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Georgia's O-line not panicking

POSTED: August 17, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Trinton Sturdivant’s season-ending knee injury wasn’t the end of the world. Georgia’s offensive line will find a way to survive.

Sending Sturdivant to the operating table didn’t end Knowshon Moreno’s Heisman Trophy hopes. Georgia will still be a national title contender.

Sure, it may be tough to overcome in the short term — Bulldog coach Mark Richt made it clear losing Sturdivant was a significant issue — but that doesn’t mean finding a new left tackle is something that will in any way hamper their season.

Maybe Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford would disagree with that assessment.

Sturdivant was expected to be the leader for Georgia’s offensive line in 2008, but it’s obvious that Georgia’s offensive line is in much better shape right now than this time last season. Remember, the Bulldogs didn’t have hardly a lick of experience on the offensive line this time last year, and they still found a way to win the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia is already in the process of finding the new guy that it can plug in and hope for the best at left tackle. Josh Davis, Cordy Glenn, Vince Vance, Kiante Tripp, Justin Anderson and Clint Boling are all names getting tossed around to fill the vacancy.

With 14 offensive lineman on the roster, there’s a pretty good chance that one of those guys can pick up the slack. Richt doesn’t know who that guy is yet. However, Georgia’s coach may have given the first indication Wednesday that Davis may be an early front-runner to earn the starting job with 15 days remaining until opening day.

"No one feels good about Trinton getting hurt," Richt said. "But I like what Josh is doing. It seems like there is a little energy in his step out there."

Plugging Davis into the left tackle spot would make sense. He seems ready to take over a role of leadership. It would also have the least amount of impact on the rest of the spots on the offensive line to be able to promote from within the position.

That only leaves one big question on the offensive line. Who’s going to take the job at center? That was the biggest question on the offensive line when summer camp opened just 10 days ago.

At this point, Richt sounds almost ready to pencil in true freshman Ben Jones into the job at center. That’s great news that he’ll be ready to play for Georgia’s offensive line. With Jones at center, Chris Davis, a Jefferson graduate, can stay at home and play at guard.

"Ben has proved that he’s ready to play," Richt said. "That’s good because guard is a more natural fit for Chris."

Things are actually starting to take shape for the Bulldogs offensive line, even though it’s not under the ideal circumstances.



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