Breakout performance from Divaad Wilson helps Georgia secondary overcome injury woes

Divaad Wilson had a huge third quarter for Georgia.

ATHENS — As Georgia defensive players joyfully exited the field after stopping Notre Dame’s final drive, the first player Georgia coach Kirby Smart went up to wasn’t D.J. Daniel or Mark Webb — who blanketed Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool on the final play and swatted Ian Book’s pass attempt to the ground.

Nor did he immediately embrace with senior safety J.R. Reed, whose sliding interception in the fourth quarter was one of the best defensive plays made by a Georgia defender all season.

No, the player he went up and embraced after the 23-17 victory was sealed was redshirt freshman Divaad Wilson. And after Wilson’s stellar performance, the hug and cheers from Smart were very much deserved.

The common Georgia fan may not have known who Wilson was prior to Saturday’s game. But the redshirt freshman made a number of key stops in the game and a third-quarter interception that helped set the tone for Georgia’s strong second half.

“He works hard. Divaad’s a talented player that loves football,” Smart said after the win. “He works every day. He understands coverages and leverages real well and made a big play tonight.”

Wilson isn’t your typical cornerback, as he plays more out of the STAR position for Georgia, which functions as a hybrid between the safety and cornerback position. Factor in that he wasn’t a highly rated recruit — comparatively speaking of course as he was a 4-star prospect and the No. 242 overall player in the 2018 recruit — and that he missed most of his freshman season with a torn ACL, it’s fairly easy to see understand why Wilson’s star performance seemed to come out of nowhere.

But as he told reporters after the game, moments like Saturday night are when Wilson plays his best.

“I live for big games. My mom always tells me I’m built for big games, so let’s do it,” Wilson said.

 

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