On Saturday, I wrote this about how the two-deep on defense would sort out over the coming months:
I’ve got no idea how this plays out, of course, and neither does anybody else. But how personnel get sorted out on the defensive side of the ball between now and September bears watching.
Yesterday, Seth Emerson decided to give that a shot based what he’s seen at practice so far, and what he’s heard from players. Here’s his current educated guess:
DE: Garrison Smith … John Taylor
NT: Mike Thornton …. Chris Mayes
DE: Ray Drew OR Sterling Bailey
OLB: Jordan Jenkins … Chase Vasser
ILB: Amarlo Herrera … Ryne Rankin
ILB: Ramik Wilson …. Reggie Carter
Star: Josh Harvey-Clemons … Damian Swann
CB: Damian Swann … Devin Bowman
CB: Sheldon Dawson … Reggie Wilkerson
FS: Tray Matthews … Connor Norman
SS: Corey Moore OR Connor Norman
First thing you’ll probably notice is that Emerson isn’t laying out a 3-4 alignment, but rather a 3-3-5. That’s based on the assumption that we’ll see that more than anything in the season opener against Clemson and at home against South Carolina. When Georgia plays in its base defense,
Take out the star spot, and insert OLB, which right now would be James DeLoach and then Josh Dawson. – Move Harvey-Clemons to first-team strong safety. Matthews remains the starting free safety.
Second thing is Tray Matthews getting the nod to start at one of the safety positions. But he’s not the only true freshman on Emerson’s list.
Third thing is that Grantham is going to have some green back-ups at second string inside linebacker. It’s a good thing that’s a position of strength in this year’s recruiting class.
Obviously, there’s still a long way to go. There are some JUCO kids coming in the summer whom I expect to get a fair crack at making the two deep, especially in the secondary. Still, it’s interesting that enough impressions have been made to go this far.