Plethora of OLBs a good problem to have at Georgia
At times during Saturday’s spring game, Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter and Jordan Jenkins looked nearly unstoppable, shedding off blocks and making plays during a dominant first half by the Bulldogs’ first-team linebackers.
Throw in the sidelined Leonard Floyd this fall and you have the SEC’s most talented core of pass rushers at Jeremy Pruitt’s disposal, a group intent on playing at the same time in a variety of packages.
And we haven’t even mentioned Natrez Patrick, Davin Bellamy and Chuks Amaechi, players with talent still coming into their own as defensive end, outside linebacker hybrids.
Lorenzo Carter on getting on the field with Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd: “It’s gonna be crazy.”
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) April 11, 2015
Floyd’s decision to forgo the NFL Draft in favor of another season in Athens boosts a defense expected to be one of the best Mark Richt’s had during his tenure. Carter, only a sophomore, is a rising star off the edge while Jenkins gives the Bulldogs a much-needed veteran presence now that Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson have exhausted their eligibility.
How will linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer utilize this many players in the Bulldogs’ multiple base defense?
“We want to get as many of those guys on the field as we can in different ways,” Sherrer said last week. “A lot of times it depends on what style of offense your facing each week, too. Last year (against) Auburn we played three of those guys at the same time and then on third down we have four on the field.”
An ideal scenario would place Jenkins and Carter on the outside with Floyd handle more of the inside role. He’s played there at times and could see more action in the middle if other younger players don’t develop as quickly.
The trio has combined for 32 career sacks, so maximizing their total number of snaps is paramount says Sherrer.
“Last year we played, shoot, six,” Sherrer said. “Four to six out of that group. We kind of mingle them back and forth inside and outside. We kind of train a lot of them in a couple of different positions.”