I confess that this decision caught me by surprise:
New Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has stressed several times that he doesn’t need a gargantuan body to play nose in his 3-4 scheme.
He’s got one anyway.
Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt announced after Tuesday’s practice that Justin Anderson, who made five starts early last season at right guard, has been moved to defense. The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder is sitting out this spring because of a shoulder injury.
“We won’t see what he can do out at practice, but he can start learning the terminology,” Richt said. “We think he can do well there, because he’s quick and strong. He’s an explosive athlete.”
Richt’s got that last part right. We’ve all been waiting for Bean to harness his obvious physical talent into becoming a dominant lineman. Based on what I thought was a terrific performance on his part in the second half of the bowl game against TAMU, I had him pegged as my sleeper to step up and become a major contributor on the offensive line this season.
The good news about the move is that it’s an indication that the coaches are pretty satisfied with the depth on the offensive line, which I would think bodes well for those of us hoping for the successful return of Trinton Sturdivant. The not-so-good news is that it’s an indication that Grantham is still casting about looking for a good mix of bodies to man the nose position in the 3-4.
Richt mentioned that Anderson was receptive to the move, but also had this to say:
“He knows if we lose a tackle or two offensively, he knows he would have to come back,” Richt said. “Right now, if everybody who’s projected to be healthy will come in healthy and make it through camp and all, we’ll probably keep him on defense.”
I hope this kid doesn’t wind up sharing space in Kiante Tripp’s no-man’s land.