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Friday, April 8, 2011

Gates swings into his opportunity

Kenarious Gates doesn’t feel like a veteran yet. It’ll take more than three starts to consider himself one.

Still, in a year that the Georgia offensive line was disappointing overall, Gates was one of the few bright spots. Once a candidate to redshirt, he played well enough in seven games at guard to enter this spring first on the depth chart.

“That starting experience gave me a lot of confidence,” Gates said this week. “So this season I’ve kept my head straight. Just keep working hard, keep working hard, and keep my starting job.”

The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Gates was a three-star prospect coming out of Grantville High School in Greenville, according to Rivals and Gates was fully expecting to redshirt last year, especially with five proven linemen returning to start.

But the unit’s struggles saw Gates getting the call the week of the Tennessee game.

“I was shocked. I didn’t think I would get a chance to play in the season. I was just gonna work,” Gates said. “But when they told me I was gonna start that week, I knew I had to start working hard that day. When I first got out there it was a bit … But once I got in the game, I had fun and they kept me in there.”

Gates started the next three games at right guard, then came off the bench when Trinton Sturdivant entered the starting lineup at left tackle. (Cling Boling, who had started there, shifted to right guard.)

Now Boling is gone, and with Cordy Glenn shifting from guard to tackle, both guard spots are up for grabs. Gates appears in the most secure position, with three others – Justin Anderson, Chris Burnette and Kolton Houston – getting work at right guard.

Any of those three, and Brent Benedict, could move over and push Gates at left guard. But for the moment it appears Gates’ spot to lose.

“I’m gonna work real hard, knowing that spot could go away any day,” he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that's how a DGD talks and acts! Good for him.