Mark Richt was once known for being fiercely loyal to his senior players. It was the natural order of things that if a guy was patient, he would eventually get his opportunity to start—no matter what.
Well, enter Knowshon Moreno who saw his first year at Georgia as a redshirt when it was clear he should have been a starter.
Moreno's later success proved to coach Richt that not every guy needs to see a redshirt season. Some are special right out the gate and if the spring drills prove to be fruitful for a player, then he should get a shot under the lights.
No need to save him for another day and waste his talent.
That's not to say that the head coach at Georgia doesn't still give his seniors first dibs at a starting gig, but it does mean that he is a lot less likely to overlook a talented freshman when it is clear he can make a major contribution to the team.
This season has seen a number of freshman get playing time: Branden Smith, Rantavious Wooten, Arthur Lynch, and Carlton Thomas just to name a few.
However, the biggest impact has come from the talented tight end out of Florida, Orson Charles, who has quietly and impressively become the go-to guy for Joe Cox when he needs to pick up a first down.
Teams utilizing the cover two defense will find themselves eaten up by the Cox to Charles connection as the young playmaker has made a living thus far on balls thrown into that soft spot in the middle that is typically left by the cover two defense.
He's sure-handed, fast, and has made sure that whenever his number is called, he's been equal to the task. By doing so, he has inspired the confidence of his coaches and the support of the fans.
So far, this season, Charles stands only behind sophomore sensation A.J. Green in yards gained, as he already has six catches for 146 yards (a staggering 24.3 yards per catch average).
If Orson continues to remain a fixture in the lineup he will be on pace to have nearly 600 yards of offense for the tight end position by the end of the year and, considering the recent production drought at that spot, that will be one heck of an improvement.
As the season wears on, expect more teams to take notice of this young star in the making as it has become clear that Joe Cox is not afraid to target him in key situations—at 6'3", 230 pounds, he shouldn't be too hard to miss but he won't be very easy for a defender to bring down either.
Orson Charles is clearly a rising star at Georgia; one that we can be glad to be seeing sooner rather than later.