I posted this word-for-word in my Examiner.com piece (CLICK IT!), but I figured it was good and needed to share it here as well. If it sucks, just disregard.
With the surprising announcement that UGA cornerback Asher Allen is departing for the NFL, the scramble has already begun for the Dawgs defense to try and find someone to replace him at the short corner position. The wide corner position will still be held by Prince Miller and Vance Cuff.
Mechele, our Georgia Bulldogs Examiner, has the announcement on Allen's departure, and here you will find a list of potential replacements at his position. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the list is full of inexperience at the position. The year next to the players' names will be their status for the 2010 season.
Current UGA CBs:
Brandon Boykin (So.) -- Boykin is an athletic playmaker who saw the field sparingly for UGA this past year; mainly on special teams. He has good size at 5'10" and even though his weight is only 176 lbs., a year in offseason strength and conditioning should help his frame. He also has great speed and won the Newcomer of the Year Award on defense. He will most likely be first on the depth chart when spring drills arrive.
Sanders Commings (RFr.) -- Commings was redshirted this year but is a large defensive back at 6'0". His drawback is that he weighs almost 210 lbs., which makes him a near lock to be a safety for the Dawgs. Should his speed improve and he drops about 20 lbs. in the offseason, he's not likely to be a replacement.
Makiri Pugh (RFr.) -- Pugh is a very athletic player, but was hampered by injuries for most of the year and was relegated to either sitting out or participating on the scout team. However, his size and frame fit the bill as a potential replacement (6'0" at 188 lbs.). With more reps, he could be a solid contender for playing time.
Baccari Rambo (RFr.) -- Aside from having one of the "cooler" names on the UGA roster, Rambo is an intimidating presence in the secondary. However, he's quite oversized at the position, much like Sanders Commings, at 6'0" and 208 lbs. He ran quarterback on the scout team this past season and redshirted as well. The UGA coaches have praised Rambo's ability to read quarterbacks since it was his position in high school, and like him as an equalizer in the secondary. It's unlikely that he'll move from his listed position as a safety.
Nick Williams (RFr.) -- Yet another redshirt for the Dawgs, Williams played linebacker in high school and that seems to be where he'll end up at UGA unless he improves his top-end speed and learns the cornerback position quickly. However, he is on UGA's roster as a defensive back, so it's possible he'll end up there, but I would say it's not likely whatsoever.
Chad Gloer (RJr.) -- Gloer is very athletic and has until this point, been a force on special teams. He played sparingly against Georgia Tech this past year, but did record a couple of tackles in the contest. He is a walk-on for UGA, but like former walk-on Andrew Williams, he could see playing time due to his time in the system and the fact that plays with a high motor. His time playing the position could lead to some playing time down the road, but most likely not as a starter.
Incoming UGA Recruits:
Branden Smith (Fr.) -- The first name to pop up on everyone's mind upon Allen's decision was that of incoming freshman Branden Smith. Smith is a very talented and very quick cornerback, who makes great plays on the football while in the air. Although he is a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com, it is unlikely that he'll start from day one. He will need to work on his technique some, but it is more probable than possible that he will see the field, especially in nickel defensive schemes.
Jordan Love (Fr.) -- Many consider Love to be a sleeper in this class as Rivals only has him rated as a three-star defensive back. However, Love has the frame (6'0" at 185 lbs.) to be a lockdown corner at some point in his career. He is also very quick; posting a 4.41 40-yard dash. He will have some work to do on his technique, but depending on how he comes into fall camp, he could very well avoid a redshirt and see the field.
Shawn Williams (Fr.) -- At 6'1" and 195 lbs., Williams is a hard-hitter and a great run stopper. He is built in the same mold as former Georgia greats Greg Blue and Thomas Davis. It's possible that he could see the field as a defensive back, but it is almost certain that he will be playing safety in college. He also lacks the top-end speed needed to hold down the short corner position.
Greg Reid (Fr.) -- The formal verbal commitment to the University of Florida, Reid is being heavily pursued by UGA as a cornerback. Once considered to be a Florida lock, Reid is now going to decide which college he is going to on February 3. He's slightly undersized at the cornerback position (5'9") but is close to where he needs to be regarding weight (175 lbs.) and plays much bigger than his body. He won defensive MVP honors at the Under Armor All-American game on ESPN. He is considering UGA, Florida, Alabama and Florida State. Many recruiting analysts think it is a two-team race between UGA an Florida for his signature.
Regardless of who ends up taking Asher Allen's spot on the defense, one thing is for certain, and that is the secondary will be loaded with inexperience next year, especially at the cornerback position.
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