Beard’s departure

This comes out of the blue.

Georgia offensive tackle Mark Beard, who would have been a senior in eligibility next season, has decided to transfer after graduating from UGA this summer, the Bulldogs announced

Beard will take advantage of the NCAA rule that permits such a move without having to sit out a year if graduation requirements are meant before transferring.

We get perfunctory no-hard-feelings comments out of the player and his head coach, and Beard is to be congratulated for getting his degree, but, still, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on there.  Beard was expected to compete for the left tackle starting job this season and indeed had the most experience at the position.  Now they’re left with this:

Beard’s absence will create a depth issue at left tackle, where he backed up now-graduated Kenarious Gates the last two seasons. Senior Kolton Houston and junior John Theus are the most likely candidates to start next season, with several other returning lettermen also in the hunt.

Oh, boy.  Protecting Mason’s blind side just got a little more unsettling.  Not that it was that settled in the first place…


UPDATE:  Jeebus, fellas.  Make up your minds.

Maybe upon further review, they found the arguments convincing.  I’m just glad Beard’s staying.



Filed under Georgia Football

38 responses to “Beard’s departure

  1. Spike

    Boy, Senator, you are full of good news this morning.


  2. Piper

    the recruiting class put us at 89 kids on scholarship. this was step 1 of getting to 85, it seems.


  3. Boz

    There is a story here, but no one is talking. I have a hard time believing this to be roster management given the legit opportunity Beard had a starting this fall. Besides, spring break is only a few weeks away. That usually opens up a few scholarships anyway.


  4. I’m hoping it was out of the blue for us but not for the coaching staff, and this was accounted for in the number of kids we signed Wednesday.

    I agree there’s gotta be something more to the story. But it could be something as simple as Beard had been told by the coaches that he isn’t likely to be the starter next year either, and he just wants to go somewhere that he’d have a better chance to start. Regardless of the reason though, I hate losing him. Even if he didn’t win the starting job, he was good enough that you weren’t scared to put him in when needed. Best of luck to him.


  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    It is all part of the process, folks. Those of us who have never been in the arena are not supposed to understand these things.


  6. HVL Dawg

    1st casualty of Mat Drills.


  7. Rp

    Yikes, we are screwed at tackle. Good thing Mason has that quick release.


  8. SC DAWG

    Settle down boys, he’s not leaving.


  9. Skint

    Our OL will continue to be a problem as long as the current regime is in place. Now is the time to move Atkins to OL. Theus and Houston both struggled last year, Dantzler has yet to play a meaningful snap, Andrews is undersized, and Kublanow is an unknown. Hopefully, Baker, Wynn, and Sims get a legitimate chance, although freshmen will struggle in this league.


    • Our OL will continue to be a problem as long as the current regime is in place Isn’t a bit early for the current regime rhetoric?


      • ScoutDawg

        Right on AHD.


        • And…just because someone struggled last year, or even excelled, there is no guarantee the same will be this year’s outcome. Do people learn nothing in a year’s time? Well, I guess some don’t…like pointing a regimes and getting rid of CMR and such. As an aside, David Andrews is considered to be the lynchpin on thqt O line and o e of the better centers in the SEC. Undersized in some arenas equals undervalued so often in football…just ask Brandon Boykin, Ace Sanders and the Honeybadger.


    • WF Dawg

      “Theus and Houston both struggled last year” – right
      “Dantzler has yet to play a meaningful snap” – wrong
      “Andrews is undersized” – right, but not the most important measurement of his job performance
      “Kublanow is an unknown” – mostly wrong


  10. Bard Parker

    NEWS FLASH!!!!!

    He changed his mind. My HTML/ Word Press-fu is not strong enough to copy/ paste the whole thing


  11. Normaltown Mike

    Maybe he’s leaving to pursue a career of mildly home-erotic portrait painting…


  12. The Senator’s last sentence in the update sums it up for me.


  13. Skint

    Current regime is Richt, Friend, Bobo. Maybe Pruitt can recruit OL to help his buddy out.


  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Maybe we can find 5 good starters and a few good backups out of the 30 or so OL’s we’ll have on the roster.


  15. Macallanlover

    Strange, makes you wonder if this was a long running conflict of his with staff, someone contacting him about another opportunity, or just an immature, emotional snap decision he had not thought through. While it doesn’t bode well for “harmony” in a concern area, I am with the others, very glad he is staying and hope he dedicates himself to get the job done in 2014. Welcome back.


  16. fuelk2

    Glad to see him back. He had some good moments, including sticking with his block long enough to allow AM get off the bomb to JSW that sealed the USCe game.


  17. 69Dawg

    “Now is the winter of our discontent….” can’t remember the rest but it is probably true in this case.


  18. It’s hard to tell what’s going on with the OL, other than lack of talent.

    We haven’t recruited well there for many years. I hope it’s not lack of coaching, and the guys just don’t develop as they should. Don’t think it is. I lean toward evaluation and recruiting of the OL.

    I suppose S&C could be a factor. They don’t look impressive, and Theus’ body was pathetic last season, though I know he was very limited physically all the offseason last year.

    So I don’t know. What I do know is we haven’t had a really good OL since maybe 2002. Several have been adequate. But with the backs we have now, it’s hard not to wonder what a top level OL would do for those guys, our QB, and the team.


  19. HVL Dawg

    This is wild, irresponsible speculation on my part, but I hope it played out like this:

    Player: Coach, these Mat Drills are bullshit and I shouldn’t have to do extra reps because somebody else can’t keep up.

    Coach: Everybody in your group does 5 more reps because now we’ve got a complainer in the group.

    Player: This isn’t fair. I quit.

    Coach: I’m very sorry to hear that. Thank you for what you’ve done while at UGA. Good luck at your next school. All your shit will be in a box on the curb outside the building.

    … the next day

    Player: Can I stay on the team? I’ll be a great leader for UGA from now on.

    Coach: Welcome back prodigal son!


  20. Spike

    Sigh. I miss Ben Jones.


  21. Darrron Rovelll

    Why does it have to something sinister like – he wasn’t cutting it in mat drills or his immaturity or conflict with a coach/teammate?

    Since we are speculating …

    He complete his degree and he decided that he wasn’t going to further extend his football career and was ready to move on from college.
    He needs to enroll in a graduate program to be eligible and UGA does not offer his preferred choice.
    He did not get accepted into his preferred graduate program at UGA and was going to need to go to another graduate school.
    His girlfriend has also graduated and is moving to Boston, NYC, LA, Tokyo (insert name of city not in close proximity to Athens here).
    He wants to go somewhere else for grad school and it would be nice to get a year at Stanford, Duke, Michigan (insert other school name) for free.


    • You are certainly right. All very plausible . Maybe he was ready to move on. After giving it some thought he decided one more year would be fine. It’s a big step leaving Georgia and what he’s built here. Think of all that he would leave behind.


      • Darrron Rovelll

        It bothers me when we are all quick to speculate the worst about the situation and in this case the player. Since there wasn’t any detail associated with story, the fact that posters here immediately began questioning Beard’s motives, commitment, character is disheartening.

        CMR is far more magnanimous on these types of issues and we should follow that lead. Life is too short.

        I am glad to see that he has changed his mind and hope he has a great season.


        • HVL Dawg

          The young man quit the program and and rejoined a day later without explanation. He was/is a likely starter on a prolific offense in the SEC and he walked away from that for a day. And I don’t think this non-qualifier out of high school is going to grad school at Stanford. I can accept any reason why he may have needed to transfer. Does he owe me an explanation? No. Do I get to wonder what happened? Yes.

          Yesterday Coach Richt showed every player that if you don’t want to be Georgia Bulldog you can hit the road. And I like that.

          Do I fully embrace Beard as a Georgia Bulldog today? Hell yes. As far as I’m concerned he’s a damned good dawg.


          • Macallanlover

            Don’t know where you got that “all”, or many, were questioning his charcter or jumping to judgment. Read the above comments. Now if you think an unusual, and unexpected, move like this with no facts accompanying the press release is going to make people wonder, you would be right. No one wished him ill will, or wanted him to leave that I could see. We need him and glad whatever was bothering him is cleared up.


    • PTC DAWG

      Well said.


  22. BackDowntoEarth

    Speakin of OL’s whats up with Greg Pyke. Is he on the radar screen for PT?