February 14, 2007

Who Will Step Up This Spring? - Defense

On Tuesday we took a look at the five players on offense that we felt needed to state their case in one way or another this spring camp. Today, we take a look at guys like Dannell Ellerbe who need to nail down their spot on the depth chart as soon as possible.

Safety C.J. Byrd
After playing as much as he has over the last two seasons, the first thing one might say when seeing C.J. Byrd's name this list is why? While on paper he has not been tearing up the stats sheet with a total of 13 tackles over the last two seasons, he has been one of the up and coming stars while earning more and more playing time. He has seen action in 26 games after playing as a true freshman in 2005, and many have him penned in as a starter at one of the two safety positions opposite Kelin Johnson, and that is where the question mark comes in. With the leadership problems that plagued the Georgia defense through the first half of last season, Johnson, a rising senior along with cornerback Paul Oliver, are going to be leaned on heavily by the coaching staff to provide the much needed leadership. That is not to say that Johnson will keep a starter's spot based solely on his age, but there is no doubt that a rebuilding UGA defense needs all the leadership it can get. Beyond that, redshirt freshmen Quintin Banks and Reshad Jones will be tossed into the mix this spring as well. The coaching staff has raved about Banks even going as far as to refer to him as "Blue" after former safety Greg Blue. Jones was the number one rated safety prospect in the nation in 2005 coming out of high school and should be ready to show out this spring. Also in the mix is sophomore Donovan Baldwin. Byrd will need to have a solid spring to solidify his spot and let the other three battle it out for position behind himself and Johnson.

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