UGA football has struggled with generating sacks recently, but that might change as Azeez Ojulari enters his redshirt sophomore season.
The redshirt sophomore ended the 2019 season with a team-leading 5.5 sacks and 34 quarterback pressures. Ojulari also registered five tackles for a loss and 33 total tackles. Against Tennessee, he became the first freshman to co-captain the team in the Kirby Smart era. Ojulari got to the quarterback twice in that game.
The year was a massive step up for the Marietta native who missed most of the 2018 season with an injury. Ojulari’s big 2019 season wasn’t too much of a surprise. He played very well in the 2019 Sugar Bowl in his first game in Georgia’s regular linebacker rotation. To no surprise, the team honored Ojulari with the Co-Defensive Most Improved Player Award.
Ojulari is a ferocious pass rusher, there’s no other way to describe him. He doesn’t stop pursuing until he’s either made the tackle or the quarterback has thrown the ball. Ojulari just out-works opposing blockers. He doesn’t stop moving and trying to shed blockers. He’s too fast for a lot of left tackles, even in the SEC. Ojulari excels off the edge, but he’s more than capable of rushing through the interior.
Even when blockers seem to have Ojulari stopped, his effort eventually wins. He’s stronger than his size suggests and his highlight film includes more than one instance of him overpowering blockers.
But it’s the late-play sacks and rushes that separate Ojulari from other pass rushers. That’s where his effort and ferocious play really shines. Quarterbacks can’t just rest in the pocket or scramble around, Ojulari is eventually going to break free and make them pay. Quarterbacks have to be decisive every snap when playing Georgia.
Ojulari is a far cry from the No. 144 player nationally he signed with UGA football as. Ojulari is a potential All-American and award winner on 2020, and quite possibly a future first-round NFL Draft Pick.