Continuing my look at the new 2017 Georgia Bulldogs signing class, this week I take an in depth look at LB Nate McBride.
Nate McBride is an outstanding athlete with a ton of potential at the linebacker position. He has beaten Demtris Robertson in a 100m dash. He is also the 100m dash all time leader for Vidalia high school. So he has speed and coming in at 230lbs, he has the size. McBride has been a two-time all state selection at the linebacker position. He wasn’t able to play football at all his junior season due to a car accident.
McBride has the speed and size to see immediate playing time for the University of Georgia. The weight he has gained hasn’t slowed him down to where he is unable to cover even the fastest tight end and running backs. He also has the speed to be able to run down plays from behind.
Nate also hasn’t been 100% exclusive to the linebacker position, he also played running back. He is still learning the position, so he shouldn’t have to many bad habits that a coach would have to fix. So he is a highly gifted athlete that is still pretty raw at the position, and may be the most athletic linebacker already. So there is a lot of potential for him to grow into a first round draft pick, and a great linebacker for Georgia.
The biggest concern with McBride’s game is that fact he is so raw at the position he will be expected to play. McBride doesn’t have the best instincts when it comes to finding the ball and reading the blocks. He doesn’t always take the best angles to get to the ball carrier. Overall he just isn’t a very experienced defender. He has relied on his athletic ability to beat his opponents up to this point in his football career. But at the collegiate level, he will not be able to out-athlete his opponents anymore. McBride could either be a All-SEC linebacker, or a guy that gets over-recruited and eventually lost in the sauce.
Expectations at Georgia:
The good news is he will only be focusing on the linebacker position while at Georgia. He will gain the instincts through practice. I expect McBride to play special teams his freshman season, and really have a shot his sophomore year to get on the field as a linebacker.
Everything will depend on his work ethic and ability to learn his position. I expect him to get his position down, and make a jump onto the field his sophomore year. I think the starting inside linebackers for Georgia come 2018 will be Nate McBride and Monty Rice. Both of these guys should be 1st round draft picks by the end of their senior season.