August 5, 2009

Boling helps Searels toe the line

It appears that Georgia's offensive linemen have gone silent again. That is, with the exception of Clint Boling.

As has been the case for the past three seasons, offensive line coach Stacy Searels - who rarely gives interviews himself - has opted to designate one player to serve as the spokesman for the position.

For the time being, Boling appears to be the man in the spotlight.

To no one's surprise, the junior guards his words well.

When asked about potentially lining up at right tackle after playing most of the year at left following Vince Vance's ACL injury in the Tennessee game, Boling said that's fine with him.

"It's (the move) not bad," he said. "I've played there before, obviously. But whatever Coach Searels wants me to do is OK with me."

Although Boling could not hazard a guess as to what the starting offensive line may look like for the opener against Oklahoma State, Georgia's first two practices have at least offered a few clues.

Trinton Sturdivant back from his season-ending ACL injury and lining up at left tackle, with Vance at left guard, Ben Jones at center, Cordy Glenn at right guard with Boling at right tackle.

Thus far, the second team consists of A.J. Harmon (left tackle), Chris Davis (left guard), Kevin Perez (center), Justin Anderson (right guard) and Casey Nickels (right tackle).

"Coach Searels is going to put the best five out there," Boling said with a shrug.

At least head coach Mark Richt was able offer a bit more insight.

"It's not really settled. If you take Clint Boling, (Trinton) Sturdivant, Anderson, Ben Jones, Cordy (Glenn) and Vince, right now I would say five of those six will be the starters. We have to observe Chris Davis more coming off an injury. The same is true for Trinton and Vince, but I think he's not quite as far along as these other two. We did lose Tanner Strickland which was a shame," Richt said. "Casey Nickels is actually putting himself in a pretty good position to be a reliable guy. I don't know if he will break the starting lineup. A.J. Harmon had a productive spring. From what I see just looking at his body he's really done a good job in that area. He has to continue to get comfortable in that area. Those are some of the names right now. We have a bunch of young guys who are trying to prove that they are ready to play."

That list includes freshman guard Chris Burnette, who at (6-foot-2 and 300) pounds is apparently already making an early impression.

"Chris is a really smart guy. This summer he picked up the offense really well," Boling said. "This year we have a lot of guys with experiences so I don't know if we'll have to rely on him. We'll just have to wait and see."

Boling said having Sturdivant back will certainly be a boon to the well-being of Georgia's offensive line.

A member of the 2007 SEC All-Freshman team, Boling sees no reason why Sturdivant won't be as good as ever.

"Having him back is going to be great. That's another player with playing experience which is big and hopefully he'll be able to pick up where he left off," Boling said. "This summer I thought he looked good. I know he was trying to get his conditioning back and he's done a good job doing that. When we went through our summer drills he looked like his knee didn't bother him at all. Hopefully he'll be able to keep it that way."

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