Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 3/19/12

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 5: Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs congratulates head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys after the Cowboys won the game 24-10 at Boone Pickens Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Spring Practice Primer: Georgia Bulldogs

This time last year Mark Richt was on everyone’s hot seat as his team had underperformed in the seasons following the 2007 Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii. This year the Dawgs are one of the nation’s preseason Top 10 teams and they return talent all over the field for a squad that has its eyes on the SEC Championship and getting back to the BCS spotlight. Stability at quarterback and a defense to match have folks in Athens ready for the start of spring.

Stability Factor (1 = chaos; 5 = rock solid): 5

All is well in Athens both on and off the field as Georgia has talent, has confidence and given the situation at Florida, is not looking up to Gainesville for the first time in a while. Mark Richt is set; no more weird rumors of quitting and moving to Honduras or taking the UNC job, CMR is set for a good few years in red and black and the boys in the silver britches have shown solid growth on both sides of the ball after the 2010 disaster that was.


Under the Microscope: Isaiah Crowell

850 yards out of a true freshman in the SEC is quite a respectable feat in the general sense of things at the running back position. However, Crowell is under the microscope on account of the nagging injury woes that seemed to plague the kid. Missed two games, only carried the ball five total times against Kentucky and Michigan State and seemed to take himself out of games when folks would have liked to see him keep pushing.

 

There’s competition in town and the kid who has had a few, minor, off the field issues will have to bring his A-game if he wants to get a stranglehold on the starting running back spot.

Locked and Loaded: Quarterback

Aaron Murray was, by most every measure, the SEC’s second best quarterback a season ago, behind just Tyler Wilson of Arkansas pass happy team. Entering his junior season he is “the” guy in Athens as Murray has proven that he can get it done in every way for Richt’s
team. He’s got a good feel for what Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo want him to do and he is excelling in their scheme. 

But the Dawgs aren’t just locked and loaded at the starter spot they have a solid battle of two capable players for the second spot as Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay are both campaigning to get into that two slot for Richt. With Murray as the known commodity look for these two stand out recruits to get plenty of reps to help develop depth at the quarterback position.

Jockeying for Position: Offensive Line

The Bulldogs lose three starters from this year’s offensive line including Cordy Glenn so there are holes to fill and bodies to do it. With a quarterback who will need time to throw and a stable of running backs looking for holes here is where the attention of the coaching staff should be in order to setup for some success next season.

Name to Know: Keith Marshall

Keith Marshall was on everyone’s radar during his recruiting process until ultimately Georgia sealed the deal and brought the North Carolina kid from Millbrook High in as an early enrollee. Marshall is talented, he’s a hard worker and he’ll have a shot at climbing the crowded Georgia running back depth chart. If he comes in and is “as advertised” at worst he’ll give the Dawgs a serious one-two punch at the position but with Crowell’s injury issues the new kid on the block could see himself rise to the top of the heap with a solid showing.

Spring will be a success if...: The Dawgs can get out of spring without mishap

Player arrests have befell Georgia in the last few weeks as both Sanders Commings and Branden Smith found themselves in the police blotter. Georgia’s school policy dictates the suspension of both but what that means for the spring will be interesting. Getting two experienced starters some work before sitting them to open the season is a good move but the Dawgs and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will also be able to grow some secondary depth as they work the guys who will be starting the season into the rotation more. Ultimately all mishaps; on and off the field, must be avoided for the Bulldogs to come out of the spring successful. That means no more arrests and no injuries so that this team, already everyone’s favorite to win the East, is ready to rock and roll come August.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Browns source calls Garrett best draft talent in six years

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker