Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who do Dawgs NEED to step up?

Everybody loves the new guy, at least in college football. We all get super excited about how well the new 5-star running back is going to do, or how big the new nose tackle is. However, a huge deciding factor in how well a team is going to do rests on the extent to which the redshirt freshmen and former 2nd stringers end up contributing, or hopefully starring.

With that in mind, here are some of the players who were on campus last year that Georgia needs desperately to step up.

1) WR Marlon Brown - The former 4 or 5-star WR (depending on what site you look at) came to Georgia with an NFL-ready body; a lethal combination of size and speed. There is no shame in having been an understudy to guys like AJ Green and Kris Durham, who are now both in the NFL, but if Georgia is to be successful, he's going to have to take a step forward and, at the very least, take some pressure off of Tavarres King and Orson Charles.

2) S Shawn Williams - It's become a pretty standard idea of late that Georgia has lacked that heavy hitter in the secondary; a guy who can be an asset in run support, not be a detriment in pass coverage, and scare the bejeezus out of any WRs coming across the middle. While Bacarri Rambo has become a ball hawk of sorts (5 INTs in his first two season), Williams will need to be the enforcer at strong safety, especially with the move of Alec Ogletree to LB. You've got to assume that the coaching staff thought enough of Williams' abilities to make that move, so he'll have to be ready to prove them right.

3) OLB Cornelius Washington - I expected him to have a breakout sophomore year in 2010, not just because I figured teams to concentrate more on Justin Houston, but also because I view him has having that kind of potential. But, after amassing only 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack in 2010 (he had 4 in 2009 in limited playing time), Washington must step it up this year. Opposite him will be Jarvis Jones, who, while much is expected of him, remains an unknown commodity who may be forced to sit out a game or two, or three, or four. At 6'4, 270lbs, Washington is still fleet afoot, and has freakish athletic ability. He'll have to turn the corner this year if the Georgia defense is going to make strides.

So, those are three guys that have been around for a little while, and whose time it is to shine. Don't forget, they were big-time recruits (possible exception being Williams) at one point, too.

Who are some other "veterans" that are just now going to really get their shot, and who the Dawgs truly need to become key players?

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