Summary: The 2006 class. Oh, what a class! The Dawgs were rolling. Life was good in February 2006. UGA had just had its most successful run in twenty years, had won 2 SEC Championships in 4 seasons, Mark Richt was universally loved, and Georgia had just signed prodigies at quarterback, running back and safety. What could possibly go wrong…
If Mark Richt can’t get the ship corrected and is asked to no longer be the head coach at UGA, you can take a long, hard look at the failure of not winning a National Championship in 2008 as the beginning of the end. This class is the one that got away. The players that were recruited in this class were the ones who would contribute greatly in 2007 and 2008. The failure of not even winning the SEC, much less a National Championship, with this class could be the most damning note on Mark Richt’s resume.
Notable names: Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Fred Munzenmaier, Reshad Jones, Michael Lemon, Darryl Gamble, Darrius Dewberry, Kris Durham, Shaun Chapas, Asher Allen, Geno Atkins, Prince Miller
Biggest Contributor: Matthew Stafford. Duh. Knowshon is a close second. Again, duh.
Biggest Disappointment: There are a few candidates. Michael Lemon jumps out since his tenure came to an end due to off the field trouble. I will have to go with NeDarris Ward. I thought Ward would be the next big thing. Granite and I sat in Blind Pig again in 2006 like we did the previous year. I thought Massaquoi would be the big thing in 2005, and thought Ward would be the next great tight end at Georgia to fill Pope’s void. After a redshirt in 2006, I thought he would fill right in. Tripp Chandler was ahead of Ward on the depth chart-that ought to tell you something. After being a non factor in 2007, Ward transferred to Oregon to be closer to home due to some family issues. I checked out the Oregon website, and his career with the Ducks was as productive as his career at Georgia. It involved switching to offensive line and playing all of two games in 2009. In one of the games, he played a season high 10 snaps. It should make us feel better knowing the UGA coaches aren’t the only ones who whiffed. Oh well.
Diamond in the Rough: Kris Durham never did anything at Georgia except catch everything that was ever thrown to him. Until 2010, he didn’t get many balls thrown his way, but he made the most of the ones that were. He was a great #2 receiver this season opposite of A.J. Green, and when his number was called, he filled in admirably.