Georgia Bulldogs Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Outside Linebackers Coach Kevin Sherrer met with the media yesterday afternoon to discuss how the Dawgs defense is looking in the final days of fall camp.
Both Pruitt and Sherrer spoke along the same lines, saying that while the Georgia Bulldogs will have to replace many strong players in the starting lineup (Amarlo Herrera, Damian Swann, and Ramik Wilson to name a few), Georgia does have some great depth on defense, particularly at outside linebacker.
Pruitt didn’t deny that the Georgia Bulldogs are losing a ton of in-game experience on defense, but does like versatility of his players at linebacker. Sherrer said that his position group should feature five players this season: Lorenzo Carter, Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, RS Sophomore Davin Bellamy and JUCO Transfer Chuks Amaechi.
Dawn of the Dawg
Bellamy has had a great summer for the Georgia Bulldogs and both Jeremy Pruitt and Kevin Sherrer praised the former Chamblee product for his growth on the outside. Pruitt doesn’t feel the UGA OLB Corps is a Big Three (Carter, Floyd, and Jenkins), but a Big Four this fall with Bellamy certainly in that mix. Having guys that can play multiple positions at LB will only help get Davin Bellamy on the field more often.
Amaechi initially came to UGA to play inside linebacker, but the defensive staff likes his quickness and view him as at least the 5th outside linebacker in the rotation. Sherrer firmly stated that Chuks was in the group of four to play outside for the Dawgs this season. In the same breath, Coach Sherrer forgot to include Leonard Floyd in that group which brings to question: Is Leonard Floyd still going to play on the outside for the Georgia Bulldogs this fall?
It seems to me that Jeremy Pruitt wants to have his best players on the field as often as possible. Since UGA looks like they have 5 solid OLBs and around 10 great LBs on their roster, Pruitt may opt to move some guys on the outside to different positions to get three, possibly four traditional OLBs on the gridiron at the same time.
In this media session, it felt like neither Pruitt or Sherrer view Leonard Floyd as an outside pass rusher anymore. He could very well end up playing the STAR position for the Georgia Bulldogs this fall, a LB/S hybrid position prominently featured in the Dawgs defense. Floyd has shown that he has the quickness to not only factor in pass rush, but pass defense as well. Run stoppage has been the major issue for Floyd in his first two years with the Georgia Bulldogs.
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The defensive staff is trying to see if Lorenzo Carter can become an every-down player in the UGA 3-4 Base Package. Last year, Sherrer used him mostly as a pass rushing specialist in obvious passing situations. Carter did progress to play on more snaps and even started a few games as a true freshman in 2014. Like Floyd, Carter can line up in many different spots defensively but must work on factoring into stopping the run.
Should an OLB be able to play inside, up front, or at the STAR, the Georgia Bulldogs could make up for not having a ton of experience on the defensive line or in the secondary. How the LB group plays particularly on the outside will decide if the Dawgs are as good on defense as we hope they are in 2015. 11 Days until it’s Saturday in Athens! Forever, Go Dawgs!
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