Position Battles Arise as Fall Camp Begins
Athens, GA- As the Defending Champions head into fall camp this week, The Bulldogs have plenty of questions at key positions they will need to answer before kick off the season in Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Oregon. The last time we saw the Bulldogs on the field was during the (G-DAY) Spring Game in April. What most fans might not of noticed in the spring were a lot of missing contributors from last season. Injuries, Recovery from off-season surgery, and just plain rest were factors this Spring.
Lets dive into the key position battles heading into Fall camp as the Georgia Bulldogs look to defend their title!
• POSTION #1: Offensive Line - Guards
Broderick Jones (Left Tackle), Sedrick Van Pran (Center) and Warren McClendon (Right Tackle) look to be set as returning starters from last season. With the departure of Justin Shaffer and Jamaree Salyer to the NFL, The Bulldogs have 2 openings next to Van Pran on the line.
The following players look to be contending for the starting spots: Devin Willock, Tate Ratledge, Warren Ericson, Xavier Truss, and Micah Morris.
Tate Ratledge the starter heading into the 2021 season, but succumbed to a lisfranc injury in the 1st offensive series against Clemson thus ending his season.
A healthy Ratledge would appear to be the favorite if he's able to get back to full health and form of last fall. Devin Willock (6'7, 355lbs) worked with the first team in the spring and could be a nice bulldozer for the bulldogs to run behind.
Ericson got the start in a few games last season but seemed to have some issues handling pressure and was replaced by Truss after a few busted plays up the middle.
With new Offensive line coach Stacy Searles back in Athens, These 2 position battles will determine what type of line Searles prefers: Road-Graders (alas Sam Pitman) or Agile/Athletic (Alas Matt Luke)
• POSTION #2: Cornerback (Opposite of Kelee Ringo)
Kelee Ringo's interception for Touchdown in the national championship game will go down in Georgia history as one of the top plays in history as its been played in loops all over social media. Before that play, Ringo had his ups & downs in his first full redshirt freshman season. Ringo heads into the 2022 season as First-team preseason All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Athlon Sports and preseason All-SEC First Team, as voted by media attending SEC Media Days.
So the question is with the graduation for Derion Kendrick, Who will play opposite if Ringo this season?
Kamari Lassiter is the returning defensive back with the most career snaps other than Ringo and started opposite of Ringo in Georgia’s spring game.
Nyland Green was a much heralded recruit in the Class of 2021, but didn't get much playing time last season but will get a shot this fall to be opposite Ringo.
Georgia’s 2022 recruiting class focused heavily on the defensive back field and boy did they bring in a ton of talent that could see the field early! Daylen Everette, Marcus Washington, Julian Humphrey, and Jaheim Singeltary are all heralded recruits that will look to push for playing time!
POSITION #3: Middle Linebacker (Opposite Jamon Dumas-Johnson)
Georgia loses its top three linebackers from last season, with Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall and Quay Walker taking a ton of reps and experience with them. What’s more is that the veteran players in this room — Rian Davis and Trezmen Marshall — have battled injury in each of the last two seasons. But there is optimism in part because of the youth in this room. Dumas-Johnson looks to be a lock for one of the inside backer spots. Smael Mondon and Xavier Sorey both saw time last season and contributed mostly in mop up duty, but will look to step in to fill some pretty big shoes left behind!
Other Position Battles we'll be following:
-Free Safety: Dan Jackson vs. A More Athletic but younger Malaki Starks or David Daniel