What we learned from Spring: Strong Guard

Georgia spring practice concluded with its annual G-Day game. Here is a look at the Strong Guards:

Josh Brock missed spring workouts but he will be ready to go this fall when Georgia returns to practice in August. Mark Richt would love to get Brock back healthy instead of being forced to juggle his offensive line all season long.

Brock is the offensive lineman that has been in the program the longest, since the Bulldogs' 20-16 loss to Boston College in the Music City Bowl in 2001. His leadership can only do so much good on the sideline; the Bulldogs need him on the field.

With Brock out there Georgia's offensive line stands a much better chance to pass protect as well as to run block. Without Brock starting it means that Nick Jones will be pushed into the starting role at strong guard while also serving as the back up center.

Ryan Schnetzer started the UAB and Middle Tennessee games and played the bulk of the bowl game against Purdue. He is more than capable of playing minutes at the strong or even tight guard.

Michael Turner's experiment switching from tight end to guard has not paid off yet. Zeb McKinzey, who, like Brock, missed spring practice, needs to get a good month of practice in him before the 2004 season starts.

Key to this position:

If Brock can stay healthy it will mean that Georgia has a chance to go the whole season with the same starting lineup (If he can't Richt will be forced to take his juggling act to a stadium near you all season long; that's something that he would like to avoid).

Depth chart shuffle:

Brock didn't go this spring but he's the number one. Jones will get the rest of the playing time at number two. Schnetzer will get any other time that's left. That means that Turner might be pushed back to number three center and underappreciated Schnetzer will float around the rest of the offensive line filling in where needed.

2004 Prediction:

Brock will keep his starting spot all this season but he will be pushed for more playing time by Jones by the Auburn game.


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