What you need to know ...
The big concern is consistency after
struggling to come up with the same performance from one game to the next. Don't expect things to be steadier with seven new
While it's a rebuilding year for the Bulldog offense, there's a
good foundation in place with one of the nation's best running
back corps thanks to the return of Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin
and Danny Ware. Will they have holes to run through? It's no
coincidence that Georgia won SEC championships under Mark Richt
when it had a veteran, senior dominated offensive line, and now
there's a lot of patching to be done losing three top starters.
The receiving corps has potential, but there aren't any obvious
stars needing top receiver Mo Massaquoi to be more of a big-play
target. There are enough top prospects at quarterback to provide
productive starters for four teams with senior Joe Tereshinski
the main man while super-recruit Matthew Stafford learns the
Passing: Joe Tereshinski
25-49, 371 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Thomas Brown
147 carries, 736 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Mo Massaquoi
38 catches, 505 yds, 2 TD
Star of the offense: Junior RBs Thomas Brown, Kregg
Lumpkin and Danny Ware
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior QB
Unsung star on the rise: Senior TE Martrez Milner
Best pro prospect: Freshman QB Matthew Stafford
Top three all-star candidates: 1) OT Daniel Inman, 2)
Brown, 3) C Nick Jones
Strength of the offense: Running backs
Weakness of the offense: Wide receiver experience,
offensive line depth
Few teams in America have a better group of quarterback
prospects than Georgia with Joe Tereshinski, the likely opening
day starter, the least talented of the lot. However, he's a
senior and has been around so long that he has the full trust of
the coaching staff and knows the offense backwards and forwards.
The real question is what to do with Matthew Stafford, the biggest recruit to come to Athens since Herschel Walker.
Blake Barnes and Joe Cox are so good that the Dawgs can afford
to redshirt their future franchise star, but it could be too
tempting not to have Stafford around in case Tereshinski is
merely average. All that's missing from this group is
The key to the unit: Starter Joe Tereshinski needs to
be sharp to keep Matthew Stafford on the bench to possibly
redshirt, while Blake Barnes and Joe Cox have to find enough
practice reps to develop.
Quarterback Rating: 7.5
- Joe Tereshinski, Sr. - 25-49, 371 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, 14
carries, 40 yds
Tereshinski knows the offense and he has some experience, but
the question is whether or not he has what it takes to hold on
to the job. He's a big, smart player with good mobility for his
size, but he's not going to be D.J. Shockley running the ball.
Even so, if he's the starter, he'll be enough of a rushing
threat to keep defenses thinking and has the potential to
make the Shockley-like leap in overall production in his senior
season. He's most known for stepping in for an injured Shockley
in the loss to Florida catching a touchdown pass and rushing for
37 yards, but he struggled in the passing game only completing 8
of 21 passes for 100 yards with an interception.
- Blake Barnes, Soph. - 2-3, 9 yds
A top recruit a few years ago, the 6-3 Barnes has the arm and
rushing ability to be a great all-around quarterback. He saw a
little bit of mop-up time last year and will be sure to get in
the mix more this season when he comes back from a spring thumb
injury, but he'll have a fight on his hands
for development time with Matthew Stafford in the mix right
away. Even with all the hype about Stafford, don't dismiss
Barnes, considering all his talent, from the race over the next
- Joe Cox, RFr. - While not as big or strong as the other Bulldog
quarterbacks, Cox might have the most accurate arm. He's also a
winner with a 31-0 record as the starting quarterback at
Independence High in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has too much
talent to not make a little bit of noise in the race for the
number two job after being a strong scout team leader.
- Matthew Stafford, Fr. - One of the most heralded
quarterback recruits to ever come to Georgia, the 6-3, 225-pound
high school superstar has NFL written all over him. He has the
team's best arm along with the poise and vision of an experienced
college veteran. He graduated early to take part in spring
practices, and he hasn't looked out of place in reps with the
New running back coach Tony Ball has one of the nation's
best stable of backs to work with. Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin
and Danny Ware are all good enough to start for anyone in
America, and they form a great three-headed monster that should
be more productive than is was last year when the ground game
only averaged 162 yards per game. The only problem is that none
of the backs ever get into a groove because of the rotation, but
all three average around five yards per crack. There's speed,
but there weren't enough home runs last year. Once Brannan
Southerland recovers from a shoulder injury, the fullback
situation will be fantastic helped by the return of Des Williams
from a torn pectoral muscle.
The key to the unit: Doing a better job of finding
the hot back early in games and sticking with him. Getting more
big runs would be nice.
Running Back Rating: 10
- Thomas Brown, Jr. - 147 carries, 736 yds, 5.0 ypc, 4
TD, 6 catches, 67 yds
While not all that big at 5-8 and 185 pounds, Brown is
ultra-productive when he gets the ball. He was the team's leading
rusher last year, but he's usually used as a setup man and isn't
any sort of a workhorse back with only two games with 20 carries
rushing for 144 yards against South Carolina and 94 against
Tennessee. He's speedy, tough, and has decent hands when used as
a receiver. He'll likely be the number one back going into the
season, but that doesn't mean much in the Georgia rotation.
- Fullback Brannan Southerland, Soph. - 18 carries, 25 yds, 3 TD,
8 catches, 57 yds, 2 TD
Southerland came up big when forced into the starting lineup
midway through last year turning into a good short yardage back,
a decent receiver, and a whale of a blocker. He's a fantastic
athlete for his size at 242 pounds. He missed spring ball
recovering from a shoulder injury, but he'll be back and likely
the number one fullback to start the season.
- Kregg Lumpkin, Jr. - 66 carries, 335 yds, 5.1 ypc,
3 TD, 5 catches, 12 yds
The big, powerful Lumpkin runs even bigger than his 6-1 and 220
pounds; he has to get the ball more. He came back from
getting knocked out in 2004 fall practices with a torn ACL to be
a thunderous power back in the mix. He
only ran 66 times with his two double-digit carry games coming
late in the season, but he was productive whenever he came in as
a change of pace for Thomas Brown.
- Danny Ware, Jr. - 101 carries, 492 yds, 4.9 ypc, 1 TD, 7
catches, 188 yds, 2 TD
Ware is big, very fast and very talented, but he can't seem to
put it all together and grab the starting job by the horns. At
6-1 and 223 pounds, he has good power, but he doesn't run as
hard as Kregg Lumpkin. He has the speed of Thomas Brown, but he
doesn't make things happen like Brown does. He's most dangerous
when used as a receiver and he can get the ball in space. If
nothing else, he's one of the nation's most dangerous number
- Jason Johnson, Jr. - 3 carries, 44 yds, 14.7 ypc, 1
catch for 3 yards
Mostly used for special teams and the scout team, the 5-9,
191-pound junior will get a few carries here and there in
garbage time. The former walk-on ran twice for 43 yards against
- Fullback Des Williams, Jr.
A superstar high school linebacker, Williams quickly turned into
a physical blocker for the running game and was growing into the
role as the team's top fullback before he tore a pectoral
muscle lifting weights and missed all of 2005. He's back now and
will combine with Brannan Southerland for the job. While he's a
good all-around back, he's going to be most valuable as a
The receiving corps has talent and potential but not
many proven playmakers and will be far better next year. The
passing game spreads the ball around so several players will get
the chance to make an impact. The knee injury suffered by
flanker Sean Bailey in preparation for the Sugar Bowl will hurt
the passing game this season and A.J. Bryant
and lightning-fast Demiko Goodman have to get over shoulder
injuries, but their absence this spring allowed several other
young players to get meaningful reps. Mo Massaquoi will be the
team's top target, and now he needs Kenneth Harris, Mario Raley,
Bryant and Goodman to take the heat off. Tight end Martrez
Milner might not be as good as Leonard Pope, but he should be a
The key to the unit: Quickly develop a sure-thing
number two receiver alongside Mo Massaquoi and find a steady
rotation among the young players.
Receiver Rating: 6.5
- Mohamed Massaquoi, Soph. - 38 catches, 505 yds, 13.3 ypc,
Massaquoi filled a gaping hole in the Bulldog offense stepping
in and becoming the main wide receiver turning in a consistent
get with at least two grabs in each of his final ten games. One
of last year's top recruits is a big target with good speed and
fantastic hands, but
he wasn't used much as a home run hitter last year turning into
mostly a possession receiver. He has to stretch the field more
- Kenneth Harris, Soph. - 11 catches, 216 yds, 19.6 ypc,
Harris spent this spring holding down the starting flanker job
until A.J. Bryant could recover from a shoulder injury. However,
the 6-3, 214-pound sophomore will certainly be a key target in
the rotation and should be one of the team's most dangerous deep
threats. He wasn't used much over the second half of last year
with only three catches over the final seven games.
- Tight end Martrez Milner, Sr. - 14 catches, 291 yds,
20.8 ypc, 2 TD
The loss of the team's leading receiver Leonard Pope would be
crushing if it wasn't for the return of Milner. While he's
nowhere near as large as Pope, Milner is a good sized target at
6-4 and 240 pounds growing from being just a blocker to a
tremendous receiver averaging 20.8 yards per catch. He caught
three passes for 111 yards and a touchdown against Boise State,
but he only caught four passes over the final seven games.
- A.J. Bryant, Jr. - 5 catches, 84 yds, 16.8 ypc, 2 TD
Bryant will be neck-and-neck with Kenneth Harris for the flanker
job. He missed spring ball with a shoulder problem and had a
foot injury a few years ago, but he should be back this fall to
be one of the team's most dangerous targets. He has good size
and excellent deep speed, but he has yet to make a huge impact
outside of a 34-yard touchdown catch in the Sugar Bowl against
- Mario Raley, Sr. - 6 catches, 78 yds, 13 ypc
A decent reserve at the end of last year, Raley came through
clutch with a big eight-yard grab against Georgia Tech and with
41 yards on two catches against West Virginia. He needs to make
more of an impact as the primary backup at split end
behind Mo Massaquoi.
- Demiko Goodman, Soph.
Goodman didn't make any catches last year, but he needs to find
his way into some playing time soon because of his speed.
There's fast, and then there's the world-class wheels that
Goodman has. He was out this spring with a shoulder problem and
soon has to be a factor at split end.
- Mikey Henderson, Jr. - 2 tackles
A defensive back last year, Henderson and his tremendous speed
will get a look at receiver. He should be one
of the team's best special teamers.
- Tight end Tripp Chandler, Soph.
A special teamer so far, the 6-6, 253-pound Chandler is a
good athlete and physical enough to potentially be a solid
blocker. The hope is for him to grow into a good receiver
playing behind Martrez Milner.
Things aren't as bad as they were a few years ago when
almost the entire line had to be replaced after a SEC championship
season, but there's a lot of major holes to be filled losing Max
Jean-Gilles, Dennis Roland and Russ Tanner from the league's best pass
blocking line. Tackle Daniel Inman now
becomes the main man after spending the last few years as a
nice complementary player to the rest of the stars. Guard Nick Jones
will move to center to replace Tanner. The rest of the line won't be bad
as long as Ken Shackleford and Chester Adams can make the transition
from being good reserves to top starters. Developed depth will be an
issue early on.
The key to the unit: Being consistent with all the
new starters. Daniel Inman and Nick Jones have to perform at an All-SEC
level all year long.
Offensive Line Rating: 7.5
- OT Ken Shackleford, Sr.
An excellent reserve over the last three seasons, the 6-5, 315-pound
senior appears ready to go from a top understudy to a reliable starter.
He's a good athlete who has grown into his frame, and now it's his job
to fill in at split tackle for the talented Dennis Roland.
- OG Fernando Velasco, Jr.
Velasco was ready to start last year, but he redshirted after
All-American Max Jean-Gilles came back for his senior year. Now the
315-pound junior has two years to grow into the starting role battling
Zab McKinney for the job. He's known for being one of the team's most
reliable practice players and earned the team's Most Improved Offensive
Lineman award this spring..
- C Nick Jones, Sr.
While he won't win many honors,
Jones is one of the team's best lineman and will be the quarterback of the line moving from his longtime
starting spot at guard to center to use his experience to replace Russ
Tanner. Jones isn't the biggest or the most talented lineman, but he
works his tail off with a motor that's always running.
- OG Chester Adams, Jr.
"The Big Cheese" has been tried out at tackle, but he was used as a
guard to take advantage of his 320 pounds. It'll be his job to be one of
the team's top run blockers at tight guard with the hope that he'll make
the same sort of jump in production and consistency that he made from
2004 to 2005.
- OT Daniel Inman, Sr.
The 6-7, 319-pound senior earned second team All-SEC honors last year
and will be the key player on the line as one of two returning starters.
This will be his fourth year as the starter at tight tackle, but he
needs to be more dominant after years of being steady. He'll have to be
the team's main blocker as the anchor of the line and the one the team
- OG Zeb McKinzey, Jr.
At 285 pounds, McKinzey isn't as big as Fernando Velasco, but he'll get
every chance to see time at the split guard position. After being
injured early in his career, he spent last season deep down on the depth
- OT Michael Turner, Sr.
Turner is the team's most valuable reserve lineman able to play any
position. He's best suited for tackle where he'll start out backing up
Daniel Inman at tight tackle, but he'll play where needed throughout the
- OG Seth Watts, Soph.
Watts is one of the team's most promising young linemen. At 6-4 and 313
pounds, he's one of the biggest backups and he should be used even more
this year at tight guard after being used sparingly as a reserve last