Glenn’s return pays off for Dogs’ offense

Cordy Glenn is a large man of few words who has quietly made his impact felt on Georgia’s offensive line the last four seasons.

“A lot of the guys call him ‘Big Smooth’ just because he’s so laid back,” offensive guard Chris Burnette. “He’s not the loudest guy, but at the same time everybody loves him.”

The 6-foot-5, 337-pound senior will line up in Sanford Stadium for the final time Saturday against Kentucky in the No. 13 Bulldogs’ home finale.

It will be his team-high 44th straight start and the 47th of his career. However, even for this momentous occasion Glenn declined to be interviewed.

That doesn’t mean his story should be ignored.

After weighing a jump to the NFL after last season, Glenn has helped pave the way for the SEC’s No. 2-rated total offense for a team currently on an eight-game winning streak and a victory away from a spot in the SEC championship game.

“It’s been great,” said his father, Cordy Glenn Sr. “I’m glad he came on back for his senior year. That was a decision that he had to make. Me and his mother gave him our advice, but the final decision was his. I believe he made the right decision.”

Glenn started every game at left guard as a junior before debating whether to turn pro last winter. Glenn and his father spoke with Georgia coach Mark Richt and then offensive line coach Stacy Searels about wanting Glenn to play some tackle this season before he made the decision to return.

“We thought he could help even more at tackle,” Glenn Sr. said.

Glenn returned with a $1 million insurance policy in case of a career-ending injury.

He was already getting practice work at left tackle this spring under new offensive line coach Will Friend before Trinton Sturdivant was lost for the season with the third major knee injury of his career.

Glenn has started every game this season at the all-important spot, where he protects quarterback Aaron Murray’s blindside, which seems to have helped his NFL draft stock.

He is rated as the No. 16 overall prospect by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who calls Glenn a “really experienced player whose best strength is his versatility.”

Glenn had a rough showing against Boise State in a 35-21 season-opening loss, a game in which Murray was sacked six times.

“He struggled,” Glenn Sr said. “That was his first game at tackle in a while and I don’t think he realized how quick those guys were at that end compared to playing on the inside at guard. He’s gotten better each week and right now he looks very comfortable.”

Center Ben Jones said that Glenn, who played four games at left tackle as a sophomore, told players on the line that he let them down and it wouldn’t happen again.

“Cordy’s increased his abilities ever since that first game,” Murray said. “He’s really grown into that position and done an unbelievable job.”

Offensive line coach Will Friend said Glenn, a game captain four times this season, has improved as the year has progressed after not playing well at left tackle in the first few games.

“It is different,” Richt said. “Cordy is a big strong guy and he is very athletic. When you play guard, it is a smaller space. You’re not dealing in pass protection quite as much.”

Said Friend: “He’s gotten more comfortable at that position. I think his goals to come back were to beat Florida and to win a championship, and he’s doing everything he can to get that done.”

Glenn had gone 0-3 against Florida before the Bulldogs left Jacksonville with a 24-20 win this time.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Jones said, “and I’m glad for him and me to turn this season around and go out like this as seniors.”

Glenn started playing football in the eighth grade, but Glenn Sr., wanted his son, Cordy II, also to play basketball.

After all, Glenn Sr. was a 6-5, 220-pound second-team all-conference power forward in the last 1970s at Louisiana-Lafayette. He was a teammate with Andrew Toney, who became an all-star with the Philadelphia 76ers.

So Cordy reluctantly played basketball his freshman and sophomore years, something that his father said he thought would help him with his footwork for the Riverdale High football team.

“He’s faster than you might think,” his father said. “He’s a big guy, but he moves really well.”

That skill-set and the versatility to play guard or tackle could mean he’ll stick around for a long time on the next level. Richt said Glenn has proved “he could be athletic enough to play on the edge, too, in the best league in college football.”

“I think he’ll be a guy that will play a long time in the NFL,” Friend said.

If that’s the case, the player that Murray calls “really chill” will make noise in his own way.

“You’re not going to see Cordy rah-rah and getting everyone juiced up,” Murray said. “Cordy goes out there, he works hard and does his thing.”

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@JeffSchultzAJC @SethEmerson @BizWriterKristi Less than 3 weeks until basketball opener. Not that we are counting down.

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