Georgia Football: 5 Offensive Bulldogs Who Are Key to the 2011 Season
Following the first losing season in the Mark Richt era, a lot is riding on the Georgia Bulldogs to turn it around in 2011. They have a fairly easy schedule once you get past the first two games, but there are a few players that are going to have to grow up fast if they want a quick start.
This is a team that has the talent and coaches to make a run at an SEC title, particularly this season with how weak the SEC East looks like it is going to be.
With that said, we have five guys who are really going to have to step up and become playmakers and guys that are just going to have to keep producing at a high level. These guys won't make or break the team, but they can help or hinder us this upcoming season.
Isaiah Crowell, RB
I tried not to put as much pressure on the young man as other fans have, but with our 2009 and 2010 leading rusher Washaun Ealey transferring, it makes the spotlight on Crowell even bigger.
Crowell doesn't have to come in and dominate from the get go. He doesn't have to be a 1,000-yard rusher this season, or even a 750-yard rusher.
What we need from Crowell is for him to show the ability to make plays and keep defenses honest against our run game. He's likely to split carries in some form or fashion with whomever the coaching staff decides needs to help him out (likely Caleb King).
I hate to put any pressure on a guy that hasn't even stepped on the practice field, but he looks like a guy who is going to have to make an impact from the very beginning. Ken Malcome's chances of playing also rose a great deal.
Marlon Brown, WR
Marlon Brown came to Athens a few years ago as a highly-touted recruit with big expectations. So far he hasn't had a ton of playing time to show what he can do, but that is about to change this season.
Brown is our biggest receiver on the team at 6'5", 220 pounds, and his size is going to be very important this season. Tavarres King is the likely No. 1 receiver at this point, but he doesn't have the size that Brown brings to the table.
Brown is a good all-around athlete who should be a mismatch for every corner he lines up against. His time to prove the scouts right is now.
Ben Jones, C
Ben Jones is one of the leaders and captains of this team. He's one of the most emotional players we have on the squad and leaves everything out on the field every time he plays.
Jones is one of the best centers in the country and has a chance to be an All-American in 2011.
Jones is important because he's been starting a long time now and done so very well, and he needs to continue being a vocal leader for this team if they want it to turn around.
Orson Charles, TE
If anybody doubts exactly how good and effective the junior can be in 2011, then they need to go back and watch last year's Florida game. In the game, Charles caught six passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.
He is a constant mismatch for defenses. He has the thick body of a tight end with the athleticism of a wide receiver, even if he's not as fast.
One of the most unstoppable plays the last two years has been a simple post over the middle to Charles, and he and the play were underused in 2010.
Charles was a teammate of quarterback Aaron Murray's back in high school and the two will look to build on the success that they had together last year and expand upon it.
The 2009 Freshman All-American could be looking at an All-American selection this year as well.
Aaron Murray, QB
Could there be anyone else? Murray is not only the offense's most important player, but the team's most important player.
Statistically speaking, Murray put up the best freshman season in Georgia's history. He nearly broke the single season touchdown record and all signs to him owning the entire record book when he gets done at Georgia.
Some fans from other schools are a bit hard on Murray because of the losing record, but I can assure them that he was not at fault, truly anyway, in any of them. Even games where he started poorly, he seemed to get himself under control and started playing much better.
Murray comes into the season as probably the SEC's best quarterback. While some others may put up bigger numbers, I expect Murray to play good enough to put Georgia back on the college football map.