Friday, July 31, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 36 Days (Shawn Williams)

#36 Shawn Williams, S
6-1, 200, Blakely GA (Early County HS), True Freshman

Williams committed to the Dawgs early in the recruiting period last year, and was not heavily recruiting by other schools due to the fact that most knew he was a lock for UGA. He really flew up the charts of the recruiting services as a senior in high school, which is rare considering how early he was committed. He played alot of offense in high school, and from his videos looks like a typical UGA athlete. I'm guessing that the coaches will want to see him put on a little bit of weight before he's ready to make an impact.

Depth Chart Analysis: Willie Martinez has made some comments directly about Shawn in the past few days that might lead you to believe he's got a slight chance to see the field as a true freshman. Given the depth at safety, he's probably a prime candidate for a redshirt. But he could also be a sleeper that is just too solid to keep off the field. We've seen it with other freshman defensive backs in the past couple of years.

Other famous #36s in UGA history: RB Willie McClendon, WR (and current UGA RBs coach) Brian McClendon

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 37 Days (#37 Akeem Hebron)

#37 Akeem Hebron, LB
6-1, 225, Gaithersburg MD (Good Counsel HS, via Georgia Military College), RS Junior

Hebron has had quite a whirlwind college career so far. He came to UGA as one of the more highly recruited players of the 2006 class, a USA Today and Parade 1st team All American. He redshirted in his first season, and then was dismissed from the program for the 2007 season following multiple alcohol-related arrests. He spent the year at GMC (reportedly with Richt's help), and was allowed back on the team in 2008. He appeared in the first 6 games of the 2008 season, before dislocating his ankle against LSU and missing the rest of the year, as well as this past spring. The injury has hampered any progress that he's made since returning to the program.

Depth Chart Analysis: Hebron has a few people to get past before he can get near the top of the depth chart. He's currently working at Will Linebacker, behind Rennie Curran (starter) and Christian Robinson. If he's completely healthy, he should be able to see some time on special teams while he works his way back into the rotation on defense. He's another in a stable of big and athletic linebackers that the Dawgs have at their disposal.

Other famous #37s in UGA history: RB Doug McFalls

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 38 Days (#38 Marcus Dowtin)

#38 Marcus Dowtin, LB
6-2, 220, Upper Marlboro MD (Fork Union Military), Soph.

It was clear early in Dowtin's career at UGA that he was going to play early for the Dawgs. He did just that, playing in every game as a true freshman, with 17 tackles and a forced fumble in Tempe. Just watching him play last year, it was evident that he really knew what he was doing out there, especially given how much he found himself around the ball. He seems to have great instincts and knows how to play the game. He might be the most athletic of UGA's true linebackers. Besides being a physical specimen (as most of the UGA linebackers are), Dowtin is also a really solid tackler (or more specifically, a solid "hitter.")

Depth Chart Analysis: Coach Richt announced late in spring that Marcus Washington had passed Dowtin on the depth chart as the #2 Will Linebacker. That doesn't really mean that we can expect to see Dowtin less this year. He's probably going to see some action on special teams, and definitely will see some time on defense. The fact that he's down the depth chart this far speaks as much to the depth this team has at linebacker more than anything else.

Other famous #38s in UGA history: TB Tim Worley, WR Jimmy Orr, DE Marcus Howard, RB Hilton Young, RB Bobby Towns, DB Larry West

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 39 Days (#39 Nick Williams)

#39 Nick Williams, LB
6-2, 215, Bainbridge GA (Bainbridge HS), Soph.

Williams really came on strong in August of 2008, as he went from a likely redshirt season to playing in 12 games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams. He's one of the best athletes on the UGA roster, as evidenced by the fact that he played quarterback as well as linebacker and safety in high school. He was moved from safety to linebacker during his freshman season, and had a terrific spring, which culminated with Williams leading all players with 5 tackles during the G-Day game. When John Knox left the program this offseason, he was been moved back to safety, and within just the last couple of days, appears to be headed back to linebacker for good.

Depth Chart Analysis: Williams was locked into one of the unheralded battles of the offseason, competing for the #2 free safety spot (with Makiri Pugh) behind Bryan Evans. Now that he's back at linebacker, the writing is on the wall. Williams is going to be used in alot of different situations depending on the situation the offense is presenting. He could be invaluable. He's got alot of potential to do a number of different things for the UGA defense, both in coverage and blitzing situations. Expect to see him on the field a good bit, even if he doesn't ever find his way to a starting job.

Other famous #39s in UGA history: T Mike Castronis, RB/P Bobby Walden

Monday, July 27, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 40 Days (Reuben Faloughi)

Reuben Faloughi, DE
6-5, 220, Martinez GA (Evans HS), True Freshman

I had to rearrange some players to make room to include this player in the Countdown, given the noise he has been making so far in offseason drills, and looking early into fall camp. Of Nigerian descent, Faloughi was being considered for scholarships by UConn and Vanderbilt, but ultimately took UGA up on its offer as a preferred walk-on. He has excellent grades and is at UGA on the Hope Scholarship. Based on what we've heard so far, he might have an athletic scholarship before we know it. Supposedly he has been giving the first team tackles fits thus far.

Depth Chart Analysis: It is hard to imagine Faloughi seeing time this year given his size, but given the way the defensive ends performed last year, there may be a hint of desperation if things don't improve early this season. If I had to lay money on it, I'd say he gets a redshirt this year. But there's a good possibility he'll be a significant contributor at some point in future seasons.

Famous #40s in UGA history: FB Theron Sapp

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 41 Days (#41 Roderick Battle)

#41 Roderick Battle, DE
6-4, 260, Atlanta GA (Douglass HS), Sr.

For all the guys that seem like they fly through Athens are are gone before you know it, there is one that seems like he's been there forever. Battle fits into the latter category. After a redshirt in 2005, he played in every game of the 2006 season, even recording 2 sacks. Alot of fans don't realize that he actually started every game of the memorable 2007 season, although his stats don't reveal alot of production. Last season he missed 3 crucial games early in the season with a neck injury, but ended up starting 7 games, recording 9 quarterback hurries. His 5 tackles in the Kentucky game were a career high. He had shoulder surgery this past offseason and missed spring drills, but he'll be back for fall practice.

Depth Chart Analysis: Based on the relatively high amount of experience that he has when compared to the other defensive ends on the roster, Battle enters fall as the clear cut starter. He's got some guys behind him that seem ready to make a move, but expect Battle to retain the starting job. He's probably not going to put up high sack totals, but he's solid.

Other famous #41s in UGA history: DE George Poschner

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 42 Days (#42 Justin Houston)

#42 Justin Houston, DE
6-3, 245, Statesboro GA (Statesboro HS), RS Soph.

After a redshirt in his first season in Athens, Houston actually had a nice 2008 campaign, although probably not as good as what most UGA fans expected from him. He did manage over one QB hurry per game despite only starting one game (along with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss), so he certainly has shown the ability to offer the production that the Dawgs have sorely needed from the defensive end position. He had a great spring, which ended with 3 sacks in G-Day, and he was also named Most Improved Defensive End coming out of spring drills. However, in what might have been the worst news of the past offseason, it was announced that Houston was suspended for the first 2 games of the 2009 season.

Depth Chart Analysis: Any Dawg fan with a pulse has hopes that Houston is the key to the success of the 2009 Georgia defense. I happen to agree with that. The suspension really hurts, considering that the first 2 games of this season are going to be so important to this team's success. However, considering the spring practice that he had (most sources classified him as "dominant), you can expect him to come back strong when he is eligible to play. He was named one starter at DE coming out of spring, and he's probably going to have to earn that job back. Expect him to do so, and to have a big year. He'll need to, as he's without a doubt UGA's best potential speed rusher.

Other famous #42s in UGA history: LB John Brantley, LB Randall Godfrey, ROV Bill Krug

Friday, July 24, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 43 Days (#43 Charles White)

#43 Charles White, LB
6-1, 220, Columbia SC (Blythewood HS), RS Soph.

White was a player that was largely forgotten from the 2007 class. He was largely unheralded as a recruit, not even offered by the in-state schools. But, the UGA coaches loved him (and still do.) He hasn't gotten a chance to show much thus far in his career, after a redshirt in 2007, he suffered a nasty Achilles tendon injury prior to the 2008 season and missed the entire year. He showed up in great shape for spring practice and had some great offseason workouts, which no doubt made a great impression on the coaching staff. White is also an outstanding student.

Depth Chart Analysis: White is one of the speedier linebackers on the team. Now that he's healthy and more experienced, he stands a good chance to see his first action on the field at Sanford Stadium, either in a special teams capacity, and perhaps at linebacker. He's currently behind Akeem Dent, Marcus Washington, and probably Marcus Dowtin at Mike Linebacker. But he'll play this year.

Other famous #43s in UGA history: FB Al Pollard, LB Tony Taylor

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 44 Days (#44 Marcus Washington)

#44 Marcus Washington, LB
6-0, 250, Keysville GA (Burke County HS), Sr.

Washington has already had quite a full career at UGA since signing with the Dawgs in 2005. He played in all 11 games as a true freshman on both special teams and defense, and actually recorded 11 tackles. As a sophomore, some might say he took a step back (in production if nothing else), before his season ended with a knee injury late in the year, which also kept him out of the following spring. He bounced back nicely with a solid junior season - including two of the more courageous efforts in big wins over Alabama (8 tackles, 1 sack) and Florida (6 tackles, 1 sack.) Most looked toward Washington's senior season expecting big things from him, but unfortunately he injured his shoulder and required surgery that would keep him out for the entire 2008 season. He was granted a medical redshirt and will be back in 2009. He had a solid spring and looks ready to pick up right where he left off.

Depth Chart Analysis: Washington most definitely would have been in the mix for a starting job in 2008 had it not been for the injury. Now, he looks to head into fall as the #2 Mike Linebacker behind Akeem Dent. I fully expect Washington to give him a push throughout August and into the season. Washington has proven to be a warrior for the Dawgs when he's healthy (and sometimes when he's not), and I have no doubt that he'll be a big gain for Willie Martinez in the 2009 season.

Other famous #44s in UGA history: LB (and CFL legend) Ben Zambiasi, FB Robert Honeycutt

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 45 Days (#45 Christian Robinson)

#45 Christian Robinson, LB
6-2, 210, Norcross GA (Greater Atlanta Christian School), RS Freshman

Robinson wasn't as highly regarded as you might think by the various recruiting services, although he had scholarship offers from a number of big time programs in the Southeast. He committed to the Dawgs right after his senior season at GAC. He's got a nice blend of speed and strength, and looks like a quality, solid player for the Dawgs at some point before he leaves. He broke his arm last October in practice, which set his development back a little bit.

Depth Chart Analysis: Heading into last season, I thought that Robinson might be good enough to play as a true freshman. That didn't happen. Heading into 2009, Robinson may have passed Akeem Hebron as the #2 option at Will Linebacker heading into August. Expect to see him on the field quite a bit for the upcoming season. I still think he's going to be a very reliable player.

Other famous #45s in UGA history: LB Boss Bailey, LB Keith Harris, LB Jarvis Jackson

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 46 Days (#46 Justin Fields)

#46 Justin Fields, FB
6-1, 215, Savannah GA (Calvary Baptist), Jr.

Fields has enjoyed a nice ride at UGA, from a walk-on scout team player, to Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year in 2007, to appearances in 10 games (mostly on special teams) in 2008 after being moved from linebacker to fullback. He even got the ball in his hands last season, returning a kickoff 14 yards against Georgia Southern. He did suffer a knee injury against Kentucky toward the end of last season, for which he had surgery in January. That kept him out of spring drills, but he's expected to make a full recovery in time for August practices to begin.

Depth Chart Analysis: Fields should continue to contribute on special teams, but as a fullback he's the clear #3 behind Shaun Chapas and Fred Munzenmaier. He'll definitely see the field this season if he's healthy.

Other famous #46s in UGA history: LB Will Witherspoon, FB Chris McCarthy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 47 Days (Montez Robinson)

Montez Robinson, DE
6-5, 235, Avon IN (Avon HS), True Freshman

Robinson was not only one of the top defensive end prospects in America coming out of Avon, IN this past signing period, he was also the top player in the state of Indiana. He chose UGA over the closer to home schools like Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Louisville and Cincinnatti, as well as Alabama and Auburn. As a matter of fact, Auburn had a commitment from him before firing Tommy Tuberville. What was a loss for Auburn was a big-time gain for UGA. He looks like a freak athlete, running a sub-4.6 forty at 235 pounds, but with a big frame (6'5), definitely expect him to stay at defensive end for the Dawgs.

Depth Chart Analysis: Word is that Robinson is reporting to camp expecting to play this season. If he comes in a little bit heavier than the 235 we last heard him at, I could see him playing. It has been a while since a true freshman defensive end has made an impact for the Dawgs, but this could be the year for it to happen. Regardless, Robinson is going to be a big-time player before he leaves Athens.

Famous #47s in UGA history: LB Nate Taylor, PK Todd Peterson, DE David Pollack, LB Jim Griffith

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 48 Days (#48 Fred Munzenmaier)

#49 Fred Munzenmaier, FB
6-2, 225, Norcross GA (Norcross HS), RS Jr.

Munzenmaier was a solid fullback prospect when he arrived at UGA in 2006, although some believed that he'd ultimately end up playing defense (even though I'm not certain that he actually ever played defense in high school.) He was a brusing, downhill runner out of high school with nice pass-catching skills as well. After a redshirt in '06, he appeared in 10 games as a redshirt freshman, scoring a touchdown on the first carry of his career against Ole Miss, also his only carry that season. Last year, he carried it one more time, also a touchdown vs LSU. Pretty good touchdown to carry ratio.

Depth Chart Analysis: Munzenmaier comes into fall practice as the primary backup to Shaun Chapas. He should have much more of an opportunity to contribute this season, similar to how Chapas was worked into the offense last year after Brannan Southerland's injury. Bobo always seems to like to utilize the backup FB into pass catching situations out of the backfield. Wouldn't at all be surprised to see Munzenmaier catch a few this season.

Other famous #48s in UGA history: LB Frank Ros, LB Knox Culpepper

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 49 Days (#49 Shaun Chapas)

#49 Shaun Chapas, FB
6-2, 235, St Augustine FL (Bolles School), RS Jr.

Chapas did a nice job filling in for Brannon Southerland during his injury spells last season. He certainly proved that he's worthy of being the starting fullback when/if necessary. What surprised me about him was the soft hands and the ability to be used as an offensive weapon. In that regard, he might be Southerland's equal. He probably isn't quite the blocker (yet) that Southerland was, but he's a very capable fullback in the UGA offense.

Depth Chart Analysis: Chapas is the starter at fullback, and it really probably isn't a close competition. The UGA offense will be set up a little differently this season than we've seen the past couple of years, and I expect Chapas to be a big part of that, as the Dawgs look to move the ball down the field in smaller chunks.

Other famous #49s in UGA history: S Jeff Hipp

Friday, July 17, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 50 Days (#50 Darryl Gamble)

#50 Darryl Gamble, SLB
6-2, 240, Bainbridge GA (Bainbridge HS), RS Jr.

Gamble wasn't a highly decorated high school recruit when he signed with UGA in 2006. He made a big impression on the coaches as a scout team redshirt later that year, enough to earn considerable playing time in his 2nd season. The fumble he forced at Vanderbilt might very well have saved the entire season (where UGA ended up finishing #2 in the country.) Coming into last season, he was named the Most Improved Defensive Player and "Biggest Defensive Surprise" in spring of 2008. He had an incredibly productive 2008 campaign, starting 6 games and making 60 tackles, hurrying the quarterback 16 times, and making 2 interceptions vs LSU, both of which were returned for touchdowns. It was the LSU game that got him on the map with UGA fans, as he also added 13 tackles in that game alone. That performance earned him a National Player of the Week award from the Football Writers Association of America, and he was also named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. He'd struggle at times later in the season, but he has become a solid player for UGA nonetheless.

Depth Chart Analysis: Gamble's value to UGA is best displayed in the fact that he can play just about every linebacker spot, as well as defensive end. In fact, expect to see him line up at DE in certain pass coverage packages this season. He's (somewhat unexpectedly) become a very solid player and should continue his development this year. He's an important piece for the Dawgs. Expect Gamble to line up as the starting sam linebacker in Stillwater.

Other famous #50s in UGA history: WR John Carson, C Len Hauss, C Tommy Lyons

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 51 Days (#51 Akeem Dent)

#51 Akeem Dent, MLB
6-2, 225, Atlanta GA (Douglass HS), RS Jr.

Dent came to UGA as one of the top outside linebacker recruits in the nation, picking the Dawgs over Florida and Ole Miss. After a redshirt in 2006, he burst on the scene in Athens in his 2nd season, becoming the starter at sam linebacker toward the end of the year (starting 5 games.) As a sophomore, he'd start 10 games, his best performance coming in a 10 tackle game against Alabama. The thing I've noticed about Dent during his time at UGA, is that he always seems to find his way to the ball. It is that attribute that has probably led to his moving to mike linebacker for the upcoming season.

Depth Chart Analysis: Dent is listed as the #1 MLB on the depth chart heading into this year. He's come out of nowhere to be one of the more reliable defenders that UGA has on the roster. He may not be as spectacular or well-known as fellow linebacker Rennie Curran, but he's solid. Look for Dent to have a nice 2009 season.

Other famous #51s in UGA history: C Ken Davis

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 52 Days (#52 Darius Dewberry)

#52 Darius Dewberry, LB
6-3, 230, Fort Valley GA (Peach County HS via Hargrave Military), Sr.

Dewberry was one of the top prospects in the country coming out of Peach County, and signed with the Dawgs. He didn't qualify academically, so he was forced to spend a year at Hargrave Military in Chatham VA. After a solid season there, he re-signed with UGA and made an immediate impact in his first season, playing in all 11 games mostly on special teams. As a sophomore he'd start 5 games early in the season at sam linebacker. He didn't exactly have a bad season, but he'd ultimately relinquish his starting job for the latter half of the year. To date he hasn't been able to earn it back. A nagging shoulder injury could have been a factor in his play the last couple of seasons, and it caused him to miss spring drills as well. He's may be as talented a defensive player as UGA has, but it just hasn't clicked for him yet in college. Hopefully he'll get healthy, and it will happen this year.

Depth Chart Analysis: Dewberry is clearly behind Darryl Gamble as the starter at Sam heading into this season, if he's even health enough to play. There has also been some discussion about a possible move to defensive end, but the shoulder injury keeping him out of practice may have scrapped those plans. The first priority is for him to get healthy. We'll see what happens from there.

Other famous #52s in UGA history: C Bobby Poss, DL Henry Harris

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 53 Days (#53 Jeremy Longo)

#53 Jeremy Longo, DE
6-3, 255, Fort Lauderdale FL (Cardinal Gibbons HS), RS Freshman

Longo was largely considered a "project" when he signed with UGA in 2008. The hometown Miami Hurricanes wanted him, but he ultimately chose to come to Athens. When he arrived at UGA, he was undersized at only about 220 pounds. He took a year to redshirt and beef up. He's got tremendous speed for a defensive end (ran about a 4.6 second forty.) At the Nike Miami combine in 2007, he blew away every other defensive end in just about every drill. What is unknown at this point is how much speed he might have lost (if any) after gaining about 40 pounds in the past year. A shoulder injury that has nagged him since last fall has held him out of action since the spring, but he's expected to be able to practice at some point before the first game in 2009.

Depth Chart Analysis: It all depends on the shoulder issue. If he's well, there is a good chance he'll crack the rotation unless a couple of guys establish themselves in front of him. Given recent history at the position, that doesn't seem likely. Expect Longo to have a shot to be a regular player at DE this season.

Other famous #53s in UGA history: C Ray Donaldson, DE Weyman Sellars

Monday, July 13, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 54 Days (#54 Tanner Strickland)

#54 Tanner Strickland, OG
6-5, 325, Nashville GA (Berrien County HS), RS Soph.

If it seems like Strickland has been at UGA forever, its probably because he committed to UGA so early in his junior year of high school. His career at UGA thus far as started slowly, after a redshirt in 2007, he did play a good bit last season - playing in all 13 games providing depth on the offensive line. During recent offseason workouts, he suffered a bad shoulder injury that is going to require surgery, causing him to miss the upcoming season. There is no denying that Strickland has the talent and size to play at the collegiate level, but with the experience that will be ahead of him when he's healthy next season, he'll have alot of work to do to ever be a starter.

Depth Chart Analysis: The shoulder injury has him out for this season. He's expected to fully recover in time for 2010 spring drills.

Other famous #54s in UGA history: WR Art DeCarlo, C Curt McGill

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 55 Days (Abry Jones)

Abry Jones, DT
6-3, 275, Warner Robins GA (Northside HS), True Freshman

Born in September of 1991 (when the writer of this entry was entering his sophomore year of high school - but I digress), Jones was widely considered one of the top recruits in the state of Georgia coming out of powerhouse Northside High in Warner Robins. He chose the Dawgs over (among others), Miami, Florida State and Florida. At this point in his career, he might be a little undersized, but he more than makes up for it with tremendous athleticism for a defensive tackle. He'll be another force at tackle for the Dawgs in future seasons.

Depth Chart Analysis: One would believe that Garner will work a true freshman into the rotation this year, and Jones has as good a chance as any of those coming in (Derrick Lott and Kwame Geathers are the other two incoming tackles.) Regardless of what happens this season, we'll see plenty of Jones as an impact player over the next few years.

Famous #55s in UGA history: WR Dan Edwards, WR Bobby Walston, OL Matt Braswell, OL Wayne Radloff, DE Jeremy Lomax

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 56 Days (#56 Geno Atkins)

#56 Geno Atkins, DT
6-1, 290, Pembroke Pines FL (St. Thomas Aquinas HS), Sr.

As good as he has been as a collegiate player, Atkins was not a blue-chip prospect out of high school. He still made an immediate impact at UGA in 2006, playing in 11 games and being named the team's Defensive Newcomer of the Year. During the Dawgs' magical 2007 season, Atkins was fantastic. He started 7 games, and recorded a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss. 3 sacks vs Georgia Tech marked his banner game, and he was named 1st team All-SEC as a sophomore. After being named to the preseason Outland and Lombardi Award watch lists, many thought that his junior campaign was a disappointment. However, when you look at the numbers and consider the Jeff Owens injury (which really hurt Atkins' effectiveness), it wasn't that bad at all. His 32 quarterback hurries in 2008 are simply ridiculous numbers considering the number of double teams he saw throughout the season. Besides being one of the Dawgs' best players, he's also a fine student.

Depth Chart Analysis: Atkins and Jeff Owens will make up one of the best defensive tackle tandems in the entire country this season. He's an unstoppable force at times, even more so when he's got a stud tackle lined up beside him. It will be interesting to see if the UGA coaches move Atkins (and Owens for that matter) to end for some plays this season in order to generate some outside pressure. Expect Atkins to have a big year as he prepares himself for a early round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Other famous #56s in UGA history: C Joe Tereshinski, WR Harry Babcock (1st overall selection in the 1953 NFL Draft), C Joe Happe

Friday, July 10, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 57 Days (#57 Blair Walsh)

#57 Blair Walsh, PK
5-10, 185, Boca Raton FL (Cardinal Gibbons HS), Soph.

Walsh was one of the most highly recruited kickers of the 2008 class, if not the top-rated kicker overall. He was immediately named the starting kicker in fall camp, and made a quick impact with a 52 yard field goal in the first game of the season vs Georgia Southern. He really had a pretty nice freshman season, connecting on 15 of 23 field goals, and hitting every extra point he attempted. He was named Freshman All-SEC team. Where alot of UGA fans soured on him was with kickoffs, but that certainly wasn't his fault. That should be solved this year with Brandon Bogotay handling the duties. Expect Walsh to continue to improve, and continue the tradition of outstanding UGA place kickers.

Depth Chart Analysis: Walsh is the UGA kicker, although there's a good chance he'll relinquish the kickoff duties (and probably won't be disappointed in that.)

Other famous #57s in UGA history: LB Happy Dicks, LB Mo Lewis, DT Jonathan Sullivan

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 58 Days (#58 Demarcus Dobbs)

#58 Demarcus Dobbs, DE
6-2, 282, Savannah GA (Calvary Baptist School), RS Jr.

Dobbs was a solid DE prospect in 2006 when he committed to UGA, among the top in the South in fact. He was redshirted in 2006, but entered his first season on the field in 2007 as a 2nd stringer. 2008 was a breakout year for Dobbs, starting 4 games and perhaps being as productive as any of UGA's defensive ends. His 78 yard interception return for a touchdown against Central Michigan was one of the more memorable plays of the year, as was his interception to seal the game against Kentucky in the final minutes. He's known as a very hard worker in practice. A minor broken bone in his hand this past spring set him back a little bit.

Depth Chart Analysis: Dobbs is the clear favorite to win a starting job at one DE spot this fall, although that is far from set in stone at this point. He'll need to come out strong when fall practice begins next month. His experience is a key asset. His development this season (as well as that of his DE counterparts) will be one of the keys for UGA's defensive success.

Other famous #58s in UGA history: OL Kendall Keith, LB Tommy Lawthorne

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 59 Days (Kwame Geathers)

Kwame Geathers, OL/DL
6-6, 320, Carvers Bay SC (Carvers Bay HS), True Freshman

Kwame is the younger brother (I believe the youngest) of former UGA defensive lineman and current Cincinnati Bengal Robert Geathers, and was one of the more highly recruited players out of South Carolina last year. He chose UGA over Maryland, South Carolina, UNC, Tennessee and Florida State. In keeping with family tradition, he didn't make his decision on UGA until a few weeks after signing day (his brother Clifton followed the same route when he committed to UGA, only to later end up at South Carolina.) Kwame is much bigger than his brothers are/were, but could end up at offensive tackle or defensive tackle. He's likely to start out on defense when he arrives in Athens.

Depth Chart Analysis: Kwame has been in the news a little bit lately, as the question of whether or not he will end up fully qualifying begins to intensify as we head toward August. UGA is still waiting on word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on his status, but both Mark Richt and Rodney Garner have stated publicly that they expect him to be in fall camp. He's probably going to come in behind the other true freshmen at DT, which points toward a redshirt for the coming year. But he's a very good prospect that should be a solid contributor for the Dawgs down the road.

Famous #59s in UGA history: DE Greg "Muddy" Waters

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 60 Days (#60 Clint Boling)

#60 Clint Boling, OL
6-5, 297, Alpharetta GA (Chattahoochee HS), Jr.

Boling wasn't the highest recruited lineman in the country when he arrived, but it didn't take him long to make an impact on the UGA program. After seeing significant playing time in the first game of his UGA career, he ended up starting 11 games. Most of his time as a freshman was at right guard, but he also started a game at right tackle. Most memorable was the 2007 game at Alabama, where Boling switched between guard and tackle a few occasions during the game due to some injuries along the line in the game. As a sophomore he started all 13 games, this time throwing left tackle into the mix (where he started 7 games due to the preseason injury to Trinton Sturdivant.) He won SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Tennessee game (playing right guard and left tackle.) He wound up AP 1st team All-SEC for the 2008 season.

Depth Chart Analysis: Boling had a great spring (named the team's best all-around offensive player heading out of camp), working out just about everywhere on the line except center. He's one of the best offensive linemen in the SEC, and he'll find a starting spot somewhere on the UGA line. What position that will be is still up in the air, but my guess would be right tackle. He's as valuable a player as the 2009 Dawgs have. Pure and simple.

Other famous #60s in UGA history: LB Terrie Webster, LB Tommy Thurson, OL Mac McWhorter (current assistant head coach at Texas), DL Steve Greer (former UGA Director of Football Operations), OL Pat Dye (legendary Auburn Head Coach)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 61 Days (#61 Ben Jones)

#61 Ben Jones, C
6-3, 295, Centreville AL (Bibb County HS), Soph.

After a stellar high school athletic career (he was an outstanding baseball player as well), Jones came to UGA and made an immediate impact. He enrolled at UGA in January, had a terrific spring, and opened the season as the backup center. He'd quickly work his way up to become the starter, and wound up starting 10 games. He was named Freshman All-SEC and also made his way onto most Freshman All-America teams. He was also honored with SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after the Kentucky game. The ideal Stacy Searles lineman. Tough, talented, and mean.

Depth Chart Analysis: Even though he had some very minor thumb surgery in the offseason, he won the team's True Grit Award in the spring. He's a lock to start the season (and probably the next 3 years) at center. He's a solid candidate for All-SEC center in the coming years.

Other famous #61s in UGA history: DL Eddie "Meat Cleaver" Weaver, OL Tony Cushenberry, OL Pat Rodrigue

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 62 Days (Austin Long)

Austin Long, OL
6-5, 270, Memphis TN (Briarcrest Christian), True Freshman

Note: The #62 is retired at UGA. See below for details.

Long was the #2 rated prospect from the state of Tennessee, joining the #1 prospect (Marlon Brown) in committing to UGA with the 2009 signing class. He was widely considered one of the Top 10 tackle prospects in America, and was also at Army All-American as a senior. He chose the Dawgs over just about every top school in the Southeast.

Depth Chart Analysis: Long underwent back surgery this past offseason and will miss the entire 2009 campaign, but more than likely that would have been the case regardless. He'll need to put on a little weight in order to contribute. Expect to see him become a big time player down the road.

Famous #62s in UGA history: Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Trippi (HB)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 63 Days (#63 Chris Davis)

#63 Chris Davis, OG
6-4, 295, Jefferson GA (Jefferson HS), RS Jr.

Davis has been one of the most unsung players to play for UGA that I can remember. He came to UGA as one those in the recruiting services would call a "moderate" prospect. Not nationally known, but solid and certainly a player at the collegiate level. He took a redshirt his first year, but since then all he's done is started every game for the Dawgs at 3 different positions at various points in time (both guard spots and center.) He's big, tough and athletic, but not spectacular. He just shows up and plays. Another Searles-style kid on the UGA offensive line. He had surgery on his hip in January and missed spring drills, but he'll be ready to go when practice gets going next month.

Depth Chart Analysis: Davis is in an interesting spot. He's got more experience than any offensive lineman that UGA has on the roster except Clint Boling, yet he heads into the fall without a starting job. If he's healthy, he'll likely head to Stillwater as (at worst) the top backup at both guard spots and perhaps at center. He'll see plenty of snaps regardless and will be a big cog for Stacy Searles.

Other famous #63s in UGA history: C Todd Wheeler, OL Edgar Chandler, OL Randy Johnson

Friday, July 3, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 64 Days (#64 Dallas Lee)

#64 Dallas Lee, C
6-4, 290, Buford GA (Buford HS), True Freshman

Lee was one of the top interior offensive line prospects in America coming out of Buford in 2008. Originally projected at offensive guard, Lee was plugged in immediately at center after he enrolled at UGA early this past January, participating in spring drills. He knows about big time college football, having played at one of the best high school programs in the entire country. He's extremely strong and equally tough.

Depth Chart Analysis: Lee's early enrollment (and his move to center) have him in a good position to be Ben Jones' primary backup. He's Stacy Searles' kind of player, and no doubt has a huge career ahead of him in Athens.

Other famous #64s in UGA history: C Peter Anderson, OG Bruce Yawn (owner of famous Snooky's restaurant in Statesboro GA)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 65 Days (#65 Devin Hollander)

#65 Devin Hollander, LB
5-11, 240, Gainesville GA (North Hall HS via Shorter College), Sr.

After a nice career at a nice program in North Hall, Hollander began his collegiate career at Shorter College in Rome. He appeared in 14 games over 2 seasons for Shorter, before transferring to Georgia before the 2007 season. He has been a scout team member and walk-on for the past 2 years. He recovered a fumble in the G-Day game this past spring.

Depth Chart Analysis: Hollander looks to be primarily a scout team member again this year, although his senior status could help him find his way into a game one Saturday this season.

Other famous #65s in UGA history: OL Nat Hudson

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 66 Days (Matthew DeGenova)

Matthew DeGenova, DE
6-1, 210, Kenner LA (Jesuit HS), RS Soph.

Note: DeGenova (at least as of today) will actually wear #64 on defense (sharing it with Dallas Lee.) However, with no #66 as of right now, we're profiling him today.

DeGenova walked on at UGA in 2007, and was redshirted, working with the scout team. In 2008, he made enough of an impression that he was able to play in 2 games, against Georgia Southern, and then against Central Michigan, where he actually recorded a tackle. He did miss spring drills while recovering from shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready to compete in August. DeGenova is also a fine student.

Depth Chart Analysis: DeGenova is undersized but quick, and the fact that he has seen playing time in the past probably bodes well for him to see more of the field at Sanford Stadium in the future. However, he probably won't see significant time unless there are significant injuries. He'll provide scout team depth until that occurs.

Famous #66s in UGA history: OG George Collins, OG Royce Smith, OT Jeff Harper, DL Travis Stroud