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Draft-eligible Bulldogs to stay for another SEC East run

Brian Linthicum, Bacarri Rambo AP

Tight end Orson Charles announced on Wednesday that he would be leaving Georgia early for the NFL.

Fortunately for the Bulldogs and their hopes of a repeat divisional crown, Charles is the only underclassmen making the early leap.

At a press conference Friday, Mark Richt and several draft-eligible underclassmen — safety Bacarri Rambo, cornerbacks Branden Smith and Sanders Commings, running back Carlton Thomas and linebacker Cornelius Washington among them — announced that the players will be returning for another season in Athens.  Suffice to say, Richt was very pleased with the development.

“Today is great day for Georgia,” Richt said. “We have a lot of good news today. Quite a few guys submitted papers for the draft to see if it was time to make the decision to fulfill their dream of playing in the NFL. These men decided to stay at Georgia. This group of players has tremendous leadership and talent and has played some tremendous football in the Southeastern Conference. I am thrilled that they have made this decision.”

Rambo, Smith, Commings and Washington were or will be starters, while Thomas finished second in rushing.  Additionally, All-American LB Jarvis Jones, who’s a sophomore football-wise but would’ve been eligible for early entry into the NFL, announced previously that he would return for another year.

That means 10 of the 11 defensive starters listed on UGA’s pre-SEC championship game depth chart will return, as will second-team All-SEC quarterback Aaron Murray and leading rusher Isaiah Crowell.

Add it all up and UGA could very well find itself inside the preseason Top 10 and the front-runner for a second straight SEC East title.  According to the juniors, that’s exactly why they returned.

“Every man in this room came to Georgia with dreams and goals of winning championships,” Commings said. “That is the reason that I decided to stay here at Georgia. With the leadership in this room we realized that the opportunity of achieving those dreams are great and I am excited to be able to be a part of it.”

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6 Responses to “Draft-eligible Bulldogs to stay for another SEC East run”
  1. kcrobert10 says: Jan 13, 2012 7:56 PM

    Can’t wait to welcome u boys to the zou in Sept….

  2. newguy3 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:07 PM

    “Quite a few guys submitted papers for the draft to see if it was time to make the decision to fulfill their dream of playing in the NFL. These men decided to stay at Georgia.” = eligible but not likely draftable. Nice spin Richt.

  3. woebegong says: Jan 14, 2012 4:59 AM

    Let’s see, with the exception of one junior, we will have the rest back, and the 4th ranked defense in the country, will still be in place almost all of the way. We got a 4 star runner verbally committed and now have a back field, albeit young, consisting of two five stars and one, 4 star, and two others that can tote the rock. We signed a 5 star DE/LB four days as well. All together we capped off quite a week.
    I think every Friday should be the 13th.

  4. globeflyer says: Jan 14, 2012 8:39 AM

    UGA always has some great talent; this may be the season where Richt has to “take it to the next level” or even his supporters may start to squirm. (This post is not about his character.) They have one of the easiest schedules in the conference, with the most talent in their division and, arguably, the SEC. He has shown that he can recruit and now, I think, has to produce a season that doesn’t end with underachievement. That has eluded him in recent years. How long will the Dawg Nation “settle”????

  5. woebegong says: Jan 14, 2012 9:08 AM

    You are right. UGA has a very favorable schedule and is loaded at almost every position. The toughest game, we will most likely play will be in the SEC championship game, if all goes as anticipated.
    I think, if UGA gets away from playing so conservatively, we will be in excellent shape. The OC will have to change his ways though and that is a big concern. I think if he calls the game plays the way he did last year, he will be out as a OC. He makes the defense have to play to preserve a small lead and they shouldn’t be expected to play a whole game, when the offense goes into the protection, conservative mode after 30 minutes. Coach Richt will have to work more closely with the offense this year, if Bobo continues that trend. Coach Richt is a great recruiter that the players like and parents want their kids to play under, so I don’t see him being fired anytime soon. His value, due to his outstanding character and morals, goes much farther than just the football team. He is a rock solid ambassador for the whole university.

  6. jonkybon says: Jan 14, 2012 1:58 PM

    Dear Coach Richt,

    You have the talent to return the team to the prominance of the Hershall Walker days. A National Championship is within reach, esp if Alabama hires Brian Schottenheimer as OC.

    Please for the love of God hire a special teams coach. Your approach of having the different coaches take turns each week is a recipe for disaster. HIRE A SPECIALIST! And since I’m asking for a pipe dream, get someone other than Bobo to call the offensive plays…

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