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Post OL and linebackers still works in progress

Friday September 21, 2007

Heading into the 2007 season most Georgia observers agreed that the offensive line and linebacker groups were two of the biggest areas of concern. The offensive line returned just two scholarship players with game experience, and the linebackers were replacing all three starters.

Now as we enter the fourth game of the season, those two areas are still being tweaked. A week after announcing new starters for Western Carolina, the offensive line and linebackers are getting shuffled again.

Clint Boling made his first start last week at tackle as the Dawgs started a pair of freshman tackles against the Catamounts. This week, Boling moves inside to start at guard. Redshirt freshman Chris Davis will start at the other guard. Scott Haverkamp, who started the first three games at guard, will not start. This move had some fans scratching their heads since Davis seemed to be the weaker of the three guards, but it makes more sense if you believe speculation that Haverkamp might still be fighting an ankle injury. Sturdivant and Adams will anchor the line at tackle, and of course Velasco will be the rock at center. I thought Boling had a solid game last week, and I’d really like to see how the line looks in SEC play with he and a healthy Haverkamp in there at the same time.

Marcus Washington will make his first start at middle linebacker at Alabama. Washington has battled weight and injury problems in his career, but given the opportunity against Western Carolina he played rather well. At the very least, he made plays. The move frees up Ellerbe to go outside where his speed might be a factor. The other starter is still undecided. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dent start over Miller again. Not to get down on Miller – he had some nice special teams plays last week – but I don’t see him returning to the starting lineup after losing both an inside and outside linebacker starting job.

Coach Jancek is a favorite target for criticism, but one thing you have to give him this year is that he hasn’t been hesitant to try different approaches if something isn’t working or if there might be a better solution.

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