ATHENS, Ga. -- A few weeks ago, Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend almost sounded as if he were pleading when he said of Cordy Glenn: “He could be a dominant player. We need him to be one.”
And that was before recent events. Now, the Bulldogs need Glenn to be dominant even more.
The rising senior is on track to serve as the left tackle for Georgia in 2011. The knee injury to Trinton Sturdivant, who had surgery Tuesday, leaves Glenn as one of only two returning offensive linemen who started every game last year; Center Ben Jones is the other.
The problem for Glenn is he started those games at left guard. He was shifted to tackle before spring practice.
“I’m starting to get my rhythm back,” Glenn said this week. “It’s a little bit of an adjustment going from guard to tackle. But with a couple practices it’s helped me out. I’m getting used to it now.”
Glenn and Sturdivant were rotating at the two tackle spots, as Friend tried to establish flexibility for the season. But when Sturdivant went down, the left spot became Glenn’s by default.
The team needs an experienced player to protect quarterback Aaron Murray’s blind side.
“I trust Cordy already,” Murray said. “He’s a tremendous athlete. As a left tackle I don’t think anybody in the country’s is that big and can run and can move like Cordy does.”
Friend doesn’t seem quite as confident in that assessment. He has asked Glenn -- listed at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds -- to lose some weight.
“He may have gotten too big,” said Friend, who was hired in February. “He’s a big person to begin with, he’s athletic, and I think that he can always improve on that and being able to move for four quarters.”
A lesser concern appears to be Glenn’s ability to shift to tackle. Although he has played guard for most of his college career -- a total of 32 starts -- he does have experience at left tackle. When Sturdivant got hurt in 2009, Glenn shifted there for four games.
“That was a long time ago, but it helped out a lot,” Glenn said, laughing.
Glenn contemplated entering the NFL draft after last season and was rated as one of the top underclassmen at guard.
His pro future still could be at that position, and at a minimum the shift to tackle adds to versatility to his résumé.
But when it comes to his senior season, the focus is anchoring the line. Friend reiterated that this week, using almost the same words as a few weeks ago.
“He could be a real good player, and he’s got to play good for us,” Friend said. “He’s got a lot of potential, and he’s done it.
“Cordy’s a smart guy and an athletic guy. He’s had a good spring.”
And his team badly needs him to have a good season.