ATHENS — Mykel Williams drew a lot of attention this spring. Bouncing between defensive end and outside linebacker allowed him to showcase his abilities.

It also cleared a path to the field for Gabe Harris. And the sophomore defender may go a long way in helping the Georgia defense reach its full potential.

“Gabe has been grinding man,” Williams said of Harris. “You saw him today. He’s going to continue to work and show out for him. Gabe has been doing his thing.”

Harris came to Georgia as an outside linebacker but spent parts of last season working at defensive end. With Williams working at both positions and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins out with a foot injury, Harris got a lot reps that would otherwise not be available to him.

Per head coach Kirby Smart, Harris made the most of them.

“Man, I thought he had a good day today,” Smart said. “I can’t say his whole spring was like that, but he was disruptive today. He’s twitchy, he’s hard to block. I love the way he plays. But he sometimes plays out of control, which can be a good thing and it was good today on some plays. But it also, first play of the game he screwed up, went the wrong way, didn’t line up right.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting with Gabe. But you do get great effort and you do get great toughness. I love that.”

Harris finished with 3 tackles and a tackle for loss on the afternoon.

The Georgia defensive line came under a lot of scrutiny this spring, in part by comments made by Smart in an interview with ESPN’s Chris Low.

Harris wasn’t the only young defensive lineman to show promise on Saturday. Xzavier McLeod had 2.0 sacks on the afternoon while freshman Joseph Jonah-Ajonye had a sack as well.

Getting Ingram-Dawkins back will only help further improve depth on a defensive line that brings back seniors Naz Stackhouse and Warren Brinson.

While Williams might play more as a stand-up outside linebacker this season than he has in the past, he still practices with the defensive line and knows this group has plenty of potential.

“I have supreme confidence in our group,” Williams said. “I feel like we’re going to keep on working and doing better, perfecting our weaknesses. I think we’re going to be a good group this year.

A strong offseason from Harris, after an impressive spring, should only give Georgia’s defensive line another possible playmaker.

He’s far from a perfect player and as Smart illustrates still has plenty of areas where he can continue to grow.

But for a Georgia defensive line that needed some positive PR coming out of the spring, it’s hard not to be excited about what Harris could possibly be for this group.

“Gabe is ready to wreak havoc all the time. He’s a great player,” linebacker Jalon Walker said. “He’s aggressive. He knows what we want in our d-line, and he’s doing a great job. I’m excited for him.”

Mykel Williams raves about Gabe Harris