DB Greg Blue

2004 Statistics

Coach: Mark Richt
42-10, 4 years
2004 Record: 10-2
at South Carolina WON 20-16
at Arkansas WON 20-14
vs. Florida WON 31-24
at Kentucky WON 62-17
at Auburn LOST 6-24
vs. Wisconsin WON 24-21

2004 Final Rankings
AP-7, Coaches-6, BCS-7

2005 Outlook

Everything was in place for a run at the school's first national championship since 1980. Instead, the Bulldogs took a page from the overrated 2003 Auburn squad that had a penchant for flopping in big games. Subdued expectations could help this Georgia team follow the recipe of the undefeated '04 Tigers: A mobile senior QB, a deep backfield and an underrated defense after losing its stars to the NFL. The main difference between the two teams is intangibles.

While talented, even some of Georgia's seniors are relatively inexperienced, none more so than DJ Shockley. His ability to control the clock and master a versatile attack will determine if these Dawgs are worthy of an SEC championship. While conventional wisdom says to break in a new quarterback slowly, Richt needs to open things up and let Shockley loose - he has to, for it is now or never with the struggling QB. With an opening test against surprising power Boise State, it won't take long to find out about the fifth-year senior's poise. Shockley's mediocre past performances should be thrown out the window; he knew he wasn't the team's leader. Renewed confidence and awesome athletic ability will take him from afterthought to dark-horse Heisman contender. The offense should average over 30ppg but, if it fails to by mid-season, Richt's adjustments will make sure it clicks; there's just too many weapons.

That explosiveness will take the pressure off of a defense that won't have to win so many games with an offense playing not to lose - this offensive group will either shred opponents or fail trying. Fans should resign that there will be more turnovers in Sanford Stadium with a young offense. However, this also applies on defense, where an attacking, risk-taking mindset will be a huge improvement over safe play in the secondary. Skill-position question marks make them a long-shot national contender, and they'll likely lose to either Tennessee or Florida, or both. Nevertheless, experienced lines, great coaching and slow, steady improvements will get Georgia to/near the top of the SEC East log-jam by the end. OK, 'Dawg?

Projected 2005 record: 8-3
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: D.J. Shockley, 60-26-1, 464 yds. 4 TD

Rushing: Thomas Brown, 172 att., 875 yds., 8 TD

Receiving: Leonard Pope, 25 rec., 482 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Andy Bailey, 14-20 FG, 36-37 PAT, 78 pts.

Punting: Gordon Ely-Kelso, 53 punts, 40.0 avg.

Kicking: Gordon Ely-Kelso, 53 punts, 40.0 avg.

Tackles: Greg Blue, 80 tot., 64 solo

Sacks: Quentin Moses, 6.5 sacks

Interceptions: Tim Jennings, 2 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Tyson Browning, 17 ret., 15.7 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Thomas Flowers, 16 ret., 15.1 avg., 0 TD


DT Kedric Golston
OFFENSE: David Greene-QB, Jeremy Thomas-FB, Reggie Brown-WR, Fred Gibson-WR
DEFENSE: David Pollack-DE, Arnold Harrison-SLB, Odell Thurman-LB (NFL), Thomas Davis-FS (NFL), Derrick White-LB (dismissed)

If good things come to those who wait, then senior DJ Shockley has a lot to look forward to. After sitting patiently behind the winningest QB in NCAA history, the former Parade all-American finally has a chance to show off his athleticism. Coach Richt has said he'll build the offense around Shockley's versatility, dusting off the "fast break" he implemented at FSU for Charlie Ward. Shockley's arm strength and speed are scary, so expect a healthy dosage of play-fakes, bootlegs and waggles to mix it up and improvise. Shockley's third or fourth option on passes should be to run; otherwise his effectiveness is neutralized. Heavy work in the film room, plus experience, will mean improvement in his reads and up his dismal 45.6% completions. The added awareness will help him exploit any defense that chooses not to spy him at all times. There will be more INTs in Athens than under the savvy Greene, but so too will there be more excitement. Shockley has never wowed on gameday like he does in practice; but after four years as an understudy, expect a monster year. This position will classically dictate the team's fate. Junior Joe Tereshinski edges Blake Barnes as the back-up; nevertheless, it's Shockley's team.

Running Back
After not having a back eclipse 100yds in 2003, sophomore standouts Danny Ware and Thomas Brown did it a combined eight times as they piled up over 1,600yds. Big things are again expected from both; the challenge is balancing the carries as RS sophomore Kregg Lumpkin returns to the fold after an ACL sidelined him all season. Lumpkin and Ware are both powerful, 6'1" backs who run over people. Brown, the team's leading rusher, serves as a shifty, 5'8" change of pace. Brown proved he can not only carry the load, he'll find the endzone despite a lack of size. If egos don't get in the way, the Bulldogs' depth at RB is a problem any coach would love. All will see action, but Ware, though fumble-prone, or Brown could easily become the workhorse with a great spring. Now comfortable with the system, junior Des Williams brings a linebacker mentality to FB. Adding the ground dimension of Shockley and the potential to mix-in options makes this a "3-D" backfield: deep, diverse and dangerous.

Shifting the focus of the Georgia offense to the ground will compensate for graduating two of the SEC's top three receivers. However, there is still just enough playmaking ability at wideout to keep secondaries honest. The burden falls on junior Sean Bailey, who, like Shockley, has posted modest numbers for a blue-chip recruit while waiting his turn. Bulldog fans realize his 53yd catch from Shockley against Georgia Tech is a sign that Bailey can do it all as the "go-to" WR. Senior Bryan McClendon saw his numbers drop in '04, but remains the hardest worker of the bunch. His experience and track-speed help him to work underneath, opening things up for the real speedster, A.J. Bryant (4.3/40). A converted QB, the sophomore surprised coaches with his development before being hobbled by a foot injury. Bryant's raw talent will stretch any defense. A key injury would, however, decimate this thin corps. Expect a newbie to emerge to take the mantle for next year.

Offensive Line and Tight End
The surprise return of dominant OG Max Jean-Gilles (NC.net first-team all-American) only cemented this experienced unit as the Dawgs' strength. Jean-Gilles a physical specimen who's work-ethic ensures that he will be an Outland Trophy favorite. Every starter returns on this group of juniors and seniors that will be that much better in '05. Injuries to guards Josh Brock and Bartley Miller forced Nick Jones into a reshuffled lineup; he responded by being named SEC O-Lineman of the week vs. Kentucky and starting every game. Healthy, the line is two-deep everywhere. At an average of 6'5", 308, they'll be as big as anyone too. Junior OT Daniel Inman is poised for stardom and all-SEC honors, as is TE Leonard Pope. Like Inman, Pope (NC.net first-teamer) is a monster at 6'7". His sticky hands make him the best target in the redzone after averaging a TD per game down the stretch. The line will benefit from Shockley's speed and will therefore be among the best in sacks allowed.

David Greene's poise will be missed, but fans won't be sad to see a more wide-open attack between the hedges. Having Shockley forces Richt to utilize his offensive creativity and take chances. The offense will improve on its mediocre 27.9ppg thanks to a commanding line and an endless stable of young, talented backs. But that improvement will likely be inconsistent, with huge point totals one week offset by frustrating efforts the next that result in UGA's age sometimes being higher than the Georgia point total. Looking at the glass half full, though - play-action will kill opposing defenses that'll have to cheat to contain the speedy Shockley, giving Bailey enough downfield chances to be amongst the SEC's elite receivers. Turnovers will result from inexperience; yet, if they stop settling for FGs in the redzone, this edition will be the most explosive in Athens since 2002.


OT Max Jean-Gilles


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB D.J. Shockley-Sr (6-1, 206) Joe Tereshinski-Jr (6-3, 221)
Blake Barnes-Fr (6-3, 223)
FB Des Williams-Jr (6-1, 260) Brannan Southerland-Fr (6-0, 235)
TB Thomas Brown-So (5-8, 183) Danny Ware-So (6-1, 216)
Kregg Lumpkin-So (6-1, 211)
WR Sean Bailey-Jr (6-1, 175) T.J. Gartrell-So (6-1, 185)
WR Bryan McClendon-Sr (5-11, 184) A.J. Bryant-So (6-2, 195)
TE Leonard Pope-Jr (6-7, 250) Martrez Milner-Sr (6-4, 250)
OT Daniel Inman-Jr (6-7, 328) Ken Shackleford-Jr (6-5, 314)
OG Nick Jones-Jr (6-3, 285) Josh Brock-Jr (6-3, 295)
C Russ Tanner-Sr (6-4, 290) Ryan Schnetzner-Sr (6-3, 300)
OG Max Jean-Gilles-Sr (6-4, 340) Fernando Velasco-Jr (6-4, 320)
OT Dennis Roland-Sr (6-9, 309) Chester Adams-So (6-4, 335)
K Brandon Coutu-So (6-0, 197) Andy Bailey-So (6-2, 216)



Defensive Line
No DE dominated games like the departed David Pollack, but if anyone can come close to his 12.5 sacks and disruptive manner, it's junior Quentin Moses. The former hoops-star bulked up to 250 without losing the quick first step that put him in the SEC's top five in sacks (7.5). His tremendous athleticism will cause havoc in the backfield, but he needs help from Charles Johnson to fence in the QB. The sophomore Johnson impressed in limited action; still, he'll be pushed by a trio of freshmen who form part of Georgia's best-ever d-line class. Returning seniors Kedric Golston and Gerald Anderson shore up the interior. After a shaky start, these big bodies developed aggressive attitudes and learned to handle cut blocks. While a few more TFLs would be nice, they'll plug gaps and keep the Bulldogs near the top of the SEC in rush defense. Fierce spring position battles will strengthen depth on a unit that won't likely lead the SEC in sacks again, but will surprise people.

The fact that Odell Thurman can bolt for the NFL - and that this unit could still be the strength of the defense - is an obvious testament to its depth. During Thurman's suspension, junior MLB Jarvis Jackson averaged seven tackles a game and proved to be a relentless ball-hawk. Jackson could have started on the weak-side if not for Danny Verdun-Wheeler's star-level of play in the big games (nine tackles v. Auburn). Huge things were expected for the junior who, after a slow start, developed into the best returning tackler (with 6.5 for loss). Verdun-Wheeler is endowed with an inexhaustible motor. Senior Derrick White adds similar size and strength on the strong side, as well as the versatility to play any spot. An added boost would be the return of Tony Taylor, the most improved LB before he was sidelined with a knee injury. His cover skills and speed are like having an extra safety at LB. Playing time will be a premium with all the young blue-chip talent; watch for big-hitting RS freshman Josh Johnson.

Defensive Back
The Bulldogs' faith in Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter to step in right away for two senior corners went unrewarded. The mediocre secondary (6th in SEC pass defense) frequently gave up 20+yd passes and now loses their safety blanket, Thomas Davis, to the NFL. The bright side is that the duo proves to be solid tacklers; the downside is that their soft coverage allows receivers to make catches in front of them, leading to those tackles. Both will mature as seniors and play without fear. Their lack of aggressiveness was mind-boggling at times (SEC low five INTs), though Jennings has the makings of a shut-down corner (team-high 11 pass breakups). Minter has zero career picks, so the takeaways must come from senior Greg Blue, whose three forced fumbles shows he can inherit Davis's role as the playmaker. Tra Battle saw time on kick-returns, so clearly he has the speed to be an SEC safety; however, only scheme changes (more press coverage) and a hostile attitude will help this unit catch up to the rest of the defense.

Brian VanGorder has proven to be a defensive mastermind, but even he couldn't figure out how to stop teams from picking on his secondary (ranked 16th nationally for pass defense, but 56th in air-stopping efficiency). Each unit loses its star, so opposing QBs won't have to account for (guys like) Pollack on every play. Still, depth and experience will be better this spring and there are plenty of hungry athletes waiting to step up. The Bulldogs will shuttle in fresh legs all game along the stacked, two and three-deep front seven, meaning they'll again shut down the run throughout all 60 minutes of play. A year for Minter and Jennings will help; yet, the secondary remains the glaring weakness. They'll give up passing yards, but an opportunistic approach will lead to less opponent efficiency. Any way you slice it, one realizes that foes should pass to set up the run. Simply put - with more turnovers (INTs) and less time on the field, low scores will result.


TE Leonard Pope


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Quentin Moses-Jr (6-5, 248) Charles Johnson-So (6-2, 264)
DT Kedric Golston-Sr (6-4, 292) Darrius Swain-Sr (6-2, 330)
NT Gerald Anderson-Sr (6-2, 315) Dale Dixson-Jr (6-2, 306)
DE Will Thompson-Sr (6-3, 254) Ray Gant-Jr (6-2, 277)
SLB Brandon Miller-So (6-4, 238) Danny Verdun Wheeler-Jr (6-2, 245)
MLB Tony Taylor-Jr (6-1, 238) Jarvis Jackson-Jr (6-2, 208)
WLB Danny Verdun-Wheeler-Jr (6-2, 245) Dannell Ellerbe-Fr (6-1, 245)
CB Tim Jennings-Sr (5-8, 178) Paul Oliver-So (6-0, 209)
CB DeMario Minter-Sr (6-0, 198) Thomas Flowers-So (5-10, 197)
ROV Tra Battle-Jr (5-11, 167) Antonio Sims-Fr (6-0, 189)
FS Greg Blue-Sr (6-2, 214) Kelin Johnson-So (6-1, 184)
P Gordon Ely-Kelso-Jr (6-2, 234) Brian Mimbs-Fr (5-11, 200)




RS sophomore Andy Bailey went from Billy Bennett's heir apparent to fighting for his job this spring after an inconsistent stretch run. Bailey has a big leg but was a ho-hum 8-of-13 on FGs beyond 30 yds. He wins the job, but only after Georgia (6th in SEC in FG%) takes a long look at Brandon Coutu (also punts well).

RS junior Gordon Ely-Kelso under-performed after a stellar '03 season with a 35.2 net punting average, second worst in the SEC. His clutch game at Auburn however, reminded everyone that he can be as good as anyone in the SEC. It's his job and he'll be back among the nation's elite in punts inside the 20.

Return Game
Returns were a case of Jekyll and Hyde all season: good on punts returns, but bad on kickoffs (ranked 112th out of 117 teams, and averaging 16.4 on kickoffs won't feed the bulldog/UGA, huh) RS sophomore CB Thomas Flowers led the SEC with a 15.1 avg. on punts, but that will drop only because the burner won't catch people by surprise anymore. Senior Tyson Browning will back him up and take the bulk of the kick-returns; he was the lone bright spot there. Special teams must improve all-around or risk losing those critical close ones Georgia would otherwise win.