After experiencing an unplanned hiatus in 2020, the annual G-Day game returns Saturday. Georgia Football hosts its spring scrimmage in front of a live Sanford Stadium crowd at 2 pm.
The offense has received most of the attention this spring, and rightfully so. But there are plenty of intriguing story lines and position battles on the defensive side of the ball. Here are two battles everyone should pay attention to on Saturday:
Backup Linebacker: Rian Davis vs. Smael Mondon
Georgia has a solid trifecta of linebackers, which it always does. The defense revolves around Nakobe Dean and his ability to make plays all over the field. Quay Walker is no less talented than Dean and Channing Tindall brings a unique skill set to the group.
Who does Georgia turn to after those three? The G-Day game will provide some answers as three players are competing for the No. 4 linebacker spot.
Xavian Sorey and Smael Mondon are the newcomers and were SI99 prospects in the 2021 class. They both bring talent and polish to the competition. Don't be surprised if Sorey and Mondon are Georgia's starting linebackers in two years.
Rian Davis signed with Georgia as a highly-touted recruit in 2019. An injury he sustained as a high-school senior has set him back, and the pandemic didn't do him any favors in 2020. Staying ahead of the freshmen on the depth chart will show that Davis might still be capable of being a star linebacker at Georgia.
Cornerback: Kelee Ringo vs. Ameer Speed vs. Jalen Kimber vs Nyland Green
Without a doubt, the biggest position battle on Georgia's defense is the competition at cornerback. All three will receive meaningful playing time in 2021, but Georgia needs more than just position fillers. As more SEC teams adopt pass-first offenses, the need for shutdown corners becomes even greater.
Which of Georgia's three options will become that guy? Who will the coaches use to blanket the best opposing receiver?
Kelee Ringo is the most talented cornerback and he's certainly the fastest. Not many receivers will truly burn Ringo, but he's coming off an injury and barely practiced in 2020.
Ameer Speed is a fifth-year senior who has spent most of his career on special teams. He has two things going for him: experience and size. Speed understands the coaches' expectations and Georgia's system. Speed is an imposing player at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds. Try completing passes against him if he's stuck to a receiver.
Jalen Kimber is more of an unknown. He wasn't the superstar recruit Ringo was and he hasn't been at UGA for forever like Speed. But don't count him out. Kimber is talented and he's a solid athlete in his own right. Unlike Ringo, Kimber was healthy last year, so he had a season to develop.
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