Georgia Football: Outside Linebackers Depth Chart Review
When you recruit at the level the University of Georgia has during the Kirby Smart era it's expected to have position groups that become loaded down with talent. In 2019, Georgia had 37 players play at least 100 snaps on the defensive end. One position group, however, seems to be stocked with more talent than most, and it's only becoming more crowded.
The outside linebackers room at Georgia is currently filled with two five stars, the No. 1 ranked JUCO transfer in 2019, oh and a guy by the name of Azeez Ojulari who was named a captain last year as a freshman, the first and only to do so under Kirby Smart.
Before we get started with the depth chart review, know that the JACK position — the role occupied by Ojulari — is the one that will be on the field at all times. Whereas the SAM linebacker is subbed out when Georgia goes to a 4-2-5 defense, which is what they play primarily to counter the spread and RPO systems that most teams these days are running.
Azeez Ojulari will be manning down the fort for the majority of the snaps this fall and is looking to make yet another jump in year three at Georgia. He led the team with 5.5 sacks last season, no other Bulldog had more than 2.5. He's not only the best pass rusher on the team, but he's an unspoken leader of the defense. As he put it during the Sugar Bowl media day, he leads by example.
Nolan Smith saw action as a true freshman at the SAM position, but in year two he's expected to see a bit more run at the JACK position when and if Ojulari needs a breather. Smith was the No. 1 overall player in 2019 and won the Defensive Newcomer of the Year award at the postseason awards gala.
Projected Depth Chart:
- Azeez Ojulari
- Nolan Smith
- Robert Beal
With Ojulari expected to man down the JACK position for the majority of the snaps this fall, the rest of the extremely talented room is going to battle for the limited playing time at the SAM position. JUCO transfer, Jermaine Johnson began to stretch his lead at the position over the likes of Adam Anderson and Walter Grant towards the end of last season.
Anderson is one of the freakiest athletes the University of Georgia has ever seen. The former 5-star is 6'5, 225 pounds and runs a 4.3 forty, but hasn't really gotten extended playing time since arriving at Georgia.
Walter Grant has seen his fair share of struggles finding playing time at the outside linebacker position as well. So much so that the Georgia staff actually experimented with Grant playing running back last spring.
As for incoming freshman, Mekhail Sherman, sources tell the Bulldog Maven that he will play both inside and outside linebacker to start his career at Georgia. Sherman has made his intentions clear that he wants to play inside linebacker on the college level, though his frame at 6'3 and 234 pounds would indicate that he's an edge defender.
Projected Depth Chart:
- Jermaine Johnson
- Adam Anderson
- Walter Grant / Mekhail Sherman
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