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Post Thin linebacker corps takes another blow

Wednesday May 16, 2007

UGASports.com reported on Tuesday afternoon that redshirt freshman linebacker Akeem Dent broke his foot in off-season drills. He is expected to be out until July. Dent’s injury is just the latest blow to a dwindling linebacker corps. Dent is one of three injured linebackers, and of course Akeem Hebron was recently lost for the season.

Though several of the injuries should heal up in time for the season, the Dawgs have only three healthy linebackers to start the summer: Dewberry, Ellerbe, and Miller. Freshmen Rennie Curran and Charles White will surely get a look when they report to campus.

Though the attrition and injuries on the offensive line have received much of the spotlight, the linebackers have taken more than their share of hits over the past few years. Let’s go all the way back to 2002 and look at the linebacker classes since then. We’ll note those who left the program or position before the end of their careers, those who completed their career as a linebacker, those who are currently injured, and the three who are currently healthy.


  • Marquis Elmore: converted to DE, then to DT, never more than a minor role player
  • checkmark Tony Taylor: sidetracked by knee injury but finished career strong in 2006. Signed with Falcons as a free agent


  • Dana Graydon: left Georgia for Ga. Military College, ended up at South Carolina St.
  • Marcus Howard: moved to defensive end
  • checkmark Jarvis Jackson: nice career at MLB, signed as free agent with Tenn. Titans
  • checkmark Odell Thurman: played just two seasons, all-SEC MLB, 2nd round NFL pick in 2005
  • checkmark Danny Verdun-Wheeler: won back starting OLB job during 2006 season
  • Des Williams: converted to fullback, career ended by chronic injuries


  • Dannell Ellerbe: current starting WLB, suspended first three games of 2006 season
  • Josh Johnson: left Georgia for Ga. Military, currently at Marshall
  • Brandon Miller: originally signed as DE, moved to OLB and now starts at MLB


  • Jamar Chaney: denied admission by UGA, signed with Mississippi State
  • Darius Dewberry: did not qualify, resigned in 2006
  • Tavarus Kearney: Left for Georgia Southern after alleged cheating incident
  • injured player Marcus Washington: reserve MLB, currently recovering from knee injury


  • injured player Akeem Dent: reserve SLB, currently recovering from broken foot
  • Darius Dewberry: spent a year at Hargrave, current starting SLB
  • injured player Darryl Gamble: reserve WLB, recovering from broken foot
  • Akeem Hebron: suspended for 2007 season, will spend year at Georgia Military

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