Russ Tanner and Randall Swoopes entered spring practice gunning for the starting center spot. By the time spring practice ended Swoopes was gone and Nick Jones was fighting it out with Tanner for the number one spot.
Mark Richt said that Swoopes no longer “wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog” the day after the former lineman left the team. Shortly after that Swoopes was arrested. It was his second and final chance with Richt. He will not return to the team again.
His departure, at the least, leaves a void in terms of depth at center. Tanner and Jones both had a good spring but neither locked down the starting spot which means that both are going to have to improve to take over that starting spot for good.
Richt said that some other players could play center in the future if an emergency warranted it. But for the time being it appears that Jones and Tanner will spilt time at center in the fall.
Keys to this position:
Georgia really needs to decide which of these two players is going to take the reigns for the season because the player that does not start will be an asset at another spot on the offensive line.
Depth chart shuffle:
Swoopes is gone for good and it looks like a 3rd center will have to be added to the depth chart. Michael Turner, Trey Chandler, or Zeb McKinzey could get a look at 3rd string center.
Look for Jones to take over the staring role because Tanner can be used as a utility player on the offensive line. Georgia needs its offensive line to play much better in 2004 if they plan on contending for championships.