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Georgia Preview 2006 - Offense
Georgia Bulldogs
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 8, 2006


Georgia Bulldogs Preview 2006 - Georgia Bulldog Offense

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 starters. 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 ropes.

Returning Leaders
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 Joe Tereshinski
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

Quarterbacks
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 experience.
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

Projected Starter
- 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.

Top Backups
- 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 few years.
- 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 starters.

Running Backs
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

Projected Starters
- 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.

Top Backups
- 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 three backs.
- 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 UL Monroe.
- 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 blocker.

Receivers
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 solid receiver.
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

Projected Starters
- Mohamed Massaquoi, Soph. - 38 catches, 505 yds, 13.3 ypc, 2 TD
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 this year.

- Kenneth Harris, Soph. - 11 catches, 216 yds, 19.6 ypc, 1 TD
The physical 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.

Top Backups
- 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 West Virginia.
- 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.

Offensive Linemen
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

Projected Starters
- 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 runs behind.

Top Backups
- 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 chart.
- 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 year.
- 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 year.

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