Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Football is a cruel game. And though it is occasionally, it's not often more cruel than it has been to Georgia senior offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant.
Sturdivant burst on to the scene as a true freshman in 2007, starting every game for the Bulldogs at left tackle to earn freshman All-SEC honors and a handful of freshman All-America nods. But in 2008, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and missed the entire season. In 2009, he started the Bulldogs' season opener against Oklahoma State and tore another ACL, ending his season again. He battled back to start seven games in 2010, and entering Saturday's scrimmage had been penciled in -- though it was more like ink -- for one of Georgia's two starting tackle spots.
That won't happen. Sturdivant left the scrimmage having torn his third ACL in four years . Per Georgia head athletic trainer Ron Courson, Sturdivant will have surgery this week to repair the ligament. He is expected to miss the entire 2011 season.
The blow is a severe one for the Georgia offensive line, a group that underachieved substantially last season, is working for a new position coach in Will Friend, and will now have to replace Sturdivant with either a converted guard or a player of limited (if any) SEC experience. If no unit on the team was as important this spring as the offensive line, it's possible no injury aside from one to Aaron Murray could hit them as hard as this one.
But the blow is no doubt even more savage for Sturdivant personally. He had previously discussed his furstration with having to undergo rehab a second time after his second tear, and had considered leaping to the NFL a year early while he could. With his injury history, a sixth year of eligibilty is a certainty if he wants it, but there's a lor of arduous rehabbing work and consideration to be done before that bridge is crossed.
If Sturdivant does elect to return to the Sanford Stadium field, we'll be wishing him nothing but the best. Football may be cruel, but there are times it seems to be too cruel, and this is one of those times.