PROJECTED PRESEASON GEORGIA DEPTH CHART - DEFENSE
Georgia’s Defense is bolstered by its front Seven, which may be possibly the best front seven in the nation. But expect for the back end to gel come later in the season. A lot of new faces in the secondary but some faces that have seen significant playing time. Transfers Derion Kendrick (Clemson) and Tykee Smith (West Virginia) should soften the losses of Safety Richard Lecounte and CB Eric Stokes. The depth at both safety positions is a cause for concern.
Nakobe Dean (JR)
Quay Walker (JR)/Channing Tindall (JR)
*Nakobe Dean is now the center of Georgia’s defense, Alas' Roquan Smith, after a great sophomore season that saw him become a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. Dean is the sideline-to-sideline linebacker Georgia’s system is built around. To whom will be to Dean's side may change on a weekly basis. Quay Walker has the talent and skill, but has lacked consistency and will be challenged by Channing Tindall in Fall camp. Both will get heavy playing time.
Nolan Smith (JR)
Adam Anderson (SR)
*The loss of Azeez Ojulari looms large to outsiders, but with Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith waiting in the wings, this unit should be as stout as they come. Smith will need to show a little more consistency with backfield pressure and Anderson will need to show he's more than an edge rusher on run downs. Beal and Sherman will be waiting in the wings.
1. Travon Walker (Jr.)
2. Jalen Carter (Soph.)
3. Tramel Walthour (Jr.)
*UGA fans should be excited about Walker's potential in 2021. With that said, there has never really been a time when fans shouldn't have been excited about his potential. The sky's the limit for the junior defensive end, who has added about 10 to 15 pounds of good weight this offseason. Of all the guys who have played defensive end since Smart arrived, Walker has the most play-making potential. Walthour will back him up and Carter got snaps there last season and this spring. Carter is an animal waiting to be uncaged!
1. Jordan Davis (Sr.)
2. Zion Logue (R-Soph.)
*Davis battled weight issues this offseason but he appeared to be in tremendous shape at SEC Media Days a few of weeks ago. He also seems locked in and determined to finish his UGA career with a bang. The Bulldogs will probably start moving guys around if Davis goes down, much like last year, but Logue is one of his primary backups. Bulldog fans should be encouraged by his performance late in the 2020 season.
1. Devonte Wyatt (Sr.) / Jalen Carter (Soph.)
2. Nazir Stackhouse (Soph.) / Warren Brinson (Soph.) / Julian Rochester (Sr.)
3. Bill Norton (R-Soph.)
*Look at all those names. Georgia is loaded with guys who can play defensive tackle and the top two are going to play a ton of snaps. Wyatt and Carter are difference makers and they are going to play a lot of snaps. Tray Scott is also going to move them around and get them on the field together as much as possible. Stackhouse, Brinson, and Rochester can also play different positions and they should get plenty of run as well. Norton is another guy trying to find a role.
1. Tykee Smith (Jr.) 2. Latavious Brini (Sr.) 3. William Poole (Sr.) / Javon Bullard (Fr.)
*Smith is going to have to learn some new stuff to become the starter here. Coach Kirby Smart told reporters at SEC Media Days that what Smith did at West Virginia is very different than what UGA does in coverage. With that said, Smith is coming off an All-American and Big 12 1st Team season at West Virginia. Brini will compete hard for this spot while providing some depth at safety. Poole and Bullard are next up on the depth chart but the Bulldogs might move a cornerback down, especially against teams that sling it around.
1. Ameer Speed (Sr.) 2. Kelee Ringo (RFr.) 3. Jalen Kimber (RFr.)
*This may be the biggest question mark on the team. Who will play Cornerback? The loss of Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes to the NFL looms large. Ameer Speed doesn't have a ton of experience but he has more meaningful game reps than the rest of the group combined. He also has a ton of practice reps in this scheme. We're interested to see Jalen Kimber's progress from the last season because he has to get bigger and stronger. Ringo is still playing catch up from a rep standpoint as he hasn't played a meaningful snap in almost 18 months.
1. Derion Kendrick (Sr.) 2. Kelee Ringo (RFr.) 3. Jalen Kimber (RFr.) *Kendrick won't be given a starting job but he also didn't transfer to Georgia to back up. He has a couple of seasons as a starter under his belt and has proven that he can play cornerback at a high level. According to Caoch Kirby Smart, what Kendrick was asked to do at Clemson is very similar to what UGA does in coverage. That should help with the transition. He'll be backed up by guys who have a lot of talent but almost no experience. Kimber and Ringo will learn both cornerback spots, not that they're all that different.
1. Lewis Cine (Jr.) 2. Latavious Brini (Sr.)
*Cine, entering his second season as a starter, has embraced a leadership role this offseason. He was really good a season ago and Georgia needs him to be even better in 2021 with the inexperience at cornerback. We already know that he's a big hitter (Ask Kyle Pitts) but the Bulldogs would love to see him become more of a ball hawk who can create turnovers. Brini got some valuable snaps at safety a year ago and is likely the next man up at both spots. He's a snap away from starting.
1. Chris Smith (Sr.) 2. Latavious Brini (Sr.)
*It's impossible to say how important it was for Smith to start five games last season. Richard LeCounte's injury allowed UGA to get a jump start on replacing him. Smith was really solid in 2020. He's a sure tackler and also covers a lot of ground. The mass he added this offseason should help him become more effective in the box. Brini will also serve as the backup at this position and he looked great at strong safety when Smith had to miss time against Missouri.