ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ Georgia's tentative depth chart for its start
of spring training is an eye-opener.
Offensive line, defensive end and linebacker are all in need of
major overhauls, and the departure of Tra Battle leaves a void at
Coach Mark Richt will look for redshirt freshmen or transfers to
move in as starters at some spots on the offensive line.
But there is one notable difference from last year's spring.
This time, there is an established starter at quarterback in
Matthew Stafford. The quarterback competition eventually won by
Stafford was the major focus in last year's spring and preseason
drills, but this year Richt and his staff will have a long list of
worries at other spots.
Among the offensive linemen lost from the 2006 team were Daniel
Inman, Nick Jones, Michael Turner and Ken Shackleford. Starting
tight end Martrez Milner also was a senior.
Guards Fernando Velasco and Chester Adams are the most
experienced returning linemen, but either could move to another
position. The only other returning player with significant
experience, center Ian Smith, is suspended for the first five
games. The long suspension makes it impractical to give Smith
significant practice time with the top lines.
Redshirt freshman Josh Davis and sophomore Vince Vance are
listed as the top tackles, and redshirt freshman Chris Davis will
open as the Number one center.
Vance is a transfer from Georgia Military.
Top backups include two 2007 signees -- Trinton Sturdivant and
Tanner Strickland -- who enrolled at Georgia for spring semester.
The newcomers will have new position names as Georgia moves back
to using the terms ``right tackle'' and ``left tackle'' and allows
its linemen to remain on one side of the line.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)