|Photo Credit: DAVID MANNING|
Trinton Sturdivant is out for the 2011season. He tore the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in his right knee during Saturday’s scrimmage and will spend the next year rehabbing.
Because Sturdivant took a medical redshirt in 2008—a player who uses his redshirt season for medical reasons is eligible to apply for a medical hardship year—he could possibly receive a sixth year of eligibilty from the NCAA based on his circumstances.
Medical Hardship Waivers
In order to be eligible for a medical hardship waiver, a student-athlete must have competed in at least one contest in the first half of the season, but no more than three contests or 30%, whichever is greater (14.2.4). The total number of contests is calculated by the schedule on the first date of competition. Participation in Conference postseason is counted as one competition.
If a student-athlete is unable to compete at all during an entire season because of an injury or illness, the student-athlete may not file for a medical hardship waiver. In this case, the season would be considered a medical redshirt season.
If the student-athlete has two or more seasons of medical redshirt because of an injury or illness (or one season of medical redshirt and one season of medical hardship), the Compliance Office can file for an extension of the five-year clock (a sixth year) only after the student-athlete has reached the end of the existing five-year clock [emphasis added].
However, much of this seems unlikely given Sturdivant’s flirtation with the NFL this past season. He may want to take this opportunity to get strong and apply for next year’s draft in hopes of having a ahot at playing in the pros.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens here, but it’s most likely Sturdivant has played his last game at the University of Georgia.
That said, the next question is what will Georgia do at left tackle?
Cordy Glenn appears to be the best option as he has experience playing the position, but if he moves from right tackle—a position he is admittedly more comfortable playing—Georgia will have to find someone to take his place. Some choices, according to Anthony Dasher of UGASports.com, would be Austin Long, Kolton Houston, and Justin Anderson.
Kolton Houston is a redshirt freshman with plenty of talent, but he seems best built to play offensive guard due to his average pass-blocking skills. He has impressed offensive line coach, Will Friend, in practices thus far, but it seems doubtful he would be ready to play right tackle this season. That said, he has gotten some looks all across the line this spring and remains a legitimate option—even if only as a reserve.
Justin Anderson has moved back to the offensive line after one season of trying his wares on defense, and while he’s adjusted well to being back in his natural element, he’s practiced solely at guard this spring. Add to that, Anderson has a lengthy injury history—he missed a majority of 2010 with a turf toe—and may not be physically ready for the rigors of playing on the outside.
Austin Long is the wild card of this bunch. He was highly touted when he arrived at Georgia, but has been besieged by injuries and hasn’t contributed much. This is his first spring of really giving it a go and he’s already had to miss some time with a sore shoulder.
Those are Georgia’s best options for the moment, but there is still the possibility they could find their solution when the 2011 signees enroll—Watts Dantzler, Zach DeBell, and Xzavier Ward among them.
Looks like coach Friend has a lot more work yet to do this spring.