Formerly an offensive tackle, Anderson played in all 13 games, including five starts last season.
Despite Anderson’s experience on offense, the decision was made to move him the defensive line.
“His strengths are that he’s big, strong, quick, powerful,” Richt said. “In this [3-4 defensive] scheme he is the type of body that we think can help us at that nose position.”
Anderson is sidelined for spring practice, out with an injured shoulder. Richt first thought of the move when Todd Grantham was initially hired as defensive coordinator. But because of the injury, Richt was worried about Anderson missing time.
“Because he couldn’t practice I didn’t know if it was worth trying to move him,” Richt said. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized it might be in his best interest, and in our best interest too.”
Richt listed at least five players, not counting incoming freshman, who can play the offensive tackle position, making the switch easier to make. The change has been made, but if an injury were to crop up along the offensive line, Anderson has been told he could be asked to move back.
“I know he’s been told if they have some injuries on the offensive line, they’ll move him back,” said defensive line coach Rodney Garner.
Out, but not for long
Junior running back Caleb King missed practice Tuesday with a stomach illness.
King was sick over the weekend, and thought he’d be able to go full speed in practice, but after lunch it was clear he was not ready.
Receiver Marlon Brown also missed practice, nursing a bruised shoulder. The injury occurred Saturday, and Brown initially thinking he wouldn’t miss any time. But he was held out Tuesday, with hopes he’d be back soon.
"Marlon should be able to practice in a green [non-contact] jersey Thursday and Friday,” Richt said.
The receiving corps was especially thin, as Israel Troupe did not participate Thursday, out with a sore hamstring. He remained to the side during most drills, wearing a green non-contact jersey.
Richt said he expects the junior back on the field soon.
Commings gunning for the nickel
Sanders Commings is ready to take his game to the next level.
The redshirt sophomore appeared in every game last season, making 12 tackles and an interception.
But he’s not satisfied with that.
“I’m looking to help my team as much as I can first,” Commings said. “Individually, I’m looking to have a breakout season. Get my name out there.”
So far, Commings is spending time on the No. 1 defensive unit in nickel packages. With Grantham’s new defensive system still in installation, the competition in the secondary has picked up.
Brandon Boykin is returning at corner, with Branden Smith and Vance Cuff fighting for the other starting spot. Commings says he likes where he is, currently as the go-to-guy when the Bulldogs employ the nickel.
“Yes, it’s pretty intense,” he said. “With so many spots open, everybody is going really hard. The whole secondary competition has been good.”