On Saturday, with Florida facing 2nd-and-15 at its 45-yard line late in the 1st quarter, Kyle Trask received the snap and stepped back to throw the football.

He never got the chance. Within 3 seconds, Azeez Ojulari was on top of him, easily slipping past the offensive line and wrapping up the redshirt junior for a massive loss.

Plays like that are undoubtedly what Kirby Smart envisioned from the Atlanta-area product. A star at outside linebacker and defensive end at Marietta High School — he ended his senior season with 11 sacks and a eye-popping 31 tackles for a loss as the Blue Devils advanced to the state quarterfinals — he’s staked his claim on Georgia’s stat chart, with his sack of Trask on Saturday putting him at a team-high 4.5 for the season.

It’s a nice way to bounce back for a player who had to overcome a little adversity.

He recorded 2 sacks against North Gwinnett in Marietta’s class 7A game in 2017 before being forced out with a torn ACL. While he recovered to see time against Middle Tennessee State last season, he didn’t play again until Georgia Tech and, later, the Sugar Bowl against Texas, qualifying for a redshirt since he had played in fewer than 4 games.

Now, fully recovered, the Dawgs are getting a full view of the impact that Ojulari can have on this defense. He split sacks in his first 3 games before registering 2 solo sacks against Tennessee on Oct. 5. After being held off the board against South Carolina and Kentucky, he added another sack against the Gators.

And his performance this year led Smart to do something he’s never done before: name a freshman a team captain, which he did before the game against the Vols.

“To do that as a redshirt freshman is pretty special,” Smart said. “He leads in practice, he plays the right way, he’s everything you want in a student-athlete. It’s a credit to his family. They did a great job with him.”

And Ojulari has quite a family, to say the least. His late maternal grandfather, Prince Twins Seven Seven, descended from Nigerian royalty, the grandson of a king who ruled over a region of the southwestern part of the country. The name “Azeez” refers to strength and power.

Strength and power, indeed.

Ojulari’s easily on track to be an All-SEC selection, with All-American honors possible as well. And here’s something to consider: The Dawgs haven’t had a double-digit sack man since Jarvis Jones notched 14.5 in 2012. Jones might have some company on that list next year, if not this year, at this rate. (Oh, by the way, Jones is an undergrad assistant on the staff this year.)

None of the accolades matter, though, if the Dawgs don’t bring their best football with them down the stretch. They’ll host Missouri on Saturday, followed by a trip to No. 12 Auburn a week later, senior day against Texas A&M and a trip to the Flats to wrap up the regular season at Georgia Tech.

Win the next 2 games, and another trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7, should be sewn up.

“We know we got 3 SEC games ahead of us,” Ojulari said following the win over the Gators. “We gotta come in, use this momentum to help us keep rising.”

If there’s one other goal Ojulari probably would have hoped to reach, though, it’s getting his younger brother, BJ, to join him in Athens. Originally a Tennessee commit, the 4-star senior lineman flipped to LSU late last month.

As for the older Ojulari, who knows what the rest of his career in red and black will look like? If what we’ve seen from him thus far is any indication, we’ll be hearing his name much more down the road.