Georgia Sports Blog FanShop

June 15, 2007

Stepping out of the Shadows: The Sophomores

Asher Allen and Kris Durham from GDay 2006

Over the coming days and weeks, we're going to look at the Georgia Bulldog football players who are the most likely to take huge steps out of the shadows into prime time roles.

Let's say a player was a starter for a year or two, but he really hasn't made an impact yet. That kid can still step up and make a big name for himself. We're going to break the posts down by class. Last week, we profiled the redshirt freshmen.

Out of the Shadows: The Sophomores
    1. Darius Dewberry (SAM) - Over the past two seasons, it sometimes looked as if Georgia was playing 10 vs. 11 on defense b/c of the lack of plays coming from the SAM linebacker position. UGA desperately needs this 5 star all-everything recruit to change that situation. Last year, Dewberry's (6-3, 230 lbs) playing time was primarily limited to special teams and spot action. This year, he'll be counted on to start. He brings a tremendous upgrade in speed to the position from Brandon Miller. He also has the physical tools to one day have an impact like Boss Bailey in 2002; however, there's a quantum difference between having the tools and delivering those results. (Side Image: Jim Hipple)

    2. Geno Atkins (DT) - The DTs as a group last year were pretty underwhelming. Granted, they were very young and often injured, but at least one of them must step up in a huge way. Atkins (6-1, 275 lbs) will have every opportunity to be that guy. The Florida native will compete with Jeff Owens and Kade Weston for a starting position. With the departure of Ray Gant, there are plenty of minutes available for the true sophomore.

    3. Asher Allen (CB) - Allen enrolled early at Georgia last year in order to participate in Spring Practice. He opened eyes with his blistering speed when he took an interception 100+ yards for a touchdown at G-Day 2006 (see photo above). With the departure of Paul Oliver, Allen gets first crack at the CB slot opposite Bryan Evans. He may also get a look at kickoff returner.

    4. Prince Miller (CB) - Miller is aggressively pulling more and more playing at the nickel spot. Despite his small stature (5'8", 182 lbs), he has the speed and relative strength to make plays in the SEC. He is battling Asher Allen to move up a spot on the CB pecking order.

    5. Kris Durham (WR) - Durham (6-5, 193 lbs) is the trendy pick to make a big splash in 2007 because of his impressive G-Day performance (6 rec, 137 yards, 2 TDs). I'd love for that to happen, but how many times has a guy who did nothing the year before AND most of the following spring exploded during the Spring Game never to be heard from again? Ronnie Powell, Johnny Brown, Jason Johnson and even in Kenneth Harris had a year like that only to follow it up with very little production. It's a crowded WR group, and Richt is eager to find a consistent performer. Durham has just as good a chance as anyone else to be that guy.
Guys I didn't list include Kade Weston and Bryan Evans. I feel like these two have already stepped out of the shadows to some degree. Evans started quite a few games, and he stepped firmly into the spotlight with the sack of Reggie Ball in the GT game.

I could go either way on Weston. If you consider him still "in the shadows," then I'd list him as tied with Atkins at #2. Our DT depth must improve, and one of them has to step way up.


See Also:
-- Georgia Post-Spring Depth Chart -
-- Dewberry Photo - Jim Hipple



JasonC said...

For Kris to get through a crowded receiving corps, live up to this list and G-Day, he has to catch the ball consistently. If he does that (or for that matter whichever WR does), he will shoot up the list and be in place to make an impact. I think Kris has as good a shot to do that as anyone, because he has exihibited pretty solid hands.

Anonymous said...

If Richt will let 3-4 receivers play the majority of the downs (instead of rotating 8 guys every game!) someone will step up. It all depends on that.

The same goes for the running back situation. Kregg can be a 1,200 yard back if we give it to him 18-20 times a game.

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more with anon1 more.

however, it's coach eason who's responsible for the substitution pattern.

that's why our receivers always underachieve. they feel too much pressure to make a play with the limited opportunities they have.

this has been ongoing since richt got here. in the first three or four years, two different receivers/tight end would come into the huddle doing a bird-like flapping motion while two more would shuffle out.

Anonymous said...

go back and watch Kade in the Chickfila Bowl...he looked pretty damn good. I'd say he's definitely out of the "potential up and comer" category. I think he starts vs. Okie St.

Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan