Beefing up

Here’s a good piece in Field Street Forum that gives an indication about where Kirby Smart may be headed with his defensive philosophy, based on some of the recruits he’s chasing.

While it isn’t surprising at all, this points to Kirby going with a defense with bigger linebackers. Of course this is what he did at Alabama, while Pruitt has been recruiting and using smaller/quicker linebackers the past two years.

Take a look at the difference:

Roquan Smith – 6’1 217
D’Andre Walker – 6’3 224
Natrez Patrick – 6’3 248 (will thrive in Kirby’s system)
Juwan Taylor – 6’1 200

Above are the weights of our linebackers after a season in the strength and conditioning program. If Jackson were to come to UGA, he would be the second biggest linebacker on the team the minute he steps on campus.

Need further proof?

Ben Davis is the #1 ILB in the nation and just named UGA his leader. He’s 6’3 240.

Bigger at inside linebacker… Smart’s not kidding about stopping the run.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

26 responses to “Beefing up

  1. I’ve read articles in the past that supposedly the bigger LB’s are why Bama has (at times) struggled against spread offenses. But boy it sure would be nice to have the luxury of having either a Ben Davis on the field or a Roquan Smith, depending on the situation. Have we ever had that kind of depth to mix and match based on matchups? A guy can dream, I guess. 🙂


    • Timphd

      Those were my questions too. I thought Pruitt had gone smaller for the ability to cover the spread offenses better. If we give up that ability I would be worried because we see more spread than not these days. I do hope that maybe Kirby will be able to get the kind of depth you are thinking about with both small and quick and big and strong to play depending on the situation. We can both dream.


    • jntiii

      The only problem with this is subbing them out against HUNH. Can’t they be big AND fast. 🙂


      • gastr1

        Or, can’t we have players with different sizes and strengths? Especially at linebacker, where it seems you could easily have 8-10 on the roster?


        • ApalachDawg

          What a totally cool concept – depth and variety on your roster…
          There is a new roster management sheriff in town. I am confident that this sheriff will never, ever self impose scholarship reductions.
          Also,I am not worried at all in how KS is recruiting bigger linebackers, last i checked his current D is a nightmare walking


          • Will (the other one)

            It might not be as good statistically as the 2011 D, but I think it may be better overall. They actually have a scary pass rush, instead of the old method of not giving up big plays and contesting short passes.
            While Pruitt was a big upgrade over Grantham, I admit I’ve been a little disappointed at the overall pressure brought on defense.


      • Yeah I was more referring to overall gameplan than play-to-play, depending on the opponent. Guys would get more or less snaps depending on who the opponent was. I should have used the term “opponent” instead of “situation” in my original comment, would have better conveyed what I meant!


    • FisheriesDawg

      I guess that’s a calculated risk; the Florida game counts more on our schedule than the Auburn game, and we need to be able to beat Alabama or LSU if we make it through the East. Gone are the days where a single loss to Auburn would keep us from a national title shot, so he’s probably, in part, considering who we NEED to beat to reach our ultimate goals.


  2. We’ve always seemed to end up signing a lot of guys who, while talented, have needed a couple years in a good S and C program. Especially on the LOS. Even with the defensive improvements over the last year or so the D has still been handled by Bama and Florida. I’d personally like to see us signing more bigger and physical guys at WR, OL AND LB. I’m over the 6’8″ , 265 lb centers and 5’8″, 168lb WRs.


    • Normaltown Mike

      CMR’s philosophy on OL (going back to FSU) is get tall skinny guys that move well and then beef them up. I would say it’s been a miscalculation of required strengths in the SEC and has proven (largely) ineffectual.


    • Tronan

      Proof (if you need it) that physical freaks are the rule in big-time CFB. 6’8″ 265 is small? Well, in certain, extremely unusual situations, yes.


  3. fuelk2

    While it might be tempting to worry about facing spread offenses, I’m not going to second-guess Kirby’s recruiting or his defensive style until he gives me a reason to. Guy has been the envy of all and a thorn in our sides in those areas for a long while now.

    I am finally starting to get excited about this move.


  4. Granthams replacement

    Alabama’s current “big” linebackers cover man to man better than anything UGA put on the field in a while.


  5. J-Dawg

    A slightly unrelated question here, but can anyone tell me what happened to AJ Turman this season? He ran wild at the G-Day game but it’s as if he fell off the face of the earth since then. Does anyone know what happened to him?


  6. Bright Idea

    Georgia’s greatest deficit at ILB has been the inability to cover the seam down the middle and play downhill scraping into the off tackle hole. The guys we’ve had have played hard but have been doing too much chasing.


  7. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roquan move to safety as a hybrid type of player who can come down into the box or lay the wood on receivers in the middle of the field.

    Think Davis, Thomas …


  8. W Cobb Dawg

    The difference is bama was getting the top LBs in the nation – they are big & fast. I don’t take issue with Smart’s approach as long as we’re landing the top LBs in the nation.

    There’s also nothing wrong with Pruitt’s approach. Of course we’re going to see more offenses like Oregon, Baylor, etc. and closer to home aubie and gtu. Gotta also remember Pruitt is/was recruiting much bigger DLs like Thompson and Rochester.


  9. So finally we find the beef.


  10. JasonC

    If you remember, Grantham preferred the big LBs also. Remember the story about how Jenkins had put on weight and then after Grantham left and Pruitt came in with a new S&C strategy, they put almost all the guys on programs to shed weight and Jenkins was talking about how much better he was moving. Basically, if you can find them fast and big, then you win. Otherwise, you make do with what you can get play to that strength. Some guys can add the weight and still be effective, some can’t.


  11. Dawg Vegas



  12. Bill Glenn

    Alabama offered Roquan Smith.


  13. BMan

    If Coach Smart sticks to the Bama way of doing things, I believe we’re going to notice a big change in the next few years. I hear about the metrics they employ for recruiting. If a kid isn’t a certain height/weight, or they can’t project him hitting a certain metric within their S&C program, some coach has to pretty much stick his neck out to make a case for the kid getting an offer. Would love to hear from someone who knows more about it (Bryant Denny, perhaps).


  14. DawgByte

    This is music to my ears! I’ve felt for years that we’re too small at ILB. When need a Rey Maualuga type player who is big enough to quickly shed OG blocks, plug holes and enforce the middle. I can’t remember the last time we had someone that dominant.