Darryl Gamble Key to Dawgs’ Success in 2010

I believe that increased productivity from one player in 2010 will be main factor behind another 8-4 type rebuilding season or a 10-2 season in which we could contend for the Eastern Division. 

Hopefully, whoever is playing quarterback next season will spend a majority of the time handing the ball off, so I am not overly concerned who will be under center (and come on, it’s going to be Aaron Murray).

 No, the one player who I think will have the biggest impact on the success of the 2010 campaign is Darryl Gamble.

It is widely acknowledged that while there is exciting potential for our defense, there will likely be some growing pains next season for Coach Grantham’s unit.  Depth issues at linebacker, not having the right players for the 3-4 scheme, the inexperienced secondary and just learning the new scheme are all reasons to be grounded in our expectations for how well the defense will do next season, especially early on in the key games versus South Carolina and Arkansas. 

What the Dawgs’ defense needs is a player to make BIG plays at key times.  Over the last two seasons, our defense has missed out on that spark.  The defense needs that player who can come up with the clutch play.

Freshman Darryl Gamble was key in forcing the fumble against Vanderbilt in 2007 that not only kept the Dawgs from losing to the Commodores in consecutive years, but helped ignite one of the greatest runs in UGA history complete with a #2 finish.  In 2008, Darryl Gamble picked off not one but two passes and returned them to the endzone, helping zap the energy from an always raucous Tiger Stadium.

A phrase that gets tossed around frequently is “Senior Leadership.”  Well, in 2010, the Bulldogs are going to need that steady, stalwart influence on the field and in the meeting and weight rooms.  In a season with a lot of change, there will need to be a constant.  And, when things may not be going quite as well, a big play spark will be needed to give the unit a boost.

It was reported earlier in the week that due to Montez Robinson’s dismissal from the team, Gamble will move from ILB to OLB.  After listening to Coach Grantham speak, this was a move that has been in the works for sometime.  As David Hale notes, Gamble practiced some at defensive end last year.  From the accounts from Hale it seems like Gamble is taking the change in stride. 

As we prepare to reconvene Between the Hedges on Saturday, let’s pay special attention to #50.  


Go Dawgs!

NOTE: I saw this story by Chris Low on Hale’s links.  This is a perfect example, and what the defense needs in 2010. 


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