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.