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Post Kenarious Gates becomes the man of the hour

Wednesday October 6, 2010

This post over at GTP kind of flew under the radar this afternoon, but by Wednesday evening many of the beat writers were talking about the midweek shakeup on the offensive line.

Hardcore recruitniks knew about Gates when he switched his commitment from Kentucky to Georgia on Signing Day once Georgia had a few last-minute spots open up. Other than what the coaches had to say about him, the most people seemed to know about Gates was that he attended the same school as five-star hoops prospect and eventual Georgia commitment Kentavious Caldwell.

But the 6’5″ Gates was a quality prospect in his own right, and he’s suddenly in the mix on Georgia’s line as a true freshman. He was one of a handful of true freshman to make the traveling roster for Colorado, so he might have been close to getting in the game before now. Anyone who saw Georgia’s final snap on offense at Colorado shouldn’t be surprised that Josh Davis is the odd man out, but there’s a lot more to talk about re: this potentially retooled line.

  • You have to like the bookends of Sturdivant and Boling at tackle. The effectiveness of that combination depends on the health of Sturdivant, so it’s promising that he’s been playing an increasing number of snaps as the season goes on. Josh Davis and AJ Harmon are available, but you really prefer Boling and Sturdivant as your tackles.
  • Glenn and Jones haven’t been dominant, but they’ve been good enough to remain unaffected by this shakeup.
  • In an ideal world, you’d expect the more experienced Chris Davis to be that right guard. Davis has been limited by chronic leg injuries though and might not be near top form yet.
  • The moves do bring up questions about other linemen. Why Gates instead of some other yout guards? Many of them are injured. AJ Harmon must be a tackle all the way. Tanner Strickland is the real question mark: he’s even listed as a potential starter on the team’s depth chart.

It’s entirely possible that the media just caught sight of an experiment or even a red herring for any interested parties in Knoxville. The thought of a true freshman getting his first taste of action in an absolute must-win situation isn’t a good one. Still, it’s not like Georgia would be the only team in this game with a true freshman on the offensive line. If Gates can give the Dawgs some minutes on the interior line and allow Boling to take over the beleaguered right tackle spot, it should be a positive for the overall quality of the line.

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