Coach Smart wants "Havoc"... But who is going to bring it?
The Georgia defense that has made no secret that its primary initiative in 2019 is to show improvement in the area of “havoc plays.” Those can be anything from quarterback sacks and pressures, to tackles for loss to fumbles, interceptions and deflections. But how does a defense who ranked last in the SEC in sacks (22) a year ago turn this around? Well it doesn't help that UGA's top pass rusher D'Andre Walker (7.5 sacks in 2018) has graduated. But there is a lot of talent waiting and salivating at their turn! Coach Dan Lanning has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator after the departure of Mel Tucker. But don't expect a a huge scheme change under Lanning. This is Kirby Smart's Defense! Now Lanning will look to be aggressive but if the Bulldogs can get pressure with the front 4 like in 2017, then don't expect too many exotic blitz packages. Below are a few edge rushers who will need to cause "Havoc" this Fall!
Azeez Olujari, LB- Olujari was sidelined the majority of the 2018 season recovering from a knee injury is high school senior season. Azeez's hard work during the bowl practice season earned him extensive playing time against Texas. Olujari showed flashes of his speed off the edge as he was in the backfield on several plays. UGA coaches are hoping Olujari can take this momentum into the offseason and be a constant rush.
Adam Anderson, LB- Anderson arrived on campus as the #1 OLB nationally, #18 overall prospect nationally. Anderson saw action in all 14 games this season which is pretty big accomplishment for a true freshman. Anderson coming in at 6-5, 225lbs is a little light for the SEC. We expect Anderson to add some muscle to his frame this offseason and continue to grow into his role.
Brenton Cox, DE- Played in 13 of 14 games and finished with 20 total stops. Cox made his first start in the Sugar Bowl vs. Texas and had career-best six stops. At 6-4 & 245lbs, Cox is the ideal size the Bulldogs are looking for to tackle the grueling SEC schedule and competition. Expect a year of growth and possibly a breakout season for Cox if he can continue to develop under Coach Lanning.
Jermaine Johnson, LB- DC Dan Lanning personally recruited Jermaine to the Bulldogs! Johnson comes in via the JUCO route from Independence C.C. Ranked as the #2 overall Junior College prospect nationally, the #2 JUCO Weakside defensive end prospect and the #1 JUCO prospect from Minnesota. Johnson totaled 96 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in just 20 games for Independence. Coach Smart & Lanning expect Johnson to be in the rotation of edge rushers early this fall!