This week saw the dawgs celebrate the return of 2 players to the team in Branden Smith and Dexter Morant, and we are certainly happy to have both of them back. They will hopefully be a big part of a sucessful season for the dawgs this year. But its 3 more players that we want to talk about returning that may have just as big of an impact. 3 players are returning from injury that were sorely missed in the 2009 season.
Bruce Figgins- Tight End
While Bruce hasn't been a big threat to go out in pass routes and catch passes over his career, all of his catches have been big ones, including a TD against Oklahoma State in the 2007 season opener between the hedges. He injured his shoulder in the 2008 season, but decided to keep playing until the season was over due to the need for better run blocking from the tight end position and lack of depth. While the 2009 season saw the emergence of depth at tight end, there is no doubt his leadership and run blocking ability were sorely missed throughout the season, while the running game tried to find its legs and consistency. Having Figgins back in the lineup along with Aaron White, Orson Charles, and Arthur Lynch will give the bulldogs 4 tight ends and will open up many possibilities for Mike Bobo's offense and for redshirt freshman Aaron Murray to have at their disposal.
Trinton Sturdivant- Offensive Tackle
When Sturdivant went down in 2008 before the season even began, it seeemed to set off a chain reaction of injuries that the bulldogs would never recover from. By the time it was over, more than 20 players had been lost for the season. This process would only be too familiar to Sturdivant as he would once again tear his ACL in the other knee in 2009 and be lost for yet another season. While the Offensive Line did find their consistency toward the end of 2009, having the big man back and healthy will provide much needed depth on a line of veteran blockers that will afford each to play and be fresh. Having the 2007 SEC All-Freshman team member back will indeed be a "luxury" according to the coaches. The importance of his return, and feeling good after his first live action in a year following this past weeks scrimmage cannot be understated. Georgia needs Trinton Sturdivant healthy and on the field.
Kris Durham- Wide Receiver
At what seems to be Georgia's thinnest area on the depth chart, there comes a little bit of help.
It seems Kris Durham has been at Georgia forever. He caught his first pass in the 2006 season opener against Western Kentucky on a pass thrown by true freshman Matthew Stafford. His return will not only add back some depth, but will also add in veteran leadership, and knowledge of the offense that can only benefit a freshman QB in Aaron Murray. At 6'5 and 211 lbs, Durham adds the size to go up and get a pass, but also he has the speed to catch the deep pass, as well as turn a short gain into bigger yardage. He did show signs of being a "go to" receiver in this years spring game with a TD catch to put his team ahead. Look for big things out of Kris Durham in the offense in 2010.
With no other starters being replaced other than QB, the entire Offensive Line returning, as well as all receivers and running backs, the addition of these 3 players are going to be a HUGE plus as Aaron Murray gets his feet wet, and is set to run the Georgia offense.