January 2, 2007
Fernando Velasco will lead the UGA line in '07
The top questions for the 2007 Georgia Bulldogs to answer. Part I...the Oline.
Who will coach the Offensive Line?
-- For the past six years, Georgia's offensive line was lead by Neil Callaway. Those six years marked a yo-yo period for the group with plenty of ups and downs, odd recruiting decisions, feast or famine signing classes, incredibly bad luck at the position (health and academically), and a very successful won-loss record. Callaway was at times a miracle worker and a fan pariah. He worked miracles given the lack of talent on hand, yet he was responsible for the talent evaluation. Who will fill this void? I proposed a list of candidates a few weeks back. I think we'll know something within the week on this front.
How will the offensive line perform? Who will start?
-- We return two dependable guys with any meaningful experience in Fernando Velasco (OG/C) and Chester Adams (OT/OG). We're supplementing those guys with three redshirt freshmen and 8-10 incoming recruits.
Vince Vance (OT) appears to be the most obvious potential contributor next year. The Juco All-American soph has already signed his papers and will be attending classes in a matter of days. Scott Haverkamp (OG/OT) is another early enrollee that we're counting on for immediate help. Haverkamp, by his own admission, wasn't good enough to cut it at Kansas as a FR so he ended up leaving and going the Juco route. He was heavily recruited by a variety of major conference schools so that alleviates some of the worry associated with signing a guy that couldn't hack it at a BCS cellar dweller two years ago. Our third Juco signee, is Blaes (OG/C). His other offer was Baylor. He will likely sign in Feb.
The top incoming freshman appears to be Justin Anderson (OT/OG) from Hargrave. Given his early enrollment, he'll have every opportunity to lock down one of the starting spots. Among the redshirt freshmen, Chris Davis (C) sounds the most promising while the coaches say Josh Davis has really come on.
The coaches did a great job of staggering these 8+ new guys across 4 graduating classes. Having 5 of the guys show up in time for Spring Ball is ENORMOUS. Facing an Oklahoma State squad that is losing all four defensive line starters is also a huge break. That's the good news. The troublesome news is that we banking heavily on three guys to start for us along the offensive line that have likely never worn a UGA uniform. That's scary.
The progress this unit makes with a new coach will be the most important question for 2007.