GAINESVILLE, Ga.–Georgia has lost another offensive lineman.
Offensive tackle A.J. Harmon is transferring for “personal reasons,” 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.
“The good news is I think we’ve got enough guys that can line up and play football at a very high level,” coach Mark Richt said before speaking at “UGA Day,” at the Gainesville Civic Center. “You’d like to have more depth by now. You’d like to have more guys kind of waiting in the wings for their opportunity.”
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.
“I don’t,” Richt said. “I expect everybody to be here in the fall.”
Richt would not shed any more light on the reason behind’s Harmon departure.
“No, that’s kind of why you say personal reasons because it’s personal,” Richt said. “That’s all I can tell you about that one. …I wish him the best. He’s a good kid.”
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’s 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.
“It’s going to be an opportunity for someone else,” Richt said. “We have confidence that Justin and Cordy can play tackle. We believe that Kenarious Gates can play tackle.”
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Harmon played in seven games at Georgia—all in lopsided victories. He was a Parade All-American out of Jefferson County High School.
“I have no clues what his plans are,” said J.B. Arnold, who coached Harmon at Jefferson County and spoke to him last week. “He basically just called and told me he was leaving the program and that’s basically all he had time to tell.”
Georgia’s 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 “the jury is still out Austin Long right now just because of the injuries and the lack of productivity to this point. I’m not sure that we can say that he’s ready to play.” Long underwent back surgery after arriving to campus and sustained a slight tear to his pectoral muscle this spring, Richt said
Richt said coaches “are gaining confidence,” 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 “next guy inside.”
Incoming freshmen Watts Dantzler and Zach DeBell are projected at offensive tackle.
“I don’t really want to rely on the freshmen if we don’t have to,” Richt said.
–Richt said that Georgia hopes to sign “at least five or six” offensive linemen in its 2012 signing class.
–The team is not planning to sign a quarterback, but also wasn’t planning to in 2010 when it signed Huston Mason.
“At 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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