Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean bring ‘The Bulldog effect’ to Super Bowl LVII

Philadelphia Eagles’ player and University of Georgia alumni Nakobe Dean greets Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nolan Smith during warm ups before the first half of the College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday, January 9, 2023. (Jason Getz /

Even if he didn’t play a down of football for Georgia this season, inside linebacker Nakobe Dean played a part in Georgia winning its second consecutive national championship.

He helped create the standard that which Georgia linebackers Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Smael Mondon must uphold. Those two did, leading the team in tackles in their first season as starters for Georgia.

Neither Dean or Davis played a role similar to what they did in college this season for the Eagles. Both were back-ups this season, despite Davis being a first-round pick and Dean being a third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

But it would be near impossible for Davis to step in and be the best defensive lineman in the NFL and Dean the best linebacker. Those titles are held by veterans who have been doing what Dean and Davis did this season for multiple years. In reality, their careers are just getting started and they’re more than happy to achieve immediate success at this level, as say Jalon Walker and Bear Alexander did for Georgia in 2022.

Alexander and Walker never played with Davis and Dean but they undoubtedly felt their impact while playing for Georgia this season.

“All you do when you get to the NFL is want to be back in that locker room,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the national championship win. “I don’t care what locker room you’ve got in the NFL, there’s never that feeling of brotherhood because the guy across from you is trying to take your job.

“In our locker room, it’s so different. And to be around that last night, it brings to me that we built something special because these guys want to come back. They want to talk to the other guys.”

Smart knows the end goal is to get his players to the NFL. It helps greatly in recruiting and it’s a sign that he is doing his job in developing players into top NFL prospects.

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