Junior linebacker Alec Ogletree will be in the NFL next season, and we learned today that his brother Zander will leave the team because of “medical concerns.” He will remain in school and on scholarship.
Zander’s career was one of the more puzzling ones to track. He played in every game (as a reserve) in his sophomore season, and he seemed poised to enter 2012 as the starting fullback. We got almost daily updates about the early-season suspensions on the defensive side of the ball, but apparently Zander sat without much fanfare during that time too. Rambo, Alec Ogletree, and the others on defense stepped right back into their roles upon returning from suspension, but Zander found himself displaced by a mix of players up to and including walk-on Merritt Hall. We asked after the Kentucky game whether we’d seen the last of Zander.
Then came the Florida game. Ogletree re-emerged in Jacksonville to catch two passes from the fullback spot. He built on that performance against Ole Miss with two more receptions and a run that would turn out to be the only touchdown of his career. He saw a couple of more carries against Georgia Southern but faded as the season ended.
We wondered a bit when Georgia got a commitment from Augusta RB/FB Brendan Douglas at the end of January, and some rumors about Ogletree’s future came out not long after. We’re glad to learn that Ogletree remains in good standing and will continue in school and that he hasn’t been dismissed from the team. This news does make more sense out of the Douglas signing – it fills the roster spot left by Ogletree, and it leads us to believe that Ogletree’s future had been thought about as long as a month ago.
The fullback position will look again to Merritt Hall, its most experienced returning player. We also expect to see big strides from Quayvon Hicks whose reputation as a solid and fearless hitter turned heads in preseason camp last season. Of course Douglas will be in the mix too, but he could very well redshirt.