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.
21 responses to “A primary secondary”
Our nickel and dime packages will be the best overall units we have seen under Kirby so far. Get them some more seasoning and they should be lights out during the stretch run.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the WR group. I fear the DBs looked as good as they did in large part because the WRs we have are just okay, and nothing more.
Yeah, but did you see their blocking?
Every spring game comes with the “was it Memorex, or live” question of the offense or defense, tough to be completely certain. I think this is a superb collection of DBs, and feel the concerns on the receiver group may be overstated. I am not saying we have AJ Green, or Megatron type talent, but collectively there are a lot of guys available to haul in throws from Fromm that will test any defense we face. We were concerned about receivers going into last season as well but were successful passing the ball when Fromm had time.
Holloman is a proven stud receiver, and while missing Ridley and Godwin is uncomfortable, the group of Simmons, DRob, Jackson, Bush, Blount, Landers, Woerner, Pickens, and Blaylock seem capable of keeping us dangerous for teams that focus too much on the run. Some unanswered questions among that group since two haven’t arrived yet, and one has iffy hands, but it isn’t like we don’t have good reason for optimism from the passing attack.
But we all grew up listening to Munson so I get it, and I will sweat it as we get closer to big games, but we rarely live or die by our great passing threat. I will save my worries for places where we may not be as talented. There isn’t much to really hope for with this team, except injury free games.
Same here, don’t think we miss a beat at WR…possibly even better.
Holloman caught 24 balls for 418 yards last year. In what world is that “proven” or worthy of being called a “stud?” Robertson played in 4 games and DID NOT CATCH A PASS.
I’m not saying these guys won’t be productive, but we’ve seen next to nothing out of them to warrant a ton of optimism outside of wishful thinking. We all WANT them to be great, but predicting greatness (or above average SEC caliber play) seems to be a legitimate gamble at this point.
Considering Holloman led the team in yards per reception, had more yards than a senior who was drafted, and caught 5 TD passes, I would say he has proven himself to be a #1 receiver going into this year when we lost 3 receivers to the draft. He was right there with those guys including a 2nd rounder statistically.
In our offense, we aren’t going to have a player with 800-900 yards receiving and mid-double digit TDs.
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Throw in the fact that he was probably the best downfield blocker of the group. Case in point, Holloman blocks and then lays out the Auburn DB to spring Swift on the backbreaker. He’s exactly the type of receiver Kirby wants.
I bet Kirby would take Jeudy over Holloman tomorrow and not think twice about it. Holloman might be a decent (or better) WR, but he’s not the ideal WR for Kirby. He’s probably the ideal choice to be the No. 1 WR for Kirby given his options.
Can Jeudy block?
Do Bama and Clemson have more athletic receivers? Probably yep (I admit I don’t study those guys).
I compare Holloman to the 3 guys who were selected to play in the NFL and his production compares favorably to them.
We get it. You don’t like our receivers compared to others. We’re doomed.
I think Jeudy if the best WR in the SEC, so no, Holloman isn’t that good. It is a long way from saying we are in good shape with Holloman and Company to saying we have to have the very best receiver. Different argument.
Marquis Brown = 17.6 YPC….Holloman = 17.4 YPC. Thought Holloman looked pretty damn good to these eyes last year…explosive.
So you’re comparing Holloman to Brown without noting the sample size? Holloman is a nice WR. He wouldn’t crack the starting lineup at Bama or Clemson (or OU last year). And he’s clearly our best option. That proves the point. UGA is, compared to the elite teams, deficient at WR. It’s not a deficiency that can’t be overcome. Our OL, RB, and QB can help soften (or erase) the problem. But it’s nonetheless a problem.
Looks that way, doesn’t it??
Give Holloman 75 receptions and I guess we could find out. But I guess we will never know, 2 different offenses.
I’m saying that over 17 YPC ain’t bad for anyone…..and I do not think we will skip a beat at that position. Also, If Holloman has a good a season as he did last year, he will be drafted. Good size & speed. FWIW, I believe he will have a better year.
As far as him cracking the lineup at Clemson or Bama, I think you are off there also.
As a matter of fact, if my memory serves me correct,
I believe Bama offered him.
Too much fretting over the WR position, thinks we will be as good, if not better this year.
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Bet you would switch QB’s too, right??
Cine and Stevenson in particular are going to be stars really, really quick. Stevenson already looks the part physically – can you believe he’s a Tfrosh EE who otherwise still should be in HS?? Instead, you’d think he was an upperclassmen or something.
I look at what UGA has in the WR and DL rooms and then I compare it to what Bama, Clemson, and Ohio State have and I find myself we could trade places. Maybe Pickens and Blaylock are studs and Robertson will prove to be as good as we want him to be, but that’s a lot of “ifs” and “hopefullys” and that concerns me.
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We’ve made a lot of hay with basically one go-to receiver the past couple of years. I think we at least have that, and probably several. Offense will be fine.
As for DL, we have some depth and Kirby’s not afraid to use it. No, we don’t have any huge studs there, but all they have to do his hold the point long enough for the LBs to get there, or for the ends to put pressure on the QB. I think we’ll be fine. I’m expecting to be in Nola and leave with a trophy.
Godwin and Hardman were both athletes out of HS. They developed into good WR’s and DGD’s. Blaylock and Pickens are legit 5* WR’s (assuming 40 times are good when they go to the NFL). They both tore it up in High school and at all the camps. Hollomon and Robertson are going to surprise some people this year. Our WR room is already starting to flip. Over the next couple of classes once players see we are again putting WR’s in the NFL and probably in the first 3 rounds they will continue to come.We have a lot of talent and they will continue to gel with Jake over the summer. I have a feeling Jake is absolutely going to wear his arm out this summer throwing to those guys.