Monday, August 8, 2011

Offensive Line



A strong offensive line usually translates into a successful season and the anchor of this years line is unquestionably center Ben Jones (60).

The 6-3, 316 pound senior has been named to the Coach’s Pre-Season All SEC second team, the Remington Award watch list, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy watch list, the Outland Trophy watch list, the Pony Express Award watch list and Coach Mark Richt called him the best center in the nation.

Jones has appeared in 39 games, starting 35 of them.


Cordy Glenn (71) has moved over to left tackle and the 6-5, 348 pound senior is being counted on to protect quarterback Aaron Murray’s blindside. Glenn has been named to the Coach’s Pre-Season All SEC first team, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy watch list and the Pony Express Award watch list with teammate Ben Jones.

Glenn is a versatile player that has played both guard positions as well as left tackle, he has appeared in 39 games making 36 starts.

DSC_8273Justin (Bean) Anderson (79)
is very happy about his move back to the offensive line, the 6-5, 342 pound senior played in one game last year as a defensive lineman before undergoing season ending surgery for a turf toe injury.

Bean has played both guard and tackle and may see time at both positions this season, he has appeared in 26 games, starting 12 of them.

Anderson is a road grader of a tackle, he will be vital to the Dawg’s running attack.

Kenarious Gates
became a Dawg in February of 2010, by October he was the starting right guard. The 6-5, 328 pound sophomore has moved over to left guard and looks to have a solid hold on the position. He is the most athletic offensive linemen and has the ability to get out in front of running plays as well as protect the quarterback.

Gates appeared in 7 games last season, starting 3 of them.

Chris Burnette is the new member of the starting five, the 6-2, 313 pound redshirt sophomore had a good spring and enters fall camp as the number one right guard. Burnette is big, strong and smart, he’s already made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times, the only question he has to answer is, can he maintain the weight necessary to play in the SEC every week?

Redshirt freshman Kolton Houston (6-5, 291) will be pushing Burnette for a starting position and is capable of playing tackle if needed. Houston does not have any game experience but is currently listed as the number one reserve.

Redshirt sophomore Austin Long (6-5, 304) has recovered from the back injury that cost him two seasons, he is currently listed as the number two right tackle and has been cross training at guard. If Long can stay healthy, he will provide much needed depth.

Dallas Lee (6-4, 300) has recovered from an asthmatic like condition that sidelined him for much of the spring. The redshirt sophomore can play either guard position.

Freshman David Andrews (6-2, 286) is the heir apparent to Ben Jones at center, he has already moved into the number two slot on the depth chart. Unless injured, he will play early and often this year. His temperament and style of play is much like Jones’.

Watts Dantzler (6-7, 310) has the size and athletic ability to dominate, he entered camp in good condition and is currently listed as the number two left tackle. The freshman needs to gain as much experience as possible this season, he will likely be counted on to step in and start next year.

Freshman Zach DeBell (6-7, 295) has added thirty pounds since signing day, the offensive tackle from Tampa, Florida has a ferocious attitude on the field and if he improves his technique, could push for a backup position this year.

Hunter Long (6-3, 305) is the younger brother of Austin, he is a freshman interior lineman that will probably take a redshirt this year unless an injury forces the staff to make changes. Long has the size and with a year in the weight room should push for considerable playing time next year.

Walk-on’s John Bodin (RJr., 6-6, 321), Ben Reynolds (RSo., 6-2, 255), Hugh Williams (RFr, 6-5, 254), Caleb Drake (Fr., 6-1, 275) and Eddie McQuillen (Fr., 6-8, 264) will handle the scout team duties. Bodin has appeared in two games, he has been with the program long enough to know the playbook and has the size to play if needed, Reynolds has also played in two games and will likely see action in one or two this season. The group will handle scout team duties this year.

Senior Trinton Sturdivant suffered his third season ending knee injury during the spring, he is currently rehabbing the injury and has not made a decision on applying for a sixth year of eligibility. Freshman Xzavier Ward will redshirt this year as he recovers from an ACL injury suffered his senior year in high school.

Overall the offensive line under new coach Will Friend will be solid if the starting five can remain healthy. The three seniors will provide solid leadership and with only one inexperienced starter, they have the potential to be very good. There are plenty of big bodies among the second five but none of them have ever taken a snap in college. At least three of the freshmen must be ready to contribute and if the Dawgs can get through the first two games injury free, the opportunity to gain some playing time will be there for the younger group.

Coach Friend’s philosophy of firing off the line and attacking the defense is more suited to a sustained running attack and should result in a higher time of possession than the past two seasons.

The lack of experienced depth is the only factor that gives this group an average grade.



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