February 2010

ATHENS – It's hard to look down the stat sheet at the end of ballgames and not notice a few things.

Notably the production of a couple of Dream Teamers – David Andrews and Amarlo Herrera.

Andrews, who has started at center since Ben Jones departed for the Houston Texans, and Herrera both picked the Bulldogs within a week of one another in February of 2010. The fact that both picked Georgia wasn't much of a shock – players pick Georgia all of the time.

The fact that they stuck with the program through the most turbulent season of the Mark Richt Era speaks to their loyalty and their character.

Now, three years later, we are seeing why their commitments have paid off. Back then the two provided recruiting stability for an unstable program, but now they are producing on the field, too.

Andrews has been a multi-year starter at center – probably the second most important position on the offensive line. His production at center has given Georgia flexibility on the offensive line. It was something Richt wasn't sure was going to happen years ago.


David Andrews during Georgia's 8-minute 4th Q drive (Wes Muilenburg/Dawg Post)

"We didn't know for sure if David would be the center after big Ben Jones. We thought it might be (Chris) Burnette, but David handled it. It's been pretty impressive for sure," Richt said.

Andrews and the offensive line got some criticism after Georgia's 38-35 loss at Clemson for allowing quarterback Aaron Murray to be sacked four times. But one has to be careful of criticizing an offense productive enough to put up 35 points and 500 yards in a game.

Still, Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of the South Carolina's defensive line was next on the schedule. Andrews and company had to perform – and they did according to Richt. 41 points and another 500-some yards later Georgia is clearing a path back to Atlanta.

But not without a goal line stand headed up Herrera – and yes… you roll the Rs.

Herrera, who played at North Clayton in high school, was a four-star middle linebacker who was pressed into a starting role more than ten times over the last two years. He has been productive for the Dawgs in the past – but not like he has so far this season.

Herrera leads the Bulldogs in tackles (24) and forced fumbles (a critical forced fumble of Connor Shaw in the third quarter).

"Amarlo, we always thought he would be a guy we thought could play multiple linebacker spots," Richt said Sunday. "He has come through for us."

No kidding.


Amarlo Herrera stuffs Mike Davis during Georgia's goal line stand (Wes Muilenburg/Dawg Post)

Herrera tackled South Carolina running back Mike Davis on fourth and goal. He forced the fumble against Shaw. Georgia needed someone to step up on defense – and Herrera did.

Is he Alec Ogletree? No. But he's not horse poop, either.

Herrera changed the game Saturday. And one he did, Andrews and the rest of the offensive line ground out an eight-minute drive to kill the Cocks' chances for a comeback.

Noted Georgia hater Steve Spurrier didn't bother calling a timeout during the drive.

Keep in mind that both of these players committed to Georgia before Aaron Murray ever took a snap under center with silver britches on. The good news is that both have another year of eligibility left.

Will they stick around for another year? Who ever knows, but their past track record speaks for itself.


Amarlo Herrera and David Andrews in May 2010. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

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