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Defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter ended spring practice as an undisputed starter.

Own the East: Georgia DE Jonathan Ledbetter

Chip Towers

Editor’s Note: It may be time for the Georgia Bulldogs to take back the SEC East in 2017. We’ve featured the most important UGA players, coaches, fans and staff for the upcoming season in a 20-part video series, which you can binge-watch right here.

ATHENS – Most people would say defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter has had a disappointing career at Georgia. That’s about to change this season.

Barring injury, the Bulldogs are expecting to get a full season out of Ledbetter this year. That excites everybody who knows anything about this kid.

To date, Ledbetter has played in only 14 games at UGA. That’s despite being a junior who came to Athens from Tucker High School as a consensus 4-star prospect who drew a 5-star rating from at least one publication. But between disciplinary issues and the depth chart, Ledbetter has had a hard time finding his way to the field on fall Saturdays.

Ledbetter missed half of last season because of a six-game suspension for violating the team’s drug and alcohol policy. He sought treatment off the field and appears to have put that chapter of his life behind him. https://www.dawgnation.com/football/jonathan-ledbetters-suspension-is-over

When he has been on the field, Ledbetter has proven tough for opposing offensive linemen to handle. He started at defensive end in his second game back from suspension and logged 6 tackles in a loss to the Florida Gators. In the seven games he played last season, Ledbetter finished with 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and 5 quarterback pressures. He ended up starting four games.

Ledbetter ended spring practice as an undisputed starter for the Bulldogs at defensive end. Now conditioned at a svelte 6-foot-4, 277 pounds, he proved almost unblockable during spring drills. He had 4 tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss playing for the Red Squad in Georgia’s G-Day spring game.

Heading into the 2017 season, Ledbetter is one piece of a front seven that promises to cause headaches for opposing offenses this fall. He’s a 1-on-1 matchup for most linemen, but so is Trent Thompson, John Atkins, Julian Robinson and the Bulldogs outside linebackers.

Ledbetter is just one more reason Georgia should own the East.

Click here to see more of “Own the East,” our 2017 season preview of the Georgia Bulldogs in video form.

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