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Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) during the Bulldogs’ game with Kentucky in Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia football defensive line eager to prove it has everything to be ‘championship-caliber’ in 2022

“I don’t question our talent at all,” defensive lineman Zion Logue said. “We have everything we need in our room to be ready to go be a championship-caliber team. We just have to put the work in to be there.”

Logue might be the face, and voice, of the defensive line this year. He’s seen the field before as Georgia rotates heavily on its defensive line. Logue has played in 20 games in his Georgia career, including every game last season. He had 11 tackles, one of which was a sack in the win over Auburn.

But this year he is being thrust into bigger roles. He’s expected to take over Davis’ position at the center of the defensive line. He’s also being tasked with leadership duties Davis also held.

Logue isn’t as boisterous as Davis — almost no one is — but the junior from is challenging himself to become more vocal this year.

“A lot of people try and put it on me but I’m only one person,” Logue said. “I know I’m ready to work and do what I can do.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart echoes a lot of what Logue said on Thursday. He knows there are high expectations for this defensive line and questions given what they have to replace.

He knows the work the likes of Logue, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins and Jalen Carter have put in to get to this point.

“They’re not Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt and we’re not asking them to be,” Smart said. “If they were those guys, they would have been out there last year a lot more often. So we’re excited about where they are. Optimistic that those guys will be very productive.”

Related: What Jalen Carter has to do to become the next Jordan Davis for Georgia football

This is where we should probably spend some time talking about the defensive lineman Georgia is most optimistic about in Jalen Carter. Even on last year’s loaded defensive line, CArter found a way to standout. He finished second on the team in quarterback pressures and also had a key field goal block in the national championship game.

Georgia won’t ask him to be the next Wyatt or Walker. But him being the best version of himself would make him one of the best players in college football.

“Just being him,” Logue said of Carter. “Being that strong enforcer, he’s not going to be blocked, he’s not going to want you to touch him. Whenever he can quick-swing you or get you off him, that’s when he is at his best.”

If Carter is at his best, Georgia might have a defender who puts up some gaudy stats. That wasn’t the case for Georgia’s defensive line last season, as Walker led the group with 6.0 sacks on the season.

The strength of last year’s defensive line, and really the whole defense, was that it wasn’t just one guy you had to worry about it. The Bulldogs were able to overwhelm teams with wave, after wave of talent.

It’s still early and a number of players have to prove themselves. But at the start of fall camp, Georgia feels like it has all the ingredients on the defensive line to replicate its successful recipe from last season.

“They look at us like this guy doesn’t have 10 sacks, this guy doesn’t have 17 TFLs,” Logue said. “Shoot, we have 11 5-stars on the field. We have 11 of those guys on the field. It’s a race to the ball. We all play for each other.”

Zion Logue confident in upside of Georgia football defensive line

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