Georgia football finally saw some of its investments in the defensive line pay off in 2019. Expect that group to be even better in 2020.
The Georgia football program has become known for producing some great individual defensive players, and some impressive overall defensive units. But in the defensive line was an issue that needed to be addressed after the 2018 season.
According to Football Outsiders, in 2018 the Georgia defensive line was No. 98 in line yards, No. 88 in standard downs line yards, No. 104 passing downs line yards, No. 96 opportunity rate, No. 55 power success rate, No. 74 stuff rate, No. 76 sack rate, No. 89 standard downs sack rate, and No. 51 passing downs sack rate.
In 2019 the defensive line was much improved, jumping up to No. 8 in line yards, No. 6 in standard downs line yards, No. 47 in passing downs line yards, No. 2 in opportunity rate, No. 11 in power success rate, and No. 26 in stuff rate.
However, not every category saw an improvement. Georgia’s defensive line dropped to No. 88 in sack rate, No. 111 in standard downs sack rate, and No. 50 in passing downs sack rate.
A big part of the d-line turnaround was due to the play of Tyler Clark. He led the team in tackles for loss with eight and added 11 quarterback pressures. Clark is a senior and moving on to the NFL, but Georgia has some young guys coming in that should be able to fill the hole he is leaving behind.
According to 247Sports, all three players Georgia is bringing in are four-star athletes.
Jalen Carter is a four-star (0.9746) who is the No. 6 DL in the 2020 recruiting cycle. He is 6-4 301 lbs and comes from Apopka, FL.
Warren Brinson is a four-star (0.9094) who is the No. 26 DT in the 2020 recruiting cycle. He is 6-4.5 290 lbs and comes from Bradenton, FL.
Nazir Stackhouse is a four-star (0.9293) who is the No. 27 DT in the 2020 recruiting cycle. He is 6-3.5 306 lbs and comes from Decatur, GA.
After seeing what Travon Walker was able to do in his first season (12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and nine quarterback pressures) Georgia fans should be excited to see what this group of rookies can bring to the table.
Jalen Carter is bordering on being a five-star prospect. Even without being a five-star, he is one of the top-ten best defensive linemen in the country for this upcoming freshmen class. It’s likely he’ll get the most early on-field work out of the three and will be used much like Walker was last year.
The number of snaps Carter gets to play a game and how much he will be used is an unknown, but clearly, opposing offensive linemen don’t want to see a line of Walker, Davis, and Carter standing across from them.
That’s not to say Brinson and Stackhouse are slouches. They are both talented in their own right and will continue to allow Georgia to substitute 8-10 bodies on the defensive line this upcoming season.
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Georgia isn’t losing much of its talented defensive line from 2019 and they are only adding more talent to it in 2020. That is a scary thought for opposing offensive coordinators.