Georgia football has only had three football practices to this point in 2020, but there are still a number of questions regarding how some of the newcomers are doing. On the offensive side of the ball you have the likes of Jamie Newman and JT Daniels at the quarterback position, as well as five freshman wide receivers and seven new offensive linemen.
As for the defensive side of the ball, Georgia doesn’t have quite as many new faces. The Bulldogs bring back eight starters from the 2019 unit, as well as a number of contributors like Nolan Smith, Jermaine Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson, who are all looking for bigger roles in 2020.
But there still are some new faces and names to know for this season. And a few of them are already turning heads in the limited practices and meetings they’ve had with Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning.
Lanning was asked about a number of freshman defensive players on Friday and shared what his initial impressions of the group were.
Georgia football defensive coordinator Dan Lanning previews 2020 season
Dan Lanning On MJ Sherman: “MJ’s a tremendous person. He’s got a great mindset. He’s hungry. Comes from a really good family, works really, really hard, and is conscientious. So all those things, ultimately and he’s got strength, power, and agility that we think can be a real asset for him moving forward. So excited about his development and to see what he can do.”
Sherman was the No. 32 ranked prospect in the 2020 recruiting cycle. He comes from Washington, DC and was Georgia’s lone linebacker signee in the 2020 cycle.
Related: Freshman linebacker MJ Sherman impressed UGA teammate while still in high school
Dan Lanning on Jalen Carter: “Jalen Carter has plenty to learn but he’s very strong. He’s an explosive athlete. We definitely think he can make an impact for us and it’s good to see his technique get better day in and day out. He definitely makes the guys across the ball better.”
Carter was the No. 18 overall player in the 2020 recruiting cycle. With his addition, Georgia now has two former 5-star defensive linemen, as Travon Walker was a 5-star member in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Dan Lanning on Jalen Kimber: “Jalen’s done a really good job from an agility standpoint. He’s still got to build some bulk, get in the weight room and work hard. But he is conscientious, he really pays attention to detail. He’s on that list of guys of player improvement. He did something wrong early in camp, we identified it, coach Warren worked on it in drills and the next day he makes a phenomenal play executing the play in a proper technique. So I’m excited to see what he does moving forward.”
Kimber is from Arlington, Texas and one of five defensive backs Georgia signed as a part of the 2020 recruiting cycle. Kimber was the second-highest-rated of the five, as he was the No. 105 ranked player in the country.
Dan Lanning on Warren Brinson: “The biggest thing I was looking for early in Warren was effort. He has done a really good job. The other day we were able to point out in practice him finishing twice. The ball is thrown down the field and he’s hauling butt from the line of scrimmage to finish and get in position to make a play on the wide receiver down the field. Now his technique still has some cleaning up to do. We’d love to see him strike with those hands and continue to develop from a target standpoint, but he is working hard to do that.”
Brinson was one of three defensive line signees in the 2020 class. He followed a path similar to Nolan Smith, as Brinson is originally from Savannah but finished out his high school career at IMG Academy.
One fo the freshman defenders that Lanning did not talk about whit Kelee Ringo, Georgia’s top-rated signee in the 2020 recruiting class. Ringo suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery prior to the start of fall practices. Georgia coach Kirby Smart did not give a timetable for a possible return for Ringo.
Georgia signed a total of eight defenders in the 2020 recruiting class, with the other three being safety Major Burns, defensive tackle Nazir Stackhouse and safety Daran Branch. Those eight helped make up the No. 1 ranked signing class in the country for the cycle. It was the second time in the three years that Georgia landed the top signing class in the country.
The freshman defenders will have the first opportunity to play on Sept. 26, when the Bulldogs are set to visit the Arkansas Razorbacks.
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