GAINESVILLE, Ga.–Georgia has lost another offensive lineman.
Offensive tackle A.J. Harmon is transferring for ‚Äúpersonal reasons,‚Äù the school said this afternoon.
Harmon, who was a candidate to start at right tackle, is the second offensive tackle lost since early April. Starter Trinton Sturdivant sustained his third torn ACL of his collegiate career during spring practice.
‚ÄúThe good news is I think we‚Äôve got enough guys that can line up and play football at a very high level,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said before speaking at ‚ÄúUGA Day,‚Äù at the Gainesville Civic Center. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôd like to have more depth by now. You‚Äôd like to have more guys kind of waiting in the wings for their opportunity.‚Äù
Harmon did not make the trip to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl game in December because he was academically ineligible for the game. The announcement of his transfer comes the day after Richt said final grades from the spring semester were to be posted.
Richt said he did not expect anymore attrition after the transfers of Harmon and tailback Washaun Ealey.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI expect everybody to be here in the fall.‚Äù
Richt would not shed any more light on the reason behind‚Äôs Harmon departure.
‚ÄúNo, that‚Äôs kind of why you say personal reasons because it‚Äôs personal,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs all I can tell you about that one. ‚Ä¶I wish him the best. He‚Äôs a good kid.‚Äù
Richt might have already been bracing for the departure of Harmon when he said last week in Greenville, S.C, at another spring speaking stop that senior Justin Anderson was the projected right tackle and that Harmon was a backup at right and left tackle.
Georgia‚Äôs starting offensive line now would be Anderson at left tackle, Chris Burnette at right guard, Ben Jones at center, Kenarious Gates at left guard and Cordy Glenn at left tackle.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to be an opportunity for someone else,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúWe have confidence that Justin and Cordy can play tackle. We believe that Kenarious Gates can play tackle.‚Äù
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Harmon played in seven games at Georgia‚Äîall in lopsided victories. He was a Parade All-American out of Jefferson County High School.
‚ÄúI have no clues what his plans are,‚Äù said J.B. Arnold, who coached Harmon at Jefferson County and spoke to him last week. ‚ÄúHe basically just called and told me he was leaving the program and that‚Äôs basically all he had time to tell.‚Äù
Georgia‚Äôs depth at offensive tackle now includes Brent Benedict and Austin Long, two highly regarded tackles in high school that are coming off significant injuries.
Benedict is returning from a serious knee injury sustained in high school. He practiced this spring after sustaining a torn ACL and nerve damage.
Richt said ‚Äúthe jury is still out Austin Long right now just because of the injuries and the lack of productivity to this point. I‚Äôm not sure that we can say that he‚Äôs ready to play.‚Äù Long underwent back surgery after arriving to campus and sustained a slight tear to his pectoral muscle this spring, Richt said
Richt said coaches ‚Äúare gaining confidence,‚Äù in Kolton Houston, a redshirt freshman from Buford.
If Glenn or Anderson got injured and Gates had to move to tackle, Houston would be the ‚Äúnext guy inside.‚Äù
Incoming freshmen Watts Dantzler and Zach DeBell are projected at offensive tackle.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt really want to rely on the freshmen if we don‚Äôt have to,‚Äù Richt said.
–Richt said that Georgia hopes to sign ‚Äúat least five or six‚Äù offensive linemen in its 2012 signing class.
–The team is not planning to sign a quarterback, but also wasn‚Äôt planning to in 2010 when it signed Huston Mason.
‚ÄúAt this moment, the plan is not to. But the year we signed Huston we had the same thoughts but Logan (Gray) was kind of like (talking) about a position change. If something change
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