Georgia has recruited very well at the inside linebacker spot in each of the last two cycles. It landed 5-star Nakobe Dean in 2019 to go along with 4-star prospects Trezmen Marshall and Rian Davis. That comes a year after signing Channing Tindall and Quay Walker.
Some of those mentioned above will see the field for Georgia football in 2019. Maybe one or two develop into stars. But according to ESPN, it’s Georgia’s oldest linebacker that is the team’s “under-the-radar star,” for 2019.
ESPN identified a player for each team that may not get a ton of attention for each projected top 25 team. But that player will hold a key role for that team in 2019.
ESPN’s Alex Scarborough identified senior linebacker Tae Crowder as that guy for the Bulldogs.
“As the projected starting Mike linebacker, the senior will be in charge of calling the entire defense,” Scarborough said. “Last season, he racked up big plays with six tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions, but it’s the week-in, week-out effort that Georgia needs. If he can provide leadership and help his younger teammates along, this could once again be one of the better defenses in college football.”
Related: Georgia’s Tae Crowder embracing his role as leader of talented linebacker corps
Crowder picked up 53 tackles a season ago for Georgia while splitting time with the likes of Natrez Patrick and Monty Rice. Patrick is now gone, but Rice will also be back for the Bulldogs. The pair give Georgia a nice mix of experience to go along with the many talented young players in the linebacker corps.
Crowder is also one of three Bulldogs on the 2019 roster who signed with the team prior to Kirby Smart’s arrival. Crowder, along with defensive linemen Justin Young and Michael Barnett are the only members of Georgia’s 2015 recruiting class that are still with the program. That was Mark Richt’s final signing class with the University of Georgia.
Crowder will get a chance to showcase his skills on Saturday as Georgia hosts its annual G-Day game. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and can be seen on the SEC Network. Of Georgia’s 2019 linebacker signees, only Dean will play in the game as Marshall and Davis are both recovering from injuries.