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DawgNation Reader Mailbag: Nov. 10

11/11/2011

Welcome to the first DawgNation reader mailbag (at least for team news and opinion. I know Kipp Adams has already handled some recruiting mail).

Radi Nabulsi and I plan to make this a weekly feature on Thursdays, so please feel free to send us your questions at davidchingespn@gmail.com or radinabulsiespn@gmail.com or post them on the DawgNation forum each week for possible inclusion. I’m handling the questions this week and we’ll alternate from now on.

All that said, away we go…

I would like to know why the fullbacks have zero carries this year. We used to run Shaun Chapas and Brannan Southerland a lot.

Rather than share my opinion on this one, I just asked Mark Richt this question for you. After Wednesday’s practice, I asked Georgia's coach whether he believes the role of the fullback has changed in Georgia’s offense. Here is his response in full:

Bruce [Figgins] being a tight end for his whole career, it’s not like he’s been a runner his whole career, so I think he’s a little bit leery of doing that. In hindsight, if I had to redo camp, I probably would have worked harder on Bruce and Zander [Ogletree] with some fullback runs. Even Zander was more of a defensive player coming up, where you’ve got [Fred] Munzenmaier, you’ve got Chapas, those guys were running backs coming up through the ranks and everything. So I think to hand the ball to them, we’ve been a little reluctant to do that. We haven’t been reluctant to throw the ball to them. We’ve done some of the same things we’ve done in the past as far as that’s concerned. But the reality is the fullback position in our system, you’re 80-, 90-percent blocker. That’s what you are and that’s what your job is and you’ll get a few balls thrown to you once in a while. Like you say, in the past you might get some short-yardage or goal-line runs. But it hasn’t really changed other than we just didn’t work it enough with guys that weren’t well-versed at it coming in here.”

Is it now OK for college players to wear gloves that aren’t gray? I thought that was the rule in college, but I’ve noticed some players wearing gloves that match the uniform color this year.

I’ll be honest, this was the first I’d heard of this one. But after discussing it with Mike Bobo and doing a little research, it turns out that you’re exactly right. For several years, players could only wear gray gloves because the NCAA previously believed if they could wear gloves the color of an opponent’s uniform, they would be able to get away with holding penalties more easily.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee repealed the rule in February and now players can wear gloves of any color. And if you look at some of the crazy Nike Pro Combat gear floating around, you'll see players are enjoying their newfound freedom.

I would love some stuff about how much basketball Jay Rome and Nick Marshall are getting to be a part of. Can they play in basketball games during football season? Are the rules/procedures different for Marshall and Rome (considering he is redshirting)?

FRIDAY NIGHT (11/11/11) EDIT: Jay Rome is dressed out for the basketball season opener. Mark Fox said on the pregame show that he's been able to practice with the basketball team in a limited role since he is redshirting. Shows what I get for assuming...

Back to the original response:

The company line when it comes to football players participating in other sports is that football comes first and anything else players do will be as time allows.

In other words, don’t expect a player on a football scholarship to miss anything important to play basketball. Certainly not a fall practice. The player would have to be pretty stinking good to even be allowed to miss spring practices for another sport. So don’t expect for them to do much of anything with the basketball team until football season ends.

I suppose it’s possible that they might play some hoops in December when the football team’s practice schedule lightens for a bit. But otherwise, don’t expect much. If the Bulldogs play in the Jan. 6 Cotton Bowl -- which is what Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards predict in this week’s ESPN bowl projections -- Marshall and Rome wouldn’t be available until the next day, which is also the day of the basketball team’s SEC opener against Alabama.

Any thoughts on our ‘12 secondary? We have to replace Brandon Boykin, but you have to wonder about Bacarri Rambo and Sanders Commings.

Boykin has really been outstanding this season on defense. I have to believe he has helped his draft stock, although I’m sure some teams will still hold his height against him. His departure next year will certainly create a hole, but I think they’ll be OK at cornerback.

I assume you’re implying that Rambo or Commings might leave school early. I haven’t discussed that possibility with them -- and it’s always a possibility -- but I’m operating under the assumption that both will be back as seniors next year, along with Shawn Williams and Branden Smith. If those guys are all back, that’s the foundation for an outstanding secondary. Like one of the better secondaries in the entire country. Even if they lose one of them, I’d be surprised if they lose both.

Damian Swann and Jordan Love have done some good things at cornerback and you’ll have Nick Marshall and Devin Bowman somewhere in the mix next year. Corey Moore would probably be a guy to watch at safety if one of the juniors leaves early. Otherwise, I think they’ll be pretty stacked in the secondary.

If we can land Blake Jackson and Ty Smith at TE to go with Jay Rome, would Mark Richt consider Arthur Lynch for offensive line? Another 20 pounds and he has perfect size.

Lynch is listed at 272, but I’ll bet he’s closer to 260. He’d have to add considerable size to play offensive line -- and I’d imagine if Georgia’s coaches really wanted him to do that, they would have already asked him to do that before now. It’s not like they didn’t know in the spring that they had depth issues at offensive tackle in particular, but Lynch remained at tight end.

Aron White’s a senior and Orson Charles might opt to leave school early, so Lynch and Rome could be a ready-made 1-2 tandem at tight end next year. Both White and Charles are big Lynch fans who seem to think he could do some good things if he gets a shot, and it’s no secret that Rome is a really talented kid.

Also, I think it’s smart to err on the conservative side with either junior college transfers or true freshmen, even if they were to sign Jackson and Smith. I’m not ruling anything out because you never know, and roster dynamics can always change, but I tend to believe they’ll have better options than Lynch available for line depth.