While the Georgia Bulldogs should have the makings of a very complete team in 2014, there are several players on both sides of the ball who warrant some special attention. Inside linebacker Ramik Wilson falls into that category, and here’s why he should be a a player to watch carefully this season.
At 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, Wilson is one of the most complete linebackers you’ll see. He’s got speed, strength and football instincts that just can’t be taught. Under Todd Grantham he spent his first two seasons at Georgia as a fill-in bench player, appearing in only eight games during his freshman year and then in ten during his sophomore season.
His time on the field may have been limited during those first two seasons, but Wilson made the most of his opportunities, and showed the coaches he was ready to step in as some of the more recognizable names in the linebacker corps moved on to the NFL.
2013 was Wilson’s breakout year, and brother, did he break out.
Making 12 starts and appearing in all 13 games, Wilson racked up an SEC-leading 133 tackles (76 solo), registered four quarterback sacks, and was voted to the Associated Press, Coaches’, Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele All-SEC First Teams.
It’s not a stretch to think that Wilson can get better in 2014, and under the tutelage of new DC Jeremy Pruitt, he should do just that. Pruitt’s schemes are tailor made for a player like Wilson, and with his ability to be just as comfortable dropping back into pass coverage as he is shooting the gaps on the line, Pruitt will make good use of Wilson’s versatility.
Georgia’s defensive line is solid, so look for Wilson to be used much more creatively in blitz packages, and also as a mirror to any mobile quarterbacks the Bulldogs might face.
NFL.com’s Bryan Fischer said of Ramik Wilson, “The long, flowing dreadlocks coming out of the back of his helmet certainly contribute to Wilson’s persona, but he earns his position on this list as one of the best linebackers in the South…and was all over the field for the Bulldogs. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt should help enhance his frightening abilities even more.”
Wilson also has the advantage of a group of linebackers surrounding him that are just about every bit as good as he is, so defenses won’t be able to necessarily focus on Wilson to shut him down. It’s a pick your poison situation when deciding who is the man you don’t want to beat you in the Georgia linebacker corps.
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