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Orr is quiet anchor in a sea of chaos
JCSU center is efficient leader of Golden Bulls line
Published Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:49 am
by Herbert L. White


George Orr doesn’t have a gift for gab.

George Orr is the quietly efficient leader of Johnson C. Smith’s offensive line. The redshirt junior helped pave the way to the Golden Bulls averaging 31.2 points per game in 2012.

The Johnson C. Smith center is reserved in social circles, but his work as the offensive line’s traffic cop has helped the Golden Bulls to consecutive winning seasons. Orr reads defenses to get his line mates in position to execute their blocking assignments then get the ball to the quarterback while engaging a 300-pound defensive tackle or blitzing linebacker.

“Without (Orr) none of this would be possible,” said Golden Bulls quarterback Keahn Wallace, who set a school record for single-season passing yards with 2,280 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2012.

As a three-year starter, Orr, a redshirt junior, is the acknowledged keystone to a line that paved the way to an average of 31.2 points per game last year. While skill-position players like Wallace and graduating receiver Matthew Jeffries and tailback Dedrick Anderson put up gaudy numbers, Orr and the line go about their jobs.

“(Orr is) a leader,” Golden Bulls coach Steve Aycock said. “He doesn’t bark loud, but he’s a leader by showing and doing and he does a great job inside the line of scrimmage making calls and keeping the quarterback on task. That’s the kind of exciting things I like to see him do. He’s just a fine young player, fine citizen.”

Orr played tackle, nose guard and tight end at Wade Hampton (S.C.) High in addition to basketball. That versatility helped him make the transition to center at JCSU, where Aycock was looking for offensive linemen who could keep up with the up-tempo offense he wanted to install. Quick feet and stamina are on par with strength and quickness in the Golden Bulls’ scheme.

“I never played center until I got here,” said Orr, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound physical education major. “The coaches wanted to try me out and then when I started to play it they liked me. I kept going and ended up playing and starting the next four years.”

Aycock, who played center at Savannah State, can identify with Orr. The position is rarely noticed, yet every offensive play starts with an exchange between center and quarterback. Orr lives like he plays – steady and without fanfare.

“I model George behind me,” Aycock said. “Playing center, I’ve got a lot of respect for the position and George is a caliber kid. If I had a daughter, he’d most definitely marry her. I’d make him marry her.”

Said Wallace: “We’ve been hanging out a lot lately and I got to see the inside. He’s a cool guy. He likes to have fun and he’s really down to earth.”

Contending for a CIAA title would be something for Orr to shout about. After consecutive six-win seasons – JCSU’s first plus .500 campaigns since 1973 – the Golden Bulls have designs on pushing for the South Division championship. That might even get Orr to open up a bit.

“Everybody wants a winning record coming out of college,” he said. “This year, we not only want a winning record, but we also want the CIAA. That’s what we’ve wanted since I’ve been here and I speak for everybody – we want the CIAA championship.”



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