I’ll say it again: the biggest eye-opener for me at G-Day was the depth in the defensive backfield. Deandre Baker is gone, but there’s plenty left to fill in the gap created by his departure.
A lot of Georgia’s reliance in the defensive secondary was on former cornerback Deandre Baker. He was the lockdown guy who hadn’t allowed a touchdown in two years, and good luck if you try to throw at him. He’s walked through the doors and finished a career, and the Bulldogs got a taste of the new-look secondary only a few days before Baker donned a New York Giants jersey as a first-round draftee.
From the outset, the first-team defense has its core in place. That includes younger names like Campbell, Stokes and Webb and is rounded out by the older presences of J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte (yes, it’s strange to call them veterans already). There were two moments that could’ve been to Georgia’s favor: Campbell, after being picked on and eventually benched, looked like a force, and Stokes ball-hawking tendencies continued to show.
Georgia’s recruiting prowess came into play with the production of that group. It’s a testament to the fact that bringing in a horde of highly-touted recruits will pay off and be fruitful (not everyone is great in year one, but that’s been noted before).
Some glimpses of guys who could contribute in the secondary were also seen on the Red team. Other than an egregious pass interference penalty from Divaad Wilson, most of the signs were positive. Early enrollee Lewis Cine led the defense with eight tackles, sophomore Latavious Brini had an interception at safety and Tyrique Stevenson saw play early and often.