DB Tra Battle

2005 Statistics

Coach: Mark Richt
52-13, 5 years
2005 Record: 10-3
at Mississippi State WON 23-10
at Tennessee WON 27-14
at Vanderbilt WON 34-17
vs. Florida LOST 10-14
at Georgia Tech WON 14-7
vs. Louisiana State WON 34-14
vs. West Virginia LOST 35-38

2005 Final Rankings
AP-10, Coaches-10, BCS-7

2006 Outlook

Are they rebuilding or reloading? With so much talent, reloading has been the answer for years. Just when they seem vulnerable, UGA will floor you. That's the story in Georgia as Mark Richt waves goodbye to 15 starters, including several all-Americans and/or all-SEC players. Under Richt, the Bulldog’s fans have become used to double-digit win seasons, and this one will be no exception.

The 2006 Bulldogs have a solid nucleus, but they will be looking for an identity on both sides of the ball early in the season. In a conference like the SEC, trying to find yourself is not exactly the position you want to be in, so the schedule looks favorable for the learning curve to kick in with so many early softies. South Carolina will give them an early wake-up call, and then the judgments can begin.

Georgia has playmakers at running back and linebacker. The team's top three rushers from a year ago are all back while its trio of linebackers all have starting experience and have excelled. The front seven is truly formidable as Georgia also possesses one of the nation's best DLmen in Moses, and an excellent kicking game. You can bet those positions will be the blocks Richt builds upon as he (attempts to) remains among the elite in the SEC. Whether that is enough or not remains to be seen. In a lesser conference, you would have to believe Georgia could experiment early and still have enough to be dominant down the stretch, but in the SEC, a good start could still spell doom.

That good start is imperative and will take the pressure off the inexperienced players on both sides of the ball. The offense line will need to establish a dominant running game while the defense establishes a pattern of aggressiveness early in games. If Richt can accomplish all that, Georgia will be right there with the conferences’/country’s best by seasons end.

Richt has done more with less, and has the staff to make any of the QB-wanna-be’s into a star, which is the final piece that would secure things for the ‘Dawgs. Don’t count these guys out until you see what Tennessee and Florida do to them.

Projected 2006 record: 9-3
QB - 3 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 4
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Joe Tereshinski, 49-25-2, 371 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Thomas Brown, 147 att., 736 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Mohamed Massaquoi, 38 rec., 505 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Brandon Coutu, 23-29 FG, 45-45 PAT, 114 pts.

Punting: Gordon Ely-Kelso, 57 punts, 42.9 avg.

Kicking: Brandon Coutu, 23-29 FG, 45-45 PAT, 114 pts.

Tackles: Jarvis Jackson, 84 tot., 56 solo

Sacks: Quentin Moses, 11.5 sacks

Interceptions: Paul Oliver, 3 for 30 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Ramarcus Brown, 4 ret., 21.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Thomas Flowers, 32 ret., 13.7 avg., 1 TD


K Brandon Coutu
OFFENSE: D.J. Shockley-QB, Bryan McClendon-WR, Russ Tanner-C, Max Jean-Gilles-OG, Dennis Roland-OT, Leonard Pope-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: Will Thompson-DE, Kedric Golston-DT, Darrius Swain-DT, Gerald Anderson-NT, DeMario Minter-CB, Tim Jennings-CB, Greg Blue-ROV

Georgia spends the spring looking for a new quarterback and finds a good competition at the spot. Senior Joe Tereshinski filled in well when D.J. Shockley was injured, so, by default, he is the early leader in the clubhouse. Tereshinski, a third-gereration football legacy, has the size, arm strength and smarts to excel in the SEC. Battling with Tereshinski is sophomore Blake Barnes who saw some mop-up duty in 2005. Barnes also has good size and has the most arm strength of any Georgia quarterback. Freshman Joe Cox redshirted last year and the coaching staff really liked how he handled the scout team, but we feel Cox is just not ready to push Tereshinski or Barnes. Freshman Matthew Stafford is a huge, highly regarded (No.1 pro-style QB, Rivals.com) prospect from Texas and is likely the future of the quarterback position at Georgia. There will likely wind up being a rotation of sorts, which could be interpreted as giving whoever is in a short leash. There is just too much talent here not to think it will come together for the Bulldogs benefit, even when learning mistakes are made in the early goings.

Running Back
This is the strength of the Bulldogs offense. Georgia returns its top three tailbacks and some solid experience at fullback. Thomas Brown, Danny Ware and Kregg Lumpkin are all back to handle the rock. Brown is an undersized junior who led Georgia in rushing last season. He has great speed and shiftiness but he may not have the frame to be a feature back that can carry the load all on his own. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds Ware is an excellent compliment with the size and strength to move the pile. Expect Ware to get a lot of looks in short yardage and goal line situations. Lumpkin is a lot like Ware, but a bit faster. The junior has great size and can really wear down a defense. At fullback, Georgia will rely on junior Des Williams, a 245-pound battering ram returning after missing all of last season with a pectoral muscle injury. Williams is an excellent straight-line blocker, but could do damage the more he sees the ball with so many other offensive distractions. With the loss of Shockley’s foot speed as a distraction, this area will need its experience and depth.

Sophomore Mohamed Massaquoi may be somewhat slight at 198 pounds but he looked like a future number one receiver last season. Massaquoi has good hands, excellent speed and the height and leaping ability to go over DBs. Senior Mario Raley returns at split end and is expected to be the team's possession receiver. Raley has solid hands but doesn't have the speed or explosiveness to get downfield consistently. Senior deep threat Sean Bailey, will sit with a torn ACL, so guys like freshmen Mike Moore and Kris Durham (Durham graduated high school early) will be a given every opportunity to contribute. Durham's main appeal in his 6-foot-5 frame, but he likely needs some bulk to be a dominant receiver on the college level. Sophomore Demiko Goodman is the fastest guy in the corps but is battling a shoulder problem that forced him to miss spring drills.

Tight End
The Bulldogs must replace their leading receiver (Pope) and expect to do so with senior Martrez Milner. Although Milner is undersized, he has shown the ability to sit down in zones and be an excellent outlet receiver. That said, at 240 pounds, Milner is not relied upon to be a top level blocker at the point of attack. That's where sophomore Tripp Chandler and junior Coleman Watson fit in. Both Chandler and Watson are 6-foot-6 and bulky, so they will be counted on to push. Both qualities come together with this year’s No.2 TE prospect NaDerris Ward, who should be the next Pope.

Offensive Line
A ton of turnover here will have the Bulldogs lining up with a rather new look. Senior Nick Jones will be counted on to be the leader and is expected to move from guard to center with the same top results. Jones has some experience at the position and the coaching staff feels he has the smarts to handle the line calls. At 325 pounds, junior Chester Adams will handle Georgia's “tight” guard spot. Adams has the size and strength to engulf defenders at the point of attack but will need to prove he can handle undersized, quick pass rushers. At “split” guard, Georgia will let juniors Fernando Velasco and Zeb McKinzey compete for the starting job, Velasco has more size and strength but the undersized McKinzey may have the best hands and technique among the lineman. No problems at right tackle where second team All-SEC tackle Daniel Inman returns for his fourth year as a starter, so Jones and he will be the experience that is the OL’s nucleus. At 6-foot-7, Inman has the wingspan to frustrate most defensive ends on a consistent basis. Senior Ken Shackleford takes over at split tackle and will be a player to watch. Shackleford has looked clumsy in the past and may not be athletic enough to handle the open side of the field. We feel Inman may have to switch sides if sacks occur early. A couple of freshman, John Miller and Ian Smith look like they have quite the future at Georgia and will be given an opportunity to pick up snaps here and there.

With a new quarterback taking over and three veteran tailbacks returning expect Georgia to rely on the run, at least early in the season. With Brown and Ware healthy and ready to go, the Bulldogs have the ingredients for a thunder-and-lightning-type running attack. The key to it all will be the revamped offensive line. Jones and Inman are rock solid while Adams and Velasco look like upper echelon run blockers. With a steady run game, it should open up play action for a developing passing attack to again surprise foes who think that area is marginal. Though the signal-caller is still unknown (rotation?), there is so much QB talent that whoever takes the mantle will have done so by beating out capable teammates, and that can only help this offense be even better than its 2005 ranking of 49th. Under Shockley, they had balance, but Richt knows that this version has the talent to rise much higher as a point-scoring machine. Spurrier’s Gamecocks will show UGA where they have weaknesses, and then they will have until Tennessee comes to town to shore things up for the tough conference haul.


OT Daniel Inman


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Joe Tereshinski-Sr (6-3, 217) Matthew Stafford-Fr (6-3, 225)
Blake Barnes-So (6-3, 219)
FB Brannan Southerland-So (6-0, 242) Des Williams-Jr (6-1, 245)
RB Thomas Brown-Jr (5-8, 185) Kregg Lumpkin-Jr (6-1, 220)
Danny Ware-Jr (6-1, 223)
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-So (6-2, 198) Mario Raley-Sr (6-1, 190)
Mickey Henderson-Jr (5-10, 165)
WR Kenneth Harris-So (6-3, 214) A.J. Bryant-Jr (6-2, 195)
Sean Bailey-Sr (6-1, 176) (inj.)
TE Martrez Milner-Sr (6-4, 240) Tripp Chandler-So (6-6, 253)
OT Daniel Inman-Sr (6-7, 319) Michael Turner-Sr (6-4, 295)
OG Chester Adams-Jr (6-4, 320) Seth Watts-So (6-4, 313)
C Nick Jones-Sr (6-3, 295) Ian Smith-Fr (6-3, 295)
OG Fernando Velasco-Jr (6-4, 315) Zeb McKinzey-Jr (6-3, 285)
OT Ken Shackleford-Sr (6-5, 315) John Miller-Fr (6-6, 290)
K Brandon Coutu-Jr (6-0, 185) ..



Defensive Line
Much like the O-line, Georgia will experience turnover here. The dynamic Quentin Moses is back to chase down quarterbacks from the outside. At just 250 pounds, Moses doesn't have size, but is, without a doubt, one of the nation's top ends (first-team all-American, NationalChamps.net). Versatile senior Ray Gant is a playmaker and lines up at one of the tackle spots, but can also play end - a rangy guy, too. At the other tackle will be 2005 freshman all-American Jeff Owens. At 280 pounds, Owens is undersized but really creates havoc with the ability to penetrate and blow up plays on a consistent basis. Also keep an eye on senior Dale Dixson and redshirt freshman Kade Weston. Both players have the bulk to be top-tier run stuffers. An even smaller player, 225-pound junior Marcus Howard, will push Moses. You can see what Georgia is looking for at weakside end -- speed, speed and more speed. At base end, Georgia will go with either Howard or junior Charles Johnson, who has the size the other two lack. Depth from the last two recruiting classes means there should be fresh legs for 60 minutes of high octane power coming off of UGA’s DL.

Georgia returns great depth and athleticism here, meaning the team’s 52nd ranking as run stoppers will drastically improve. Undersized senior Jarvis Jackson is back on the weakside. Jackson has impressive speed and can chase from sideline to sideline, and does well as a fifth pass rusher. Middle guy Tony Taylor is healthy after battling a number of lingering injuries last season. Taylor is a prototypical MLB who keys and diagnoses the play/run very well. Junior Jeff Busbee will handle the strong side, and has the strength to hold up the tight end but at just 5-foot-10, but Busbee may have trouble in pass coverage down the seam. Junior Brandon Miller and versatile senior Danny Verdun Wheeler are the top reserves. Both have starting experience and the ability to play multiple positions but are not big time playmakers, yet. Darius Dewberry and many other four-star recruits are just waiting, so injuries would not represent a major step back.

Defensive Back
The Bulldogs are also reloading in the secondary after losing three all-SEC players. Senior rover Tra Battle is the lone veteran returning. Battle is a playmaker with great range who will impact both run support and pass coverage. Georgia needs a big year from Battle and they expect to get it. Junior Kelin Johnson, the new free safety, is a prototypical centerfielder. Ex-QB Johnson should excel in pass coverage but may be too slight to be much help in run support. Redshirt freshman Antavious Coates will push Johnson. Coates is a better athlete than Johnson and has imposing size and good speed. Paul Oliver is expected to be the top corner. Oliver looked good in his limited opportunities in man coverage last season and certainly has the size and speed to be one of the SEC's top corners. Junior Thomas Flowers lacks size but has the smoothest hips on the Georgia roster and should develop into the team's best cover corner opposite Oliver. Atlanta-native Reshad Jones joins the team as the top-rated safety in this year’s class, and the depth is there for this area to develop quickly. It may not quite be a top 10 pass defense, but such number are arbitrary when we all see the quality and impact of this unit.

Georgia will be relying heavily on its veteran linebackers and other experienced front seven guys. That will enable them to let Moses loose in obvious passing situations which will make opposing quarterbacks extremely anxious. The key is to make the offense predictable and protect the inexperienced secondary, which has talent but may lack the ability to excel in zone coverage. Georgia never fails to make a major defensive statement, and this group may have a few knocks, but should be formative, regardless of who we find making the plays. Third-down percentage was a bit weak (37%), but the front seven will be tough enough to help here and with enough extra speed in the LBs to bolster pass coverage(s).


DE Quentin Moses


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Charles Johnson-Jr (6-2, 275) Roderick Battle-Fr (6-4, 249)
DT Ray Gant-Sr (6-2, 277) Dale Dixson-Sr (6-2, 308)
DT Jeff Owens-So (6-3, 280) Kade Weston-Fr (6-5, 310)
DE Quentin Moses-Sr (6-5, 250) Marcus Howard-Jr (6-2, 220)
SLB Brandon Miller-Jr (6-4, 248) Danny Verdun Wheeler-Sr (6-2, 244)
MLB Tony Taylor-Sr (6-1, 237) Marcus Washington-So (6-0, 245)
WLB Jarvis Jackson-Sr (6-2, 218) Dannell Ellerbe-So (6-1, 228)
CB Thomas Flowers-Jr (5-10, 186) Ramarcus Brown-So (5-11, 173)
CB Paul Oliver-Jr (6-0, 205) Asher Allen-Fr (5-10, 180)
ROV Tra Battle-Sr (5-11, 176) C.J. Byrd-So (6-2, 186)
FS Kelin Johnson-Jr (6-1, 192) Antavious Coates-Fr (6-4, 200)
P Gordon Ely-Kelso-Sr (6-2, 215) ..




Junior Brandon Coutu led the SEC in scoring last year and is one of the best in the country. Extremely accurate, Coutu also has the leg to boot the long ones and has already connected on a 58-yard field goal, the longest in school history without a tee.

Senior punter Gordon Ely-Kelso is an all-American candidate. Ely-Kelso has a great leg and has developed into one of the nation's best directional punters. Net results for UGA ranked eighth, and will continue to be strong. Georgia is always loaded with hungry recruits, each looking for that way onto the defense, and that always bodes well for your coverage teams. Players like junior Mikey Henderson and freshman Asher Allen have the speed to dominate in special teams as they play under control and stay focused.

Return Game
The Bulldogs return two of their best in Ramarcus Brown and Thomas Brown. Both have great speed and the ability to go the distance if given room to get to the open field. Athletes dot the roster all over, so others could be just as beneficial. Another stacked area for them.