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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Post-spring depth chart: Front seven on defense

We now return to our regularly scheduled update on how Georgia looks after spring ball. Today’s installment: The defensive line and linebacking units, which got a pretty good overhaul in the offseason, and will get more this summer.

There were transfers: Alec Ogletree joined the inside linebackers, and Jarvis Jones was shifted outside, a move that the coaches said paid off well. DeAngelo Tyson was shifted from tackle to end, where he is more comfortable.

There were departures: Nick Williams and Marcus Dowtin left the program, creating depth issues at inside linebacker. And there will be arrivals: John Jenkins at nose tackle, Ray Drew at outside linebacker, and a trio of freshmen at the inside spots (Amarlo Herrera, Kent Turene and Ramik Wilson).

Once again, this depth chart will just look at the current players and how it looks after spring practice. Some players – like Kwame Geathers, and perhaps Cornelius Washington – really helped themselves. But August will tell a lot.
Here you go:


DeAngelo Tyson (Sr.)
Top backup: Garrison Smith (Soph.)
Also: Matthew DeGenova (walk-on, Sr.)

CHANCES IT STAYS THAT WAY FOR THE OPENER: 98 percent … Tyson’s move to the end frees him up to see if he can improve on the 1.5 sacks and seven quarterback pressures he managed last year playing in the trenches at nose tackle. He’ll keep his spot barring injury, but the other side of the line could get interesting, as we’ll explain. Smith is the top backup now after playing seven games as a true freshman, but a bunch of hybrid DE-OLB could factor in the mix too.

LOOMING: No incoming recruits are listed as a DE. Sterling Bailey could play that spot, but a) he’s hurt and may redshirt, and b) he would start as that hybrid DE-OLB spot. The same goes for guys like Dexter Morant and T.J. Stripling.


Kwame Geathers (R-Soph.)
Top backup: Mike Thornton (R-Fr.)
Also: None.

CHANCES IT STAYS: 30 percent. … Jenkins is on his way in and unless he shows up overweight and lazy, he should start. But Geathers’ strong spring means he can push hard for the spot or play some at end.

LOOMING: Besides Jenkins, freshman Chris Mayes is on the way. Mayes gets forgotten a lot because of Jenkins, but he’ll have four years of eligibility and was a four-star prospect. He’s only listed at 295 pounds, so if he’s going to play nose, he’ll probably redshirt his first season while putting on weight.


Abry Jones (Jr.)
Top backup: Derrick Lott (Soph.)
Also: Smith, DeGenova.

60 percent. … As we mentioned, this spot could end up belonging to Geathers. But we’ll see in August how serious the coaches are about doing that. If not, Jones started six games last year, but didn’t have any sacks. Lott spent most of last year on scout team but has a lot of potential.

LOOMING: See other end spot.


Cornelius Washington (Jr.)
Top backup: Chase Vasser (R-Soph.)
Also: Dexter Morant (R-Fr.), T.J. Stripling (Soph.)

CHANCES IT STAYS: 50 percent. … Drew will be given a chance to take the starting spot from Washington. The “Will” (weakside) spot is what Justin Houston played last year, so it’s a prime spot for racking up sacks. Washington has great size (6-4, 260) and athleticism. If he can show enough drive in August he can hold off Drew, who would then become a candidate to play some at defensive end. But it seems likely that Washington and Drew will split time, much like Washington and Darryl Gamble did last year.

LOOMING: There’s Drew as well as Bailey. It also makes sense to include Morant and Stripling, each of whom sat out spring practice as they rehab injuries. Stripling was playing last year before tearing his knee at Colorado. If he is in good shape, he’ll be a factor at one of the outside spots. Ditto for Morant. Each has good size (Stripling is 6-6 and Morant is 6-7) but are a bit on the light side.


Christian Robinson (Jr.)
Top backup: Mike Gilliard (Jr.)
Also: Brandon Burrows (R-Fr.)

CHANCES IT STAYS: 95 percent. … The name for this position is generally the “Mike” inside linebacker, i.e. the captain of the front seven. Robinson was given this position based on his experience and leadership. Barring injury he’ll hold onto it, especially given that Ogletree is still learning his position and Samuel sat out last year.

Herrera, Turene and Wilson are the signees, and you’d figure that at least one will play. The depth issues on the inside are a concern with the departures of Dowtin and Williams.


Alec Ogletree (Soph.)
Top backup: Richard Samuel (Jr.)
Also: Gilliard, Burrows

CHANCES IT STAYS: 85 percent. … The coaches like Ogletree at this spot, so he’s not likely to get much of a push from Samuel, or get moved back to safety. Still, Samuel has enough potential that he should see the field. Burrows and Gilliard saw a lot of time in spring practice too because of injuries. That helps the depth a bit, but it seems apparent the only two inside guys the coaches feel very confident in right now are Robinson and Ogletree.

LOOMING: See above.


Jarvis Jones (R-Soph.)
Top backup: Reuben Faloughi (R-Soph.)
Also: Morant, Stripling.

CHANCES IT STAYS: 75 percent. … The only way Jones doesn’t start here is if he gets moved back inside for some reason. Otherwise his ability will be too much to keep off the field. Faloughi, Morant and Stripling will need to show they can play and not be much of a drop-off. Burrows could also shift back outside.

LOOMING: Drew could always switch over to the other side, but it would likely only be to spell Jones. The depth at end is slightly worse than OLB.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could do a Baseball recruiting list for us and give a brief bit of information about each one of the Georgia Baseball teams new recruits for this year?

Anonymous said...

Remove Mayes from the discussion: