2005 Fall Camp: Three Big Questions

D.J. Shockley

ATHENS – Georgia was expecting a run at the national title this time last season. Now the Bulldogs enter 2005 with several questions. Here are the three biggest questions coming into Georgia's fall camp.

1. Who will be named the starting running back?

With the stable of running backs Georgia has, Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware, its going to be hard to know early in camp which player will end up as the starter. Georgia will likely use multiple backfield formations to take advantage of the skill of their three primary tailbacks. But the odds-on favorite to be the number one running back by the end of August is Brown.

Brown came on at the end of 2004, and appears to be a more complete running back right now. He also does not have nagging injuries to deal with, and that should be enough to list him at the top of the depth chart when the season starts. However, Lumpkin, who might be underrated at this point, and Ware, who might be used at fullback some this season, both have the potential to start at tailback and have 1,000-yard seasons.

2. Will the defense stay healthy?

Every season at least one player, usually a starter, gets hurt during fall camp. That could be very difficult for the Bulldogs' defense to deal with. Sure, the defense has talented, perhaps All-SEC type players at all levels of the defense. But there are real depth problems at tackle and linebacker.

Georgia can not afford to lose any more players than the off-season has already cost them. Two linebackers were thrown off the team, which leaves that spot a bit thinner than the coaching staff would like. At tackle, the two starters produce, but behind them is a bunch of inexperience and youth – not a good combination. Staying healthy on defense should be priority number one this August.

3. How will the team respond to D.J. Shockley?

He's now the man – Shockley will lead the Dawgs in 2005. The team followed him this spring and through the heat of summer workouts. Now the true test comes – the pressure of preparing for a difficult opening game and a conference opener the week after that.

Shockley has been the leader of the team for almost seven months now – the response to him during fall camp should be positive. But reinforcing his leadership and hard-working traits this August will help squash any doubt about his ability to guide this team.

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