Tag:A.J. Harmon
Posted on: June 27, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 2:50 pm

Former five-stars leaving Florida, Georgia

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.

Posted on: May 17, 2011 4:08 pm

Transfer Tuesday: UGA's Harmon, PSU's Ware

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A pair of reserve linemen for a pair of top-25 programs have made their decisions to transfer official today.

Perhaps the more potentially important of the two comes at Georgia, where offensive tackle A.J. Harmon has elected to leave the Bulldogs for "personal reasons." The junior and former Parade All-American missed the team's bowl loss to UCF on academic suspension, but had been considered a candidate for the vacant starting richt tackle position this past spring camp.

Though Mark Richt indicated that job would be going to senior Justin Anderson, Harmon would nonetheless have been a backup at worst--and given the rate at which the Bulldogs' offensive line starters have been injured in recent years, he might have seen spot starting duty sooner rather than later. His departure might not be devastating (certainly nothing like the ACL tear to certain starter Trinton Sturdivant), but it does nothing to help a unit for whom depth was already a concern.

"Personal reasons" also struck today at Penn State, where backup defensive tackle Brandon Ware texted the Patriot-News that he would be seeking a transfer to "a lower level" school for the 2011 season. One of the top players in Pennsylvania for the class of 2008, Ware redshirted and has struggled to find the field for the Nittany Lions. What was expected to be a breakthrough 2011 season was derailed when he was reportedly declared academically ineligible for this fall, resulting in the departure.

As with Harmon, players like Devon Still and Jordan Hill mean that Ware's absence might not be immediately felt. But given Ware's immense potential if he could have kept his grades in order and his weight in check, the loss stings all the same.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com