Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Russell Wilson is set to has announced his decision today, but even if he had chosen Auburn, he would have been far from the only ripple on the SEC's current "transfer market."
Because two former five-star recruits announced this past weekend that they would be looking for new homes outside their current residences in the SEC East. One of them is former Georgia offensive line signee Brent Benedict, who will be leaving the Bulldog program for the ubiquitous "personal reasons." The other is defensive end Chris Martin, who transferred to Florida last year after signing with Cal in spring of 2010. But after redshirting last fall, Martin will leave Gainesville without having played a down for the Gators, either, and will reportedly be looking for a transfer destination closer to his Aurora, Colo. hometown.
The good news for Will Muschamp and Co. is that thanks to the bounty of riches from that loaded 2010 Gator class, Martin might not be missed much. With Ronald Powell, Sharrif Floyd and their friends around, the Florida line should be able to shrug off the loss, even of a player who was viewed by nearly every recruitnik in the country as one of the 2010 class's best prospects at any position.
That's not the case in Athens, though, where the Dawg offensive line was already thin and has just gotten thinner. A redshirt freshman who had dominated at the high school level before a senior-year knee injury, Benedict was expected to land on the Georgia two-deep at right guard in 2011 with an eye towards starting in 2012.
But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "differences over how much and what kind of off-season training he should be doing" arose between Benedict and the Georgia staff, and he elected to move on.
Even after the loss of Benedict (and fellow transferee A.J. Harmon, and ACL victim Trinton Sturdivant), the Bulldogs have enough talent and experience to weather the storm on their depth chart -- if their projected starting lineup can stay healthy and productive. But after the past few seasons of underachievement up front, that's a big "if," and one on which the fate of the SEC East might rest.