Harmon Moves Over to OL
A.J. Harmon

Posted Sep 23, 2008

ATHENS – Last week, Georgia was battling injuries on its offensive line, and coach Stacy Searels was running low on players during practice. So he looked around the field and grabbed the player who most resembled an offensive lineman – freshman defensive end A.J. Harmon.

The idea wasn’t exactly a revelation. Since he arrived in Athens, observers had thought the 6-foot-5, 330-pound Harmon would have fit well in the offensive trenches, but until last week, it was an experiment that hadn’t been tried.

“We had guys banged up last week and right in the middle of practice, it was kind of like an on-field promotion, on the battlefield,” head coach Mark Richt said of the move. “A couple of guys went down and Coach Searels just grabbed him and said, 'Hey, man, go over there.' ”

Searels told Harmon what to do on each play, and the results were encouraging. Harmon handled pass protection, sealed off a defender and pulled out on a screen with precision, earning high fives from his teammates.

Afterward, Harmon met with Richt to discuss the move.

"He came to me Thursday of last week and said, 'Coach, I'll do whatever you ask me to do' with a good attitude and the right spirit," Richt said. Richt told Harmon a final decision would be made during Georgia’s bye week next week, but the move was so obvious, Richt said, there was no point in delaying the inevitable.

"We ended up having a conversation about it over the weekend and everybody felt like it was the best thing for him," Richt said.

Harmon has yet to play this season, and Richt said he would likely redshirt barring an unexpected injury to one of the starting linemen, but Harmon’s move to offense will be a permanent one.

“We just think it will be in his best interests for his future," Richt said.

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