Monday, June 27, 2011

UGA's Top Ten

Yet another list about college football, but who can blame us. We are desperate for football season so until then, we'll analyze and bs our way through a ridiculously hot summer in GA. Matt took a look at Notre Dame's top 10 players last week, I'll take a shot at picking a top ten for UGA today. Feel free to chime in, this is just how I see it.

1. Aaron Murray - Quarterback, RFr.
As expected, the team goes by how it's QB play goes and thankfully, UGA has a star in it's QB Aaron Murray. As a freshman, he passed for 3,049 yards with 24 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. That amounted to a QB rating of 154.5. Murray ran for an additional 167 yards and 4 scores. All of this put him at the top of the QBs for the SEC and in the top 10 QBs in the country as a Redshirt Freshman. Not to mention, he did this behind a suspect O-line. Murray is a QB to build your team around. Plain and simple, the kid is a winner and he takes #1 for UGA's most important player.

2. the Nose - Kwame Geathers (RSo.) and John Jenkins (RSJr.)
The most important part of a 3-4 defense is the Nose Guard. Without a quality Nose to pull double teams consistently and triple teams occasionally, the Linebackers get pulled into the run game every single down leaving the pass protection to be suspect. The key to the 3-4, surprise, and without that Nose, the surprise is non existent. This year, UGA is blessed with two huge men to step in and take over the Nose. Look for John Jenkins to have an instant impact and free up both ends and the linebacking corps to wreak havoc in the opponent's backfield. When you're thinking of Jenkins, think Terrence Cody, but without the blubber. When Jenkins needs a breather, look at Geathers to step up and play the same hard nose, no bs, game. He was a huge get as a recruit and apparently the mention of him losing his starting spot has lit a fire under his behind. Don't be surprised to see them both line up in a 4-3 on occasion or have John Jenkins as a fullback in a power I or goal line set. He was a running back, yes a 340lb running back, out of high school and in JUCO. Both of these men should be able to handle a double team and triple team. These dawgs are ready to eat for sure. I personally feel a bit sorry for Thomas Byrd, the Boise State center, who will have to handle these guys come the kick off in the Dome. Good luck Mr. Byrd, please don't get hurt too bad.

3. Orson Charles - Tight End, Junior
OC has been a nightmare for defenses since middle school. The guy is the best Tight End in the conference and probably the best Tight End in the country. He's averaged 16.25 yards per catch in his career. The only complaint, the Dawgs haven't gotten him the ball enough. Look for OC to be Murray's go to receiver. While his season high was 422 yards with 2 TDs, look for Charles to have a monster year with at least 600 yards and 6 TDs. OC had the talent to play in the NFL last year, I doubt he'll pass up the money this year, assuming we still have an NFL. The only reason he is not ranked #2 on my list is that the Nose Guard position is more critical to the play of the team.

4. Alec Ogletree - Sophmore, Inside Linebacker
Ogletree was a 5 star signee from Newnan in 2010 and was the highlight of the recruiting class. Though he only made 29 tackles last season, he didn't disappoint. Ogletree may have the most talent on the field for the Dawgs. At 6'3 and 224lbs, it's hard to imagine him running at you with 4.6 speed, but that's just how Ogletree rolls. The kid is an absolute monster and will be switching from the starting Safety spot he earned as a true freshman to starting at ILB, his more natural position. Look for him to jam the line in run coverage and have the size, speed, and strength to play a good cover in pass coverage. Ogletree will be an All SEC performer again this year and will probably make an All American team as well. The UGA 'backers are going to be fast and are going to hit you hard. I'm personally excited to see how having a true Nose will free these guys up to do some damage all over the field.

5. Caleb King - Senior, Running Back
Want to name the last running back who came to UGA with as much hype as Caleb King? If you guess Herschel Walker, which you probably didn't, you're right. King's story has been one of disappointing year after disappointing year. After sitting behind Moreno, King was poised to break out and be the lead dog that UGA has been missing since number 34 graced Sanford Stadium. If you want to see some impressive high school highlights, King routinely makes defenders look silly in space, finds holes that seem to be closed, and show that he has all the talent in the world. If you want to talk about actual stats, King only scored 2 TDs last year, but averaged 5.4 yards per carry. That's not bad for a "disappointment". His sophomore season, King averaged 5.2 yards per carry so he's shown when he gets the ball, he can make something happen. The last few years, King has shown that his lack of focus and lack of maturity have gotten the better of him. This year is his final year to show he wasn't over hyped and to prove to the NFL that he can make it. Personally, I believe in him. With the incoming phenom, Isaiah Crowell, King will have to be special to get his carries. From what I've seen this summer, he is doing everything in his power to make sure he puts forth the effort to perform and to help the next in line take over the reigns and turn UGA back into Running Back U. If the O-line can hold a block, look for Caleb to have a great senior season and get a shot to perform on Sundays.

6. Brandon Boykin - Senior, Defensive Back
Boykin is the most explosive kick returner in college football. He has track speed and a nose for finding a hole. As a DB, he hasn't developed into the shut down corner that he was projected to be, but the talent is there. I'm looking for Boykin to have some pressure taken off of him by the guys up front and for him to double his INT total from last year from 3 to 6. Watch out if he does get his hands on the ball, it will probably be going to the house. One more kick off return of 100 yards and he'll set the NCAA record with 4 in a career. Look for it to happen early in the season. This kid is absolutely electric to watch and is already the UGA leader in kick return yards in a career with 1,813. Look for 800 more this season.

7. Tavarres King - Junior, Wide Receiver
Want to talk about pressure? How does anyone step up to the plate and replace AJ Green. Nothing against TK, or anyone else, but unless TO has a few years of eligibility and a time machine, no one will step up and be AJ. TK is faced with the task of doing the best he can. He's fast, he's got good hands, he can jump, he has good body control, and he's hungry. I'll take it. TK was a highly rated recruit who hasn't disappointed, but hasn't stepped out of AJ's shadow. Here's his chance. Last season, TK caught 27 passes for 504 yards, that's 18.7 yards per catch. He only reeled in 3 TDs, but you can bet that number will change this year. If TK can polish his routes and prove to be as reliable as MoMass was a few years ago, I'll take him as our number 1. I've already talked about how Charles is likely to see double the production of the past two years, look for TK to not get many double teams and be looked to by Murray quite a bit this year. My prediction, 700 yards, 4 TDs and a solid #1 guy for this year and next.

8. Jarvis Jones - RJn. , Outside Linebacker
Jones is a beast who looks like the Predator and may be meaner, what do you want me to say? He's going to fill the spot vacated by the UGA sack leader from 2010, Justin Houston. Many say he's better than Houston ever will be. I believe it. Houston was a pass rush specialist, Jones is just a freak athlete with a nose for football. He was a top talent coming out of Georgia when he chose the University of Spoiled Children over UGA and he's a top talent and a great pick up to help lead this 3-4 defense. Talk about surprising, wait to see a QB look like a deer in the headlights when this kid is coming at him full speed. What makes Jones better than Houston is that like Ogletree, Jones is very fast and very athletic. He's not just a pass rusher. Jones can cover a guy in space which he proved at Southern Cal before his neck injury. Look for Jones to be an All SEC performer.

9. Christian Robinson - Junior, Inside Linebacker
I picked Robinson here not because of talent, but because of how important he is to his team. Robinson is smarter than people give him credit for. Coach Grantham trusts him to captain the D, I have got to go with Grantham and give him the nod. With only 40 tackles and 2 sacks last year, that may not change much for this ILB, but where he becomes valuable is changing the blitz at the line, picking up on blocking schemes, directing the D to the gaps, reading coverage, and making the game plan work. Robinson is your QB of the D and he's a stand up kid who is working his butt of to constantly improve. I am not a doubter at all. This kid is tough, he plays with a fire, and he's ready to put UGA backers back on the map.

1o. Bacarri Rambo - Junior, Safety
Look, the kid's name is Rambo, how could I leave him off? 72 Tackles, 3 Forced Fumbles, and 3 Interceptions will help you get included on this list. Rambo is the closest to a sure thing at safety that UGA has and he's not a bad option to have in the backfield. Rambo is probably the teams hardest hitter as evidenced when he hit a kid so hard in the Auburn game as a freshman, he knocked himself out. Rambo reminds me of a Thomas Davis or Greg Blue in terms of the impact on an opposing player's body. Rambo is going to have a big year and like Boykin, he's going to be helped out by a nasty D-line.

Just Missed the Cut - The "Dream Team", not sure how to seperate them, but these kids are old school UGA and that's a damn good thing. I can't wait for these pups to step up. Richard Samuel, RJn. LB, Deangelo Tyson, Senior, DE, Jakar Hamilton, Senior, DB.

Wisconsin might have just won the Big Ten Title with the incoming transfer of Russell Wilson

If you are a Badger fan you should have a smile on your face today. Not just a little smile but one of those big, shit eating grins you see Yankees fans sporting every offseason when they just sign every possible free agent. The reason you should be smiling is because NC State QB Russell Wilson has decided to transfer to Madison.

Wilson is an All-ACC quarterback who has passed for 8545 yards and 76 touchdowns in three seasons in Raleigh. Today he will announce on ESPN's "College Football Live" that he will be playing for Wisconsin immediately. He has one year of football eligibility left and since he already graduated from NC State he can play for any FBS program immediately without having to sit a year.

Landing a QB with the talents of Wilson is huge for Wisconsin. The Badgers are coming off a Big Ten title that saw them lose a close one to TCU in the Rose Bowl last year. The quarterback position for the Badgers looks to be relatively weak and Wilson should be the starter. Wilson is also a baseball player and has agreed to leave the Colorado Rockies A ball affiliate in order to play one more season of college football.

At this point Wilson will need to beat out Jon Budmayr for the starting position come fall. With Wisconsin running a pro-style offense similar to the one the Wolfpack ran I don't see that being a problem for Wilson. With the addition of Wilson I think the Badgers are the favorite to win the Big Ten. They still have to replace some key players on both sides of the line but you know head coach Bret Bielema will have the Badgers geeked up for another run for the Roses.