If you regularly follow Georgia message boards, or frequent the comment section of some of the more well-known Georgia Bulldog pages, you’ve likely read a few statements relating to why Georgia defensive back Brendan Langley hasn’t played much over the last half of the season; and most of those reasons likely had to do with the true freshman being on the bad side of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham; however, as with most of what you read on venues like the aforementioned, you likely took said statements with a grain of salt because it was considered unfounded rumor.
Well, yesterday, Grantham addressed those “rumors” in an attempt to clear up any lingering misinformation that might still be circulating.
“No, he’s not in the doghouse. We can only play so many guys, you know?” Grantham said Tuesday. “He’s a guy we’ve got high hopes for, we’ve just got to continue to work and develop him to get him up to speed.”
…”(Langley) came in, competed and did well. But to those other guys’ credit, Shaq is a guy we kind of had high hopes for, but he got kind of hurt and it took him a while to catch up. But once he did, we felt he earned the right to start and see what he can do and he’s done a good job,” (Anthony Dasher, Rivals)
While Grantham’s answer does put an end to the doghouse rumor, it doesn’t necessarily give a good reason for why Langley hasn’t played more down the stretch. If anything has been certain this season, it’s the fact that this defense has a lot of growing up to do and, despite the stellar play of Shaq Wiggins, there is always room for a guy like Langley to put in more than an appearance or two—if for no other reason than to get his feet wet for next season.
Honestly, my guess is Langley under-estimated what he was getting into at Georgia—playing a new position, in a more complicated scheme, against better competition. He certainly wasn’t being tested anywhere near as hard as this while he was at Kell High and, quite honestly, after the way South Carolina made a point of picking on him, he probably lost a bit of confidence and felt it was time to re-evaluate his approach; perhaps relying soley on his physical ability wasn’t going to be enough after all.
His counterpart, Wiggins, however, knew he would need to have an understanding of the playbook if he was going to compete; his size has always been an issue, but his ability to play smart is what got him here—what he lacked in physical stature and speed, he more than made up for in anticipation and coverage ability. That’s likely what the coaching staff saw once they gave him a chance and, once he got on the field, Langley’s opportunity went out the door.
The question now is, will he wait for another chance to step up and show what he can do, or look for an opportunity to play elsewhere?
What say you?