Davis vital to Dawgs' success on OL

ATHENS – One day into spring practices at Georgia, and Chris Davis has already made a change.

"It is very difficult to line up our offensive line," Mark Richt admitted before spring practices started. "The depth chart could be totally different when we leave for spring break (one week into spring practice)."

As it turned out, it looked totally different after only one day.

Although he was listed as the Bulldogs' number-one center going into the spring Davis slid over to a starting guard spot once drills began. But no matter where Davis lines up, Georgia is expecting big things from him.

"We think he's very talented and athletic," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "He moved well in mat drills, but that's mat drills. We have to get on to the grass and see how he competes."

This Friday the Bulldogs will strap on full pads for the first time during the spring, which is something new offensive line coach Stacy Searles is looking forward to.

"What can these guys do when they are out here in something other than shorts?" Searles asked. "We are going to find that out."

Davis has been waiting nearly one year for his shot to really get into the mix. Last year he narrowly missed out on playing, but the team decided to redshirt him in order for him to get a little more used to college ball. He used that time well according to Bobo.

"We were pleased with what he did on the scout team," Bobo said. "We feel like Chris has the ability to play well, but it's a different story when you are running on the first team."

The move from center to guard was foreshadowed by Richt earlier this month.

"If we don't see Chris growing up enough we may have to put Velasco in that position," Richt said before spring ball.

Velasco moved to the starting center spot on Monday. But Davis is still in the starting line up, and at near 300 pounds he's been hard to miss.

"He passes the eye test for sure," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "I think his athleticism pays off for him these days. He's put on weight, but its good weight. He's got really good feet – I saw him moving the other day. He's a competitive guy who really wants to win, so I don't think we are going to have any problems there."

Still, the Bulldogs are using several young players on the offensive line, Davis included, and that is giving Richt some concern.

"We have young guys in there right now, and we just have to see if the young guys are mentally and physically ready."

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