UPDATE 2/7/2014 at 9:30 a.m. : Beard has apparently had a change of heart and decided to remain with the team, at least for the time being.
In case you missed it, former JUCO standout, Mark Beard, has elected to transfer.
Beard, a native of Birmingham, AL, played sparingly for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons, mostly in a reserve role, but likely would have been a factor in the battle for Kenarious Gates’s vacated left tackle spot this spring.
That said, with the sudden return of Kolton Houston, the presence of John Theus, and a vastly improved Watts Dantzler, there was certainly no guarantee that Beard would outright win the starting job and, it’s entirely possible that he didn’t want to risk his final year of eligibility to find out.
As for his options, Beard will graduate this summer, so he will not have to sit out a year, and can then transfer, and play immediately somewhere else next season; it’s worth noting, however, that his destination won’t be an SEC school since the conference requires an athlete have at least two years of eligibility remaining before approving a transfer.
In any event, the Bulldogs are one player lighter on the offensive line, making the additions of Dyshon Sims, Kendall Baker, and Isaiah Wynn (OG), in this year’s signing class, that much more crucial to the overall depth and health of the offensive line.
Good luck to Mark, wherever he lands.