Corner Kelee Ringo can be penciled in as the headliner at corner for Georgia. However, the Bulldogs have yet to find his running mate and plan to use fall camp as a proving ground.
Head coach Kirby Smart demands a lot from his corners, partially because of the requirements this Georgia defense places on the position and due in part to Smart's history as a defensive back himself. Smart expects them to be well-prepared and consistent, which is why he generally gives the elder statesmen the upper hand.
However, there aren't many veterans in Georgia's corner room. That leaves multiple young corners to fight it out and prove they can handle the toll of playing consistent, high-level football.
The leading contenders right now seem to be some combination of Kamari Lassiter, Nyland Green, and Daylen Everette, according to Dawgs Daily expert Brooks Austin. Lassiter and Green were members of the 2021 signing class and didn't get much run last season, while Everette will be a true freshman this fall.
This isn't a matter of talent; it is a question of capability. Each candidate brings unique traits to the table. Otherwise, they wouldn't be wearing red and black. However, realizing that potential will be what separates one from the rest.
There doesn't appear to be a leader in the clubhouse right now. Lassiter got the most run in the regular season, but that doesn't necessarily put him over the top. Smart seems to believe one will emerge in fall camp, but we have several weeks before a conclusion will be reached.
Whoever Georgia chooses to start the year with opposite Ringo will have an enormous asking on their plate. Teams will gameplan to avoid Ringo, meaning they will be attacking that No. 2 corner early and often. At points early in the season a year ago, it seemed as if Ringo himself were the target. The same will likely be said about his potential running mate in 2022.
Last season, Georgia's backend had the benefit of playing behind one of the best defensive fronts in recent college football history. They only had to hold up for a few seconds before pressure found the quarterback.
While Georgia still has a talented front seven, they lost several impact players to the NFL ranks this offseason. Therefore, there will be a learning curve for newcomers up front.
The Bulldog secondary needs to pick up some slack while the defensive front figures things out during the season's first month. They face two legitimate passing attacks during the first three weeks of the season; despite their flaws, Oregon's Bo Nix and South Carolina's Spencer Rattler are bonafide starters that have played in big games.
Whoever wins the No. 2 job isn't a lock to play for the entire season. After all, fans pondered who would start opposite corner Derion Kendrick last season. While corner Ameer Speed initially won the job, Ringo waited in the wings and passed Speed in season.
The battle for opening day starter will conclude in a few weeks, but the No. 2 corner battle will continue into the season. Georgia needs a consistent anchor on the outside, especially with the recent defensive line departures.
Kirby demands near excellence from his corners on the outside, and this year will be no different. Last season he didn't necessarily need top-end play on the boundary, and this season presents him with an entirely different challenge.
Georgia's defense will only go as high as their secondary lets them, and one of the primary spots in that backend is still up for grabs. It is one of the most significant position battles in the sport and one worth monitoring as we march towards the season opener.