So the pre-spring depth chart is out. Ching has it here.
The big news – if you want to read more into this stuff than Richt intends – is that Kiante Tripp, now up to a buff 290 pounds, has been penciled in as the starting right tackle. Still, there’s really not much point in getting too worked up about the offensive line depth chart right now.
“The pre-spring depth chart is the toughest one to do,” said Richt, who returns 17 starters from a team that finished ranked No. 2 in the nation. “That lineup is subject to change more than any other time of the year.”
No kidding. Offensive line coach Stacy Searels shuffled the deck on the first day of spring practice last year, making the depth chart virtually moot.
“If we can gel and get something going right now, great,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “If not, it’s a work in progress like it is for every team with guys shuffling around.”
This time around, freshman Ben Jones is in the mix to start at center, which could allow Davis to return to guard. Backup right guard Justin Anderson drew plenty of praise from teammates when he redshirted last season as a freshman.
“If he puts it all together, it’s going to be very difficult to keep him off the field,” Richt said.
Boling could slide over to right tackle if needed.
“It really depends on how things shake out there at the tackle spot,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We’re not going to pigeonhole ourselves to say Clint Boling’s going to be a guard the rest of his career. He might be first-team guard and second-team right tackle. He might be first-team right tackle and second-team guard. That depends on who comes through this spring.”
Tripp has put on 20 pounds since he made the switch to the offensive line in August. His 6-foot-6 body is now at 290 pounds.
“He runs good, he looks good,” Bobo said. “It’s going to be up to him.”
While I don’t doubt that for most writers the focus on Georgia as it goes into spring practice and the season will be this theme, I’m more struck by how calm the waters are at this point compared to seasons past. Consider the last three preseasons and what Richt faced:
- 2005 – David Greene, the most successful QB in school history, graduated. David Pollack, a three time all-American and arguably the greatest player the program produced since Herschel Walker, graduated. Brian VanGorder, the best defensive coordinator at Georgia since Erk, succumbs to wanderlust and departs for what he perceives to be (the first of many) greener pastures.
- 2006 – Georgia goes into spring practice with a quarterback corps sporting the combined experience of one college start.
- 2007 – No repeat starters on the offensive line, no experienced depth on the offensive line and a new offensive line coach. An offensive coordinator with two games of playcalling under his belt (his squad averaged less than 230 yards of total offense in those two games). Both starting defensive ends gone. Brandon Miller as the key to the defense.
All that angst. And all the program has to show for it is two BCS appearances and a SEC championship.
I’m not trying to be hubristic here. But when the biggest concern going into this year appears to be over Brandon Coutu’s successor, I think you have to feel pretty good about where Georgia is at today.