Are there any other positions in football that get less recognition than offensive guards? You probably wouldn't get much of an argument there.
At least tackles can take the credit (or blame) in regards to how well they protect the quarterback's blind side. But guards? Alas, unless you're really a student of the game, it difficult for the casual fan to tell whether or not they're doing a reasonable job. Of course, without someone to open those inside running lanes, not to mention the fact you need all five linemen working in a cohesive tandem to have any offensive success at all.
Fortunately for Georgia, there is experience to be had as we will explain as UGASPorts continues its series where we break down and analyze each position for the Bulldogs.
Today we'll take a look at Georgia' offensive guards - both on the left and right side of the line scrimmage.
It's an interesting mix, albeit one with plenty of starting experience.
At left guard, Cordy Glenn has been a fixture ever since his freshman season, while right guard Chris Davis has battled a painful hip, but somehow has still managed to start 38 of the 39 games he's played.
Davis may not be the strongest of Georgia's offensive linemen and has endured his share of criticism from fans over the years, but position coach Stacey Searels will take a player with his grit and determination any day of the week.
Despite the fact that Justin Anderson has been moved to the defensive line, there is depth at the position with Dallas Lee, John Bodin and Ben Harden, while backup center Chris Burnette has also practiced at guard and could rotate into the position as well.
Clint Boling can obviously play guard as well. But unless Trinton Sturdivant shows he's completely healed from his second ACL tear, look for Boling to see most of his action at tackle. A.J. Harmon can also play guard, but is seeing more time at tackle than he previously was.
Don't forget about Tanner Strickland.
It seems the redshirt junior has been in Athens forever, but due to a myriad of injuries (shoulder and ankle), Strickland has been unable to live up to the expectations placed upon him when he first signed with the Bulldogs out of Berrien County High.
Strickland sat out spring practice to heal, but is expected to be ready for the start of fall practice. A healthy Strickland should play a key role in the rotation.
Read on as UGASports.com provides a full summer breakdown of the guard position according to how it stacks up in Georgia's post-spring depth chart, the first in a series that will continue over the coming weeks.
No. 71 Cordy Glenn 6-5 328 Jr.
No. 64 Dallas Lee 6-2 296 RFR.
No. 65 John Bodin 6-6 300 RSop.
No. 63 Chris Davis 6-4 295 Sr.
No. 54 Tanner Strickland 6-5 328 Jr.
No. 76 Ben Harden 6-3 300 Jr.
1. How much can Davis and Glenn improve?
Glenn is a powerhouse at left guard where he was selected to preseason All-SEC Second Team by league coaches after his sophomore year. He didn't disappoint, starting all 13 games and is now being mentioned with the very best in the league. Glenn's very athletic for a big man, with an excellent base and good footwork and has become equally adept at pass protection as he is opening running lanes inside. As for Davis, much will depend on how well his hip holds out. So far, so good, although there have been times where the injury has certainly affected his consistency. But don't be alarmed. If Searels didn't think Davis could cut it, he wouldn't be playing, so barring any kind of setback, look for the Jefferson native to have a solid year.
2. How much will the Dawgs rotate at the two guard positions?
Much of that will depend on the health of two players - Strickland and Sturdivant.
If Sturdivant is able to play with some semblance of what he did before the injury, it will enable Boling to slide over, possible to see more action at right guard.
Ditto for Strickland, who if healthy, can spell both Davis and Glenn.
Otherwise, primarily look for Lee, Harden and possibly Harmon to figure into the mix at a position that actually has respectable depth.
3. Who is being groomed to step in after Davis graduates following this year?
Although there's still plenty of time to determine that, it appears that Lee is the player being groomed to ultimately fill that role.
Yes, Lee is currently listed on Georgia's post-spring depth chart as the backup to Glenn, but can play both on sides and figures to get the early crack next year.
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