Size matters.

How many of you saw this coming?

Georgia’s struggles with run defense this season are well-documented. But there is some hope for improvement, and it comes in the form of Jordan Davis.

Davis is just a freshman and he plays noseguard. That in itself makes him a rarity, that he’s playing at all. But Davis has something none of Georgia’s other options at the position offer.

He’s big. Really big.

Too big, in fact. At first, anyway.

Davis showed up from Charlotte’s Mallard Creek High carrying 350 pounds on his 6-foot-6 frame. Upon the opening of preseason camp in August, coach Kirby Smart immediately declared that Davis would have to drop 20 pounds to have any hope of playing. He was jettisoned to the scout team, where he opened the season.

What has impressed Smart and Davis’ teammates so much is he not only dropped that weight, but then some. And he did it totally on his own. He did it by running on the side, mornings and afternoons.

“Jordan’s development has been a big bonus for us,” Smart said after the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday. “… He may be one of our best conditioned players now because he spends all of his time conditioning.”

Davis is not just well-conditioned. Apparently he can play some as well. He had seven tackles in the Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss to LSU. He’s now 13th on the team and fourth among down linemen with 15 tackles. He also has a quarterback pressure to his credit.

This is after not making Georgia’s travel roster for its first two away games and playing only sparingly the first third of the season.

From the coaches’ perspective, necessity is the mother and all that, but it’s impressive to see the kid step up and take advantage of the opportunity.  Now, if the inside linebackers can take advantage of the opportunity…

25 Comments

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25 responses to “Size matters.

  1. Argondawg

    The loss of Atkins in the middle can’t be over stated. If this kid can play that 0 or 1 technique and demand a double team then our inside backers have a lot less to contend with. Yes we are missing Roquan and replacing him with something even close is delusional but Atkins was a huge part of our run stopping success. When he dunked that basketball at camp sunshine I knew that when he slimmed down he was going to be a handful. We have issues but hopefully at this point in the season some of those other world freshmen we just signed can start to flash for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John Denver is full of shit...

    That’s a good story right there. I can’t imagine working 80hrs a week and running once. Kudos Jordan Davis!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe putting Davis in the starting lineup will be the equivalent of putting Rennie Curren in back in 2007.

    That freed up everyone around him to be just a little bit better, which made a huge difference.

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  4. Jim

    We need somebody (ies?) to step up in the middle. If not we will drop 1-2 more games and I’ll worry about tech too. Always gotta stop the dive play against tech

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  5. Macallanlover

    I am not minimizing the loss of Atkins, without doubt he played a key role last season, but our LBs have really been a disappointment as a group. There had to be a step back this year with the loss of Roquan, but I did expect someone to step forward and be more consistent with the occasional big play at a key point. I may be the only one to be in the dark but with Rice and Patrick’s play in the past, I felt we had enough to be adequate until some youngsters developed.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      I wonder if any of it has to do with the new LB coach we hired away from Memphis. Their defense is perpetually softer than baby shit.
      /and i’m a Memphis fan

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      • J.G.

        I know nothing about the learning curve for ILBs. Should I be surprised that Quay Walker and Channing Tindall aren’t better than Juwan Taylor and Tae Crowder by this point in the season?

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        I’ve wondered the same thing about Fanning. And yes, Q. Walker and Tindall seem to be on the slow road to contributing. I was hoping Patrick’s senior year might be his best, but he’s been pretty much a ghost. I guess Rice has been banged up, but we’re much better when he’s playing. Haven’t heard Grant’s name called much either, after a promising freshman year in ’17.

        Overall, LBs not name D’Andre Walker are having a mediocre year.

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  6. Russ

    It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder about the coaches’ ability to assess the talent they have on hand. To go from not making the traveling squad against Mizzou to 7 tackles against LSU can’t all be due to his amazing development over a couple of weeks. This is sort of like the OL last year suddenly taking a big step forward when Cleveland apparently figured it out enough to be put into the lineup.

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    • maybe, but also the coaches aren’t perfect. i realize they make a lot of money to make these decisions, but name someone in any profession that at some point hasn’t lost sight of the forest for the trees at least once? i am sure if we micromanaged every decision most on this forum made in their professional lives, we could find an oversight or two for even the most successful guys/gals.

      at some point can imperfect fans get a life and stop demanding perfection from a group of imperfect coaches/players? jesus H

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      • Tony Barnfart

        Look, we get it. People are human. By all accounts, Kirby Smart has kicked my ass in the game of life. But scrutiny from fan[atic]s (people who, by definition, are irrational) is why Kirby Smart makes 7-large to coach an amateur game and I’m just a tad bit under that. I’ll go back to being rational just as soon as Offensive line coaches go back to making less than 7 figures.

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        • there is a difference between scrutiny and demanding total perfection, i would hope we can agree there.

          This point probably belongs in the playpen, but making a conscious effort to be irrational because you feel something related to said subject is also irrational, thus justifying your irrationality, is a weird, but sadly common outlook on things in general, be it CFB, politics, or otherwise

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      • Russ

        LOL! Overreact much?

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    • MGW

      Might be a physical and mental thing. Guy could be a total beast but you can’t put him in until he knows what to do on every play.

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  7. He has nice potential but I see him doing the same thing Rochester does- stand straight up many times. Much easier for the OL to get leverage when they do that. Being really tall doesn’t help, either. Still, Davis seems to have the most potential and gives good effort.

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  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Back in the summer, Ledbetter had this to say about Jordan Davis:
    “Ledbetter didn’t want to bring up any of those big-name freshmen recruits. But then he did mention one of them. Ironically, it wasn’t one of those 5-star guys. He spoke of a fellow defensive lineman.

    That was Jordan Davis. The guy who will definitely drop jaws walking around campus.

    “He’s just a huge like big body coming in but he’s still a little boy,” Ledbetter said. “It is crazy. He squats like he is a senior. I watched him do five plates (490 pounds) the other day when we were squatting and he’s lifting it up like he has got marshmallows on his back. It is just crazy.”

    Give the kid a little time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      I would think the staying low thing would be the hardest, especially for these guys that are so tall. In HS it doesn’t matter, but now you’ve got guys that are just as strong and if you lose leverage, it’s over.

      Anyhoo…hope he gets more chances and helps clog up the middle some. The ILBs could use some help.

      Like

      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        If he can squat 490 like he has marshmallows on his back, he should be able to see that he can get low and essentially be a forklift. We could sure use it.

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  9. W Cobb Dawg

    When Wyatt, our only DL commit in the 2017 class, didn’t qualify it was a big hit to the interior DL. Thompson’s nonsensical decision to leave early made matters much worse. 4-star recruits like Carter, Rochester and Barnett contribute once in a while, but simply haven’t panned out as well as we’d hoped. One could argue that Clark and Marshall are the only DL recruits who have really made a sizable impact out of all of Kirby’s DL recruits. I’m glad the interior DL seems to be a point of emphasis in the ’19 recruiting class. Davis’s stepping up is sorely needed in the middle.

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  10. CB

    Has anyone taken the time to state the obvious? Our ILB’s aren’t playing well mostly because Atkins (and to a lesser extent Thompson) aren’t around to keep interior o-linemen from getting to the second level. Yes, Taylor is below average and Crowder is a converted RB who’s only real contribution is in pass coverage, but Natrez probably didn’t magically get worse because he stopped smoking weed. These guys are taking on a lot more blocks this year compared to last season, and that is mostly on the d-line. The same thing happened to Roquan in the first half in the Rose Bowl last season, and guess what? Oklahoma ran rough shot over us until CKS started stunting into the the A gap and rain blitzing into the B gap after halftime.

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  11. 69Dawg

    Maybe Davis is just too tall to be effective at Nose. Geno Atkins, The Great is not that tall. When it comes to blocking and line play, lowest man wins. Once the Olineman get his hands on him he can drive him anywhere he wants. If he does not stay low he will be driven out. Losing a lot of weight may not be the best move for a Nose. When your job is to jam up the middle it helps to be short, strong and heavy.

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