The All-Mark Richt Team: Offensive Line

Dean Legge's look at the top players by position of the Mark Richt Era. Today, the offensive line.

Left Tackle – Jon Stinchcomb (1999-2002), George Foster (1999-2002) and Trinton Sturdivant (2007-present)

There are times when it is hard to put a value on an offensive lineman. After all there are very few statistics available to the public regarding this position. One thing is clear, however, about Jon Stinchcomb: if statistics were kept for this position his numbers would be off the charts. An Academic All-American from 2000 to 2002, coaches often joked that Stinchcomb was the smartest person in the program – including the coaches. But Stinchcomb wasn't just smart – he was good. He started 34 of the 37 games he played in. He was a 2002 Walter Camp All-American. He was also All-SEC in 2001 and 2002. Stinchcomb's most memorable play came against Auburn in 2002 when he became the first lineman in 17 years to score a touchdown. It came after David Greene fumbled the ball into the end zone… Stinchcomb fell on it – giving the Dawgs an important six points during a do-or-die game for the Dawgs. Stinchcomb was the 37th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft

George Foster at times played opposite Stinchcomb, but he backed him up, too. In the starting lineup from his junior season on, Foster was an important part of Georgia's run to the 2002 SEC Championship. Foster was the 20th overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Had Trinton Sturdivant played more than one season he would likely be higher on this list. One of the most talented linemen of the Mark Richt Era, Sturdivant should start every game he is healthy at Georgia. Losing his to a pre-season injury in 2008 was very costly for the Dawgs.

Left Guard – Clint Boling (2007-present) and Alex Jackson (1999-2002)

When Clint Boling arrived at Georgia he was thrown right into the fire. Most other players would have needed a redshirt season to get used to college football – Boling needed a few games. By the time his true freshman season was over Boling had started nine consecutive games. He has been the linchpin of the offensive lines under Stacy Searles. Boling was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after Georgia's 2008 win over Tennessee. Boling has the ability to play all positions on the offensive line; he may be the most important overall lineman the next two years at Georgia if he is not already the best.

An important part of one of the best teams at Georgia, Alex Jackson was a force along the offensive line during the 2002 season.

Center – Nick Jones (2003-06) and Russ Tanner (2002-05)

Nick Jones knew what it was like to start at Georgia by the time he was a senior – after all he had three years of starting experience before then. Still, to move to center his senior season was a challenge, but Jones met it head on. Jones actually scored a touchdown his freshman season against Georgia Tech when he fell on a ball in the end zone – making him one of only two offensive linemen to score a touchdown in the Mark Richt Era. He was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after his 2004 performance against Kentucky. He earned the same honor a year later against the Wildcats. In 2006 Jones ended his career with 32 consecutive starts. He was the team captain and the Dawgs' Most Valuable Offensive player. Jones earned second team All-SEC honors his final season.

Russ Tanner, like Nick Jones, got a good idea of how to play college football at a young age. Tanner became a full-time starter his sophomore season, and was a key cog in the 2005 Championship Team. Tanner was Academic All-SEC in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Right Guard – Max Jean-Gilles (2002-05) and Kevin Breedlove (1999-2002)

Big and nasty, Max Jean-Gilles was a major recruiting win for the Bulldogs in February 2002. Jean-Gilles grew up in south Florida, but decided to move north for college ball, and it paid off for Georgia big time. Jean-Gilles saw some action as a true freshman in 2002, but was vital for the Dawgs from 2003 on. Jean-Gilles started at tackle his sophomore season, but that was not his natural position. When he slid inside to guard he became a force. He was the captain of the offense in 2005 – an SEC Championship season – and was also first team All-American and All-SEC. Jean-Gilles was the 99th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Kevin Breedlove should have played for Clemson, everyone thought – except him. Breedlove left his up-state South Carolina home and traveled southwest to play football for Georgia. He left as one of the most durable players in Georgia history. Breedlove broke the school record with his 47th career start surpassing Lindsay Scott and Larry Brown for most career starts by a non-kicker. He was also second team All-SEC in 2002.

Right Tackle – Dennis Roland (2002-05) and Kareem Marshall (2001-02)

Neil Callaway rolled the dice a little when he recruited Dennis Roland to play tackle for him at Georgia. By the time Roland left Georgia, Callaway's bet had paid off – Roland was a three-year starter. Roland was one of a handful of Georgia players to win both the 2002 and 2005 SEC Championships. Roland was not drafted, but has played for the Cincinnati Bengals lately.

Georgia didn't really know what to do with Kareem Marshall when they got him. Severely overweight, Marshall dropped nearly 50 pounds before the 2002 season. The work paid off – Marshall was in a starting tackle rotation most of that season. His play during the 2002 season helped the Dawgs win their first SEC title in twenty seasons.

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