Davin Bellamy had to wait his time at Georgia. The same goes for Lorenzo Carter.
“We had two guys in front of us when we came in that were NFL-ready,” Bellamy said last week. “They kind of taught us a lot. The guys behind us last year came into that same kind of situation.”
Those two had to wait behind Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins before their first big doses of heavy playing time.
“I kind of felt like during my redshirt sophomore year and during ‘Zo’s true sophomore year that we could have started on any other team as well,” Bellamy said. “But it was just about waiting for our time.”
The 2018 team should continue that trend. Who will assert themselves this fall? Bellamy’s first pick in that “next Wolfpack up” category was senior D’Andre Walker.
Bellamy feels that Walker could have started for a lot of SEC teams last year.
“He finished last year with like 15.5 tackles for a loss and something like six sacks,” Bellamy said. “He really made some game-changing plays for us in only a short amount of playing time. I’m really looking for him to take the next step.”
Bellamy also quickly mentioned sophomore Walter Grant. Grant saw extended action last year for the program as a true freshman member of the “Wolfpack” core at OLB.
Walker roomed with Carter last year. Grant did the same with Bellamy. It certainly sounds like those two were being groomed to take over those starting spots. They were able to see first-hand how a veteran works to hold down a starting spot.
Carter and Bellamy see a bright future up ahead for Grant.
“He has the length and size to be in that Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter category and has a nose for the football,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy said Grant picked up the playbook faster than any freshman he’s been around. That might have been because he had a pretty good tutor.
“He’s a young bull, and I taught him everything I knew and he picked it all up pretty fast,” Carter said of Grant. “Playbook. Work habits. He really understands football.”
There was also one more name to watch out for during spring drills. Those will start up on Tuesday.
“There’s another guy that a lot of people are sleeping on and that is Robert Beal,” Bellamy said. “He started coming along really well toward the end of the season last year. We started throwing him in there late with some good-on-good reps against the 1s and 2s from the offensive line. He really started to hold his own.”
Any “Wolfpack” contenders in the 2018 class?
Bellamy also brought up early enrollee Brenton Cox. The 5-star DE will line up at OLB for the Bulldogs. The Stockbridge High School product was rated as the nation’s No. 2 strong-side DE and the No. 23 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite.
“From what I see on film, he was definitely very polished to still be in high school,” Bellamy said. “I have seen him doing drills. He’s a big dude and he is already my size weight wise. Once that weight goes to the right places and the game slows down for him, I really think he is going to be good. He’s really developed.”
He’ll be watching the Bulldogs this fall from various team hotels in the NFL. It will be from a different vantage point, but his expectations will still be very high.
“They are definitely not losing any football capabilities here,” Bellamy said. “They may be faster on defense than what we were as a whole with all 11 guys. I think just one guy has to emerge on defense as the big-play guy.”