Cornerback isn't the only position on the Georgia defense that is a "work in progress" entering the spring. The Bulldogs also have to address the hybrid STAR position.
For years, the STAR position wasn't an issue in Athens. Players like Tyrique McGhee, Mark Webb and Maurice Smith performed admirably. But the depth chart received a blow after the 2020 season when Webb graduated and Tyrique Stevenson transferred to Miami.
Heading to spring workouts, the Bulldogs have three players competing for playing time: two true freshmen and one senior with just 20 games of experience and only one start at STAR. Looking past the lack of experience, it is still a group of defenders with plenty of talent and athleticism.
STAR Depth Chart
- ST1: Latavious Brini, senior
- ST2: David Daniel, freshman
- ST3. Javon Bullard, freshman
*Wild card: Major Burns, sophomore
Brini started at STAR in the Peach Bowl and he treated the game as an audition for 2021. Brini played very well against Cincinnati. He was able to cling to receivers downfield and totally shut down the Bearcats' screen passes. He finished the game with 5.0 solo tackles, third on the team.
Daniel is one of the best athletes in the 2021 recruiting class. He's also a very tough and instinctive player. In short, he has the physical tools to be a dominant STAR in the SEC. He's been on campus since practices leading to the Peach Bowl and he's learning both the safety and STAR positions.
Daniel will use this spring and summer to develop his mechanics and get stronger in the weight room. Fast progression on those fronts will lead to a prominent role on Georgia's defense this season. And he's already on his way. According to sources, Daniel enrolled at around 175 pounds and is already nearing 190 and is also maintaining his speed.
Whether Brini and Daniel can perform at that level in SEC play remains to be seen, but they will be put to the test this spring. The group of running backs, receivers and tight ends Brini and Daniel will see in practice is perhaps better than any they will see all season.
Extremely talented, but extremely thin, Georgia is a team that over the last several years has played five defensive backs almost every down, and even played six defensive backs on third-and-long. Webb and Stevenson were on the field together often last season.
Burns is the wild card at the position group. He played all over the field in high school and he's the closest thing to a young Stevenson that Georgia has on the roster. He's physical enough to impact the run game, he's big enough to be an effective blitzer, and he can cover out of the slot. He has the STAR profile needed to excel at the position.