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July 27, 2011
Off-season attrition has certainly been one of the major story lines for the Georgia football team.
When the Bulldogs kick off preseason drills early next week, Georgia's roster will certainly have a different look as players like Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, Marcus Dowtin and Brent Benedict, among others, are no longer part of Mark Richt's squad.
While it's true their respective on-field contributions will certainly be missed, linebacker Christian Robinson and tight end Orson Charles weren't necessarily complaining Wednesday morning during a series of interviews at the Butts-Mehre Building.
"I think some of the guys who aren't here, they made their decisions - right or wrong," Robinson said. "I think the guys we have here, the guys that are left, are the guys who want to be at Georgia the most. The guys who didn't always fit in and do what they were supposed to do, didn't behave, nothing against them, but they didn't fit into what we need right now."
Charles agreed, and credited Richt for the job that he did getting the Bulldog lockerroom back in a positive frame of mind.
"I definitely agree with what Christian said. Every team has dead weight, somebody pulling you back and I think the University and Coach Richt did a very good job of letting people go," Charles said. "I guess they didn't want to follow the Georgia way. I'm not saying they weren't great players, but Coach Richt's motto is if you're not going to do it his way, then there's the door. I guess they took the door but now we can go forward with the people we have in the lockerroom."
Robinson said King was an exception to the way he feels about some of his former teammates.
Georgia's second-leading rusher last fall with 430 yards, King was recently ruled academically ineligible, but according to the Bulldog linebacker, he feels bad for his former high school teammate at Greater Atlanta Christian.
"I'm sad about that whole situation. I've told a lot of people, he's the reason that I'm here. If he hadn't been recruited, nobody would have seen me," Robinson said. "He's probably one that I don't think fits in with the rest. Caleb wanted to be here. He went through some tough things, but the guys we have left we have everything we need to have a great season."
Robinson didn't feel quite so generous regarding his other former teammates.
Although he did not name specific players, he was disappointed many left like they did.
"It is difficult. We came here to win and we came here to play. All these guys, whether they are the guys who are here or the guys who are gone, they came to play here," Robinson said. "They were recruited by other schools. They chose to come. Its difficult having those guys you came in with you leave. But if people don't want to be here... it's going to make the team better. We're going to go to war with the guys who want to be here."
Robinson admits some of the departures left him feeling let down.
"A little bit, but at the same time, I'd rather know now than in the middle of the game who wants to be here," he said. "I don't want somebody who is going to give up. Not that those guys gave up, but I want to go to battle with guys that I know who not only are tested, but did everything with me and ran sprints with me. I know that the guys who are here now have done everything. I've been there and seen them. I've seen them get torn down in workouts and haven't quit."
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Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports and he can be reached via email at email@example.com.