Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and project how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s offensive guards and centers.
2012 two-deep depth chart:
RG: Chris Burnette (Jr.), Lee (Jr.)
C: David Andrews (So.), Burnette (Jr.)
Who’s ready to move up for more playing time?: Rising senior Austin Long, who can play guard or tackle, might be a player to watch this fall. It would not be a surprise to see offensive line coach Will Friend give a long look to redshirt freshman Greg Pyke or rising junior Watts Dantzler, either. Another question is whether Kolton Houston can overcome his NCAA eligibility issues to contribute somewhere on the line.
High-profile commits: The Bulldogs have commitments from Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford), who projects as a center at Georgia, and ESPN 150 honoree Brandon Kublanow (Marietta, Ga./Walton), who should be able to swing between center and guard.
Additional targets on the board: With national signing day barely two weeks away, it appears as if the Bulldogs want to use one of their remaining spots for an offensive lineman on Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), the No. 1 offensive tackle in ESPN’s position rankings.
2013 gameplan: Right now it appears as if Georgia’s offensive line will enjoy the greatest amount of stability it has seen in years. The Bulldogs return all five starters along the line and have a couple of reserves who began to contribute more significantly as the season progressed. The Bulldogs seem to have solid depth and will add a couple of talented newcomers in this recruiting class, particularly if Tunsil signs with the Bulldogs as expected.
And 2014?: While 2013 is setting up as a season of great stability, the Bulldogs will have to replace a number of key contributors in 2014. Starters Gates, Burnette and Lee will all be seniors in 2013, so their departures will free playing time for some of the younger linemen. However, 2014 will be the senior seasons for Andrews and Mark Beard and the junior year for right tackle John Theus, so there will still be a solid nucleus. On the recruiting trail, keep an eye on Andrew Marshall (Cumming, Ga./West Forsyth), Jermaine Abron (Warner Robins, Ga./Warner Robins) and Dennis Edwards (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett).
What about 2015?: This is where Friend no doubt hopes players such as Pyke, Kublanow and Cardiello will coming into their own as interior linemen. The line turnover from 2014 will be complete by 2015 and new players will have to step into the void created by the upperclassmen’s departures.