“There’s just not a lot of people born in this world that look like Jordan Davis, right,” Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning said. “So when you look like that there’s an expectation.”
Those expectations figure to be higher for Davis entering his junior season and rightfully so. As he’s continued to progress through his Georgia career, he’s found more and more playing time. And when he’s on the field, good things usually happen for Georgia.
He played a rotational role as a freshman before becoming a bigger presence as a sophomore in sharing the nose tackle duties with Michael Barnett. When Davis got more playing time as a disruptive and powerful nose tackle, Georgia’s statistical profile ascended. The Bulldogs ranked first in the country last year in rushing defense and gave up just two rushing touchdowns all season.
A not insignificant reason was because of Davis’ massive presence in the middle. And now with Barnett having graduated, Davis figures to take on an even more critical and bigger role in the Georgia defense for the 2020 season.
“I have really high expectations for Jordan. Jordan’s worked really hard,” Lanning said. “Tray Scott does a phenomenal job, (he) and coach Williams, do a great job with his development. But Jordan, I think, is really hungry.”
In 2019, Davis made eight starts and racked up 18 tackles over the course of the season. The most promising development came at the end of the season, where he really showed improvements as a pass rusher. He picked up 2.5 sacks last season, admittedly not a huge number, but all of them came after the start of November. And it’s not like he was blowing up cupcakes, as the sacks came against Florida, Texas A&M and LSU.
If Davis can continue to improve as a pass rusher, along with anchoring Georgia’s stout run defense, he’s got the potential to be not just one of the best players on Georgia’s team but in the entire SEC and thus country. Georgia’s defensive line isn’t as deep as it was a season ago, which means Davis will be asked to carry a bigger workload in 2020.
Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean said earlier this week that the 2020 Georgia defense hasn’t done anything yet and can’t just continue to coast off the achievements of the 2019 group. Lanning echoed those comments as well, stressing that the 2020 group was starting from scratch.
Related: Georgia LB Nakobe Dean: ‘2020 defense hasn’t done anything’
But having a player like Davis is a pretty good starting point. Davis has the potential to raise the ceiling of this group, potentially even higher than what it achieved in 2019.
“I expect him to really achieve at the highest level this year, have a phenomenal season, and really help our team and our defense,” Lanning said.
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