The Georgia Bulldogs have created a reputation for having one of the best all-around defenses in college football year and in year out. Last season the Georgia defense was led by their immensely talented front seven and was one of the major reasons why the Bulldogs were crowned as National Champions. For the upcoming season after watching three defensive linemen drafted in the first round and without a single career start at the linebacker position on the roster, the Bulldog's biggest strength on defense might look a little different than it has in years past.
During the offseason, Georgia has been able to retain several key guys in their secondary with one of them being Tykee Smith. The former All-American and semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award missed the majority of last season with the Bulldogs battling injuries, one of them being an ACL tear.
Another big name that Georgia was able to welcome back was Christopher Smith who decided to forgo the NFL draft and return to Athens for one more season. Smith has been an anchor piece for the Bulldog's secondary at safety, and getting him back for another season is a major win for Georgia. The privilege of being able to bring back a player who has appeared in 41 games over the past four seasons is a win at any program and certainly provides a major boost in the experience department.
Another player that will be suiting up in the red and black this season is Kelee Ringo. He was a major contributor on defense for Georgia last season and now will take on the new role of being the team's primary defensive back. Ringo will be a focal point of Georgia's defense in 2022, as well as, a player the team will rely on to really shut down the opposing team's passing attack.
Though perhaps the most versatile of defenders returning in 2022 is William Poole. A fifth-year senior who started the last three games of the season for Georgia at the STAR position. He displayed admirable cover skills and looks to be the favorite to start at STAR this season. Though when potential starter at corner, Kamari Lassiter went down this spring with a concussion, it was Poole who got the start at corner opposite of Ringo.
Being able to bring back several guys who all have experience is huge for a unit that is still trying to figure out which player will be lining up next to Ringo as the second cornerback on the field. All in all, the Bulldogs return the majority of their secondary who ranked 13th amongst the nation when it came to average passing yards allowed per game.
Javon Bullard is a young defensive back that's drawn lofty comparisons and praise from Dawgs Daily's Brooks Austin:
I don't know if he's a safety, I don't know if he's a STAR, I don't know if he's a starter in year two, or will even find much more time to impact the roster considering the experience and depth in front of him, but I do know one thing about Javon Bullard... he's a football player. He's the smallest guy on the field every single Saturday and he just might be the most violent at all times. He's the most fun watch on tape, and it reminds me of watching a 5'10, 185-pound Nickelback for LSU running around bullying grown men on a college football field that people called the Honey Badger.
Georgia has always had a pretty solid secondary ever since Kirby Smart as head coach, but the group of players that he will be working with for the upcoming season might just be one of the best he's had from top to bottom. A unit that has the potential to be one of the biggest strengths for Georgia's 2022 squad.
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