Devonte Wyatt is not the most well-known or celebrated name on Georgia’s defensive line. He was not the 5-star prospect that Travon Walker or Jalen Carter were in the recruiting process. Nor does he make the obvious impact that Jordan Davis does in the middle of the defense.
But he showed on G-Day why he’s a significant piece of Georgia’s defensive line. And when someone like Wyatt is potentially your third or fourth most talented piece, you pretty clearly can call that position a strength.
“We try and do that every day in practice, just focusing and causing havoc up front,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt finished the game with two sacks. While Georgia quarterback JT Daniels got it going in the late stages of the spring game, the Georgia defense also made a handful of plays throughout the afternoon. The first-team defense finished with four sacks on the day, with Walker and Nolan Smith each adding on as well.
Even the second team-defense made a handful of plays in the game. Defensive lineman Zion Logue scooped up a Brock Vandagriff and added a sack of his own on the day.
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Some of the defensive line success can be chalked up to the struggles of the offensive line. The group is still trying to find its best combination and its best player, Jamaree Salyer, missed portions of spring. Georgia also wanted to get Tate Ratledge more reps, inserting the inexperienced redshirt freshman as the first-team right guard.
“We are not where we need to be on the offensive line,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “If we are going to be a good team, we have to protect the quarterback, and we have to be able to run the ball. That is one of the areas where we are going to have to take some of the largest leaps in order to get where we want to go next season.”
The spring game format likely helped the defensive line as it is designed to be a passing display. To that point though, the defensive line seemed to do its job in the run game, as the longest-designed run play was just eight yards. The group also didn’t have to tackle Daniels to the ground, as Georgia wants to protect its quarterbacks.
But it’s safe to say Georgia’s defensive front will probably shine against most of the offensive lines it faces this season. Other than having to replace Malik Herring, Georgia doesn’t have many questions in terms of replacing past production.
And in replacing Herring, Georgia has Walker who is expected to take on part of the job of replacing ace pass rusher Azeez Ojulari.
The outside linebacker position was largely responsible for much of Georgia’s sack production in 2020. With talents like Ojulari and Adam Anderson that makes sense, as it was a strength on the team.
With Ojulari off to the NFL and Jermaine Johnson at Florida State, that group doesn’t figure to be the same level as strength. That’s why Georgia is going to have to rely more on its defensive line to generate pressures and create negative plays.
G-Day was a positive first step the group could do just that. It’s something the Bulldogs will need to do throughout the 2021 season if they’re going contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff and national championship.