ATHENS — Top-ranked Georgia is working with a new mix of starters on its offensive line after losing left tackle Trinton Sturdivant to a season-ending knee injury.
Another returning starter, guard Clint Boling, was suspended by coach Mark Richt for the Aug. 30 opener against Georgia Southern following an alcohol-related arrest in the spring.
Sophomore Chris Davis is the only member of the current first-team offensive line with starting experience. And Davis, who moved from guard to center, is at a new position.
"We are very unsettled. Very unsettled," Richt said.
There are no seniors and only one junior in the starting five.
The new line is young for any team, and still would have been with Sturdivant available. Georgia is replacing two 2007 senior starters, center Fernando Velasco and right tackle Chester Adams.
Sturdivant will have reconstructive surgery after suffering ligament damage in his left knee in the team’s first scrimmage on Aug. 11. Sturdivant, from Wadesboro, N.C., started all 13 games as a true freshman in 2007.
The emergence of freshman right guard Cordy Glenn has made Richt feel better about the line.
Glenn has been with the team for only about two weeks. He didn’t need much time to catch up with more experienced linemen.
"He did well at right tackle and then we put him in at guard and he actually did better at guard," Richt said. "He’s kind of a big body guy who just seems to bend just right, and when people run into him they don’t tend to get very far."
Richt said Glenn would be competing for playing time and possibly even a starting job even if the line were 100 percent.
"The guy has a chance to be a pretty good starter for us," Richt said.
Senior defensive tackle Jeff Owens said Sturdivant’s injury "is a big loss for us. He was a veteran on the offensive line."
"Cordy is stepping up for us," Owens said. "He’s playing phenomenal for a freshman."
Offensive line coach Stacy Searels has shielded Glenn from interviews.
Kiante Tripp, a sophomore, has moved from right tackle to left tackle. Tripp moved from defensive end to the offensive line last summer and played only as a backup last season.
"They really want me to use my quickness and strength on that side," Tripp said of his new home on the left side of the line.
The first-team line also includes sophomore right tackle Josh Davis and junior left guard Vince Vance. Davis played in eight games as a backup but never started. Vance played at guard and tackle last season but did not start.
"That’s a lot of first-timers right there, four brand new starters and one at a new position," Richt said.