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Consistency is Key For Georgia Bulldog Linebackers

August 16, 2022

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ATHENS - Everyone knows that Kirby Smart’s defense is going to look a LOT different this fall.

Replacing starters all over the defense won’t be easy, but the biggest question mark might be the linebacking core. The Bulldogs had three linebackers drafted from last year’s national championship team and there are multiple linebackers hungry to earn playing time this fall.

Guys like Trezmen Marshall, Jamon “Pop” Dumas-Johnson, Smael Mondon, and others are doing their best to stand out in fall practice. It’s an extremely talented group, but according to head coach Kirby Smart, it needs to be a more consistent group sooner than later.

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“I thought Trezmen (Marshall) made a couple of good plays (in last weekend’s scrimmage), but he’s got to continue to stay healthy. He’s fighting a soft tissue calf strain, he’s in and out. He made a couple of good plays today.”

Marshall is considered a veteran of the group entering his 4th season, and while he’s shown flashes, he still needs to stay healthy. If he does, he could be a breakout defender this fall.

Dumas-Johnson made multiple plays as a freshman last year, including a late pick-6 against the UAB Blazers while making 22 total tackles on the season. He’s one that should see the field often this year and is in an excellent position to land one of the starting inside linebacker positions.

“Pops (Jamon Dumas-Johnson) has probably been the most consistent guy in that group. We’re looking for some mental and physical toughness out of that group. There’s some talented young players.”

Then you have a couple of former five-stars in Xavian Sorey and Smael Mondon. Both have plenty of size and know how to run. They both need experience, but the talent is there once the light comes on. Again, consistently is key for both. 

“(Xavian) Sorey flashes, but he’s got to do it more consistently. He knows that, he has some ability to make some really big flash plays, but he’s got to do it more consistently within the defense. Smael (Mondon) has got to play better, too. That’s a group, that group has got to step up and play better, and the defensive line has got to help them play better by keeping the blockers off of them.”

Of course, replacing guys like Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall is almost impossible. What those three brought to the table last year can’t be replaced. 

But if the current inside linebackers can stay consistent, Georgia’s defense could surprise a lot of people this season. 

Tags: Georgia
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