University of Georgia football practice opens Monday and I couldn't be happier. Finally, we'll start to see what the face of Georgia's football program for 2010 will look like.
With news of Akeem Dent's surgery Tuesday for a toe-related injury, I figure today would be the perfect time to take a look at the linebacker position for the Bulldogs. First of all, will the injury to Dent be a major factor in position depth this season? Probably not.
With an expected recovery time of 4-6 weeks, Dent, an expected starter inside, will likely only have to miss the Louisiana-Lafayette game, if that. That will be a bit of a setback to his development, but depth is a bit better at the position this season -- even without Rennie Curran back in the fold.
Inside linebacker looks solid with Christian Robinson and Marcus Dowtin leading the way. Robinson is rumored to be the most developed from a scheme perspective in the new 3-4 alignment, and Dowtin is the most physically impressive.
With Dent forced to miss reps this summer, we'll finally get a true look at Michael Gilliard.
Outside linebacker is going to be a real treat to follow. Bulldogs fans will finally get to see Cornelius Washington and Justin Houston in a linebacker role, either with their hand down rushing the passer or dropping back into coverage.
Behind the starters on the outside is Georgia's feel-good story, Reuben Faloughi, who went from a walk-on to a scholarship athlete -- a pretty rare accomplishment.
And we'll also see plenty of Darryl Gamble on the field, rotating in-and-out with Washington.
Overall, there are no excuses with lack of depth at linebacker. This is an upgrade from last season.