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Georgia's Biggest Question on Defense

The Bulldogs consistently have one of the better defenses in college football, but what is their biggest question heading into the 2022 season?


It has been the backbone of Georgia football since the arrival of Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs are now coming off of a year in which their defense was one of the most dominant in college football history. While their monumental defense will forever be remembered, it is now in the past and the attention shifts to the current state of Georgia's defense. 

It takes a lot for a team to be as good as Georgia was last season on the defensive side of the ball. It was a defense that featured eight NFL draft picks, five of those came in the first round. That is certainly something a program should brag about, but in regards to the impact it has on the following season it leaves the daunting task of figuring out how to replace all of those players. 

That task then translates into questions. Questions like, how do you replace a guy like Travon Walker, a player who just went number one overall in the draft? Or who now plays the roles that Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt use to play? All of those are very important and will be addressed before September rolls around, but those aren't even the biggest questions for Georgia on defense. 

It's, who comes after Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall? 

The linebacker position is often the heartbeat of a team's defense, which is exactly what Dean, Walker, and Tindall were for Georgia last season. The linebacker trio came up huge for the Bulldogs time and time again, but with the trio now off to the NFL, it means new faces will need to step into those positions and continue to carry the torch. 

It's the first time that Georgia has lost three linebackers in the same class under Glenn Schumann. Finding the right players to fill the void of three immensely talented linebackers is no easy task, but Schumann has a great pool of players to pick from. Heading into 2022, Georgia doesn't have a career start at the inside linebacker position. 

As to who the next players up will be, there is a multitude of names to take into consideration. There's the older regime of prospects like Trezmen Marshall and Rian Davis. Players who are entering their fourth seasons in Athens. They've waited their turn, buried on the depth chart behind the likes of the aforementioned trio of NFL backers. 

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Sophomores Smael Mondon and Jamon Dumas-Johnson (aka Pop) are certainly two that are in the running for becoming the next big names at linebacker. 

Prior to the start of last season, head coach Kirby Smart said "(Jamon Dumas-Johnson) and Smael (Mondon) are just hard-working and tough. They strike people that we feel we’ve got two good, young players at linebacker that are going to be good players."

There are also other players such as Xavian Sorey Jr. and Trezmen Marshall that could also see a significant amount of snaps at linebacker as well this year. Clearly, the Bulldogs are not lacking in the depth chart department and have an assortment of players that they can choose to plug in on defense. 

At the end of the day, Georgia is in great hands when it comes to linebackers. They not only have the talent to reload at the position, but they also have linebacker coach, Glenn Schumann, who has an impressive track record of developing recruits into high-caliber players. 

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