ATHENS -- One of the biggest needs for Georgia in 2012 is rebuilding the offensive line after the Bulldogs lost center Ben Jones, and tackles Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson from last year's 10-4 team.
The Georgia offense, which averaged 408.5 yards per game and 32 points per game, set school records for total plays (1,016) and touchdown passes (37).
Sophomore center David Andrews from Wesleyan, junior guard Dallas Lee of Buford and redshirt sophomore Kolton Houston from Buford will be leaned on to fill those positions.
"These guys are making progress and I like what I've seen of all three of these guys in spring drills," offensive line coach Will Friend said. "They will still have to work hard during the offseason the rest of this spring and summer to get where we need them. But I think we're getting there."
Head coach Mark Richt announced the team's spring football awards Friday in conjunction with Saturday's G-Day game: MVP (offense), quarterback Aaron Murray and quarterback Hutson Mason; True Grit Award (offense), tight end Arthur Lynch; Coffee County Hustle Award (offense), guard Kolton Houston from Buford; Most Improved Player (offense), running back Ken Malcome; Outstanding Walk-on (offense), fullback Merritt Hall; MVP (defense), outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and nose John Jenkins; True Grit Award (defense), strong safety Shawn Williams; Coffee County Hustle Award (defense), defensive end Garrison Smith; Most Improved Player (defense), cornerback Damian Swann and inside linebacker Ramik Wilson; Outstanding Walk-on (defense), strong safety Connor Norman from Peachtree Ridge.
In collegiate coaching, which usually sees a significant turnover rate from year to year, the Georgia staff is intact from the 2011 season heading into the 2012 campaign.
Back in red and black are Rodney Garner (assistant head coach/defensive line), Mike Bobo (offensive coordinator), Todd Grantham (defensive coordinator), Tony Ball (wide receivers), Will Friend (offensive line), Scott Lakatos (secondary), John Lilly (tight ends), Bryan McClendon (running backs) and Kirk Olivadotti (inside linebackers).
The Georgia program made a climb back to the upper tier of the Southeastern Conference in 2011 with a 10-4 overall record, Eastern Division title and berth in the SEC title game against LSU.
Richt, who will enter his 12th year as head coach this fall, has compiled a 106-38 record in Athens.
He became one of only seven coaches in NCAA FBS (Division I-A) history to record at least 102 wins in his first 11 seasons.
Richt joins George Woodruff (Penn, Illinois), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Gary Patterson (TCU), Tom Osborne (Nebraska), Barry Switzer (Oklahoma) and Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago) in that prestigious group.
Just for kicks
Replacing punter Drew Butler, a 2009 All-America and Ray Guy Award winner, and place kicker Blair Walsh, the SEC's all-time leading scorer and NCAA's second all-time scorer with 409 points, won't be easy.
Adam Erickson (RSo.), Ethan Jackson (RFr.) and Cody Johnson (RSo.) worked at the punter spot this spring.
Jamie Lindley (Sr.), Scott Eichler (Sr.) and Erickson competed at place kicker.
Georgia has signed punter Collin Barber (6-2, 191) out of Cartersville High School and place kicker Marshall Morgan (6-3, 195) from American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and both signees will challenge for each position this fall.
Return to road warrior
Georgia went 4-0 in opponents' stadiums last year and that included wins at Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
That was a big turnaround after going 1-4 in 2011 when the Bulldogs went 6-6 overall. Under Richt, the Bulldogs are 38-10 overall and 12-5 against ranked teams in an opponent's stadium.
Georgia will need similar results in 2012 with road games at Missouri (Sept. 8), South Carolina (Oct. 6), Kentucky (Oct. 20) and Auburn (Nov. 10).