Nakobe Dean on Stepping Into a Larger Role in 2020

Brent Wilson

Nakobe Dean is now heading into his sophomore year at Georgia. While he was primarily a 3rd down guy last year, his role may be increasing in 2020 in terms of on-field duties as well as leadership.

Kirby Smart had plenty of good things to say regarding the former top-rated inside linebacker on Tuesday.

On Nakobe Dean and how much more productive he has been so far this season/whether he will be a third-down back...

"Nakobe [Dean] has had a really good fall camp. He’s extremely intelligent. He’s extremely competitive. He loves football. He is a great leader. He has made himself a better player. He came in a really polished, really well-coached player, and he’s only gotten better in our system. I expect him to have a really good year and be a successful player for us. He sets the tone and makes a lot of calls for us in our defense.” 

Dean had the chance to speak in the presser as well, and you can tell he has the same expectations for himself and the team this season.

On what he expects emotions to be like on Saturday...

“I feel like the emotions are going to be crazy. Everybody is going to be excited. We’re ready to hit somebody else besides us, so I feel like as long as we control our emotion and put it out on the field, we’ll be great.”

On holding the younger guys on the team accountable...

“Last year, I knew I had to step into a leadership position this year. That’s one thing I had to step up my game in, and I’ve just been pushing myself. Holding people accountable is the thing I’ve done since high school. Last year, I didn’t do it probably as much as I should, but I want them to hold me accountable, so I have to hold them accountable.”

On playing with Monty Rice…

“Basically, I look at him on how to lead some people. Different people need to be led differently, and he knows how to do that. For me, I’ve just been looking up to him on how to do it. Quay [Walker], Rian [Davis], Trezmen [Marshall], Nate [McBride], Channing [Tindall] and I— we all just kind of look up to him and see him as the big dog. He’s just been great."

On Arkansas’ offense and what they’ve done to prepare for it…

“As far as us, I feel like we’ve just been focusing on ourselves, but we have been watching film on Arkansas. Not necessarily Arkansas’ [film] with its new offensive coordinator [Kendal Briles], basically how he does his thing. I feel like the coaches have set up a good game plan for us, [and] we just have to buy in and execute.”

Here at Dawgs Daily, we believe Dean will not only be a week one starter, but a dominant force in this year's defense.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.