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Post Stormy night on the depth chart

Saturday August 25, 2007

Though the Bulldogs’ Friday night practice was canceled due to weather, they still made news with some announcements about the offensive depth chart.

Quarterback Blake Barnes is suspended for the first game, so it’s not really a surprise to see Mark Richt name freshman Logan Gray as the #3 quarterback for the season opener next weekend.  What is more interesting is Richt hinting that Gray could remain ahead of Barnes for the rest of the season.  Ideally, you’d want to redshirt Gray to give him a few years of playing time once Stafford and Cox leave.

The bigger news was receivers coach John Eason announcing that he plans to use a core group of seven receivers.  Bailey, Henderson, and Massaquoi are the starters, and Harris, Durham, Mike Moore, and Tony Wilson have earned playing time as reserves.  Some very notable names were left off that list:  A.J. Bryant, T.J. Gartrell, and Demiko Goodman for instance.  Eason addressed the situation:

“Some guys I did not name basically threw themselves out of the mix at this point. They have got to kind of earn their way back in and they have to do a better job to earn playing time.”

Veeeeeeeeery interesting, and we’ll see what effect it has in motivating those upperclassmen.  The drops and other inconsistencies that have plagued the receivers over the past couple of years are frustrating everyone, and it’s a positive sign to see the coaching staff shake things up as a result.  The ones left out of the mix are sitting due to  practice performance. “It was close, it was based on (practice and scrimmage) grades and some of them eliminated themselves with a dropped pass,” Eason said.

Eason indicated that the others might get in the game in mop-up situations, but they shouldn’t count on it.   “We may end up dressing about ten, but in terms of who gets in the game, basically we have just about determined that.”

Most of the  seven are familiar to fans.  Moore and Durham saw playing time last year as freshmen.  Redshirt freshman Tony Wilson is the new name in the mix, and he brings an important trait to the position.

“I think his toughness is something we missed last year and I that is something I talked about in the meeting,” said Coach Eason following team meetings. “I said Tony Wilson is the toughest guy in the room and I feel that he is and it is based on the way he blocks. He really gets after it. I think that is what we need and he does a really nice job of catching the football.”

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