer, is playing behind Gates right now at left tackle, and will continue to get a look. The Bulldogs still need to figure out who their center is, too, which could involve some shuffling. For instance, if junior Chris Burnette had to move from guard to center, the Bulldogs might decide that they need to keep Gates at guard. Long, a rising junior, is another possibility at left tackle, although he's struggled with injuries. The one everybody at Georgia is waiting on is heralded freshman John Theus, who will be on campus this summer. Right tackle might be where Theus is headed, and don't rule out the possibility of his starting at some point next season.