ATHENS — First impressions aren’t everything, but they are certainly important, and often telling.
Georgia’s freshman early enrollees had some interesting things to say earlier this offseason in their interview with former UGA star D.J. Shockley.
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The one-time Bulldogs’ quarterback asked if there were any current players that jumped out at them in workouts, in terms of freakish athleticism.
“We got a big linebacker, I think his name is Adam,” Bulldogs’ freshman defensive back Major Burns said. “He’s like 6-6 and runs a 4.3 (-second 40-yard dash).”
Burns, of course, isn’t imagining things or even exaggerating too much — such a monster exists.
Outside linebacker Adam Anderson is 6 foot 5 inches and 225 pounds of talent who came to Georgia a 5-star prospect in the 2018 class ranked No. 1 at his position out of Rome, Ga.
Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator Dan Lanning has employed Anderson selectively and strategically, as he does with most every front seven player.
There’s a reason Georgia had 37 players get 100 snaps or more last season on defense.
Anderson finished the 2019 season playing arguably the best football of his career, making some of the most impactful plays of the postseason.
It was Anderson who stifled Baylor’s two-minute drive at the end of the first half in the Sugar Bowl, recording his third sack of the season.
Matt Rhule’s Bears should have had No. 19 scouted, especially after Anderson produced a team-high 5 quarterback pressures against LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
Georgia is loaded with NFL prospects at outside linebacker, from Freshman of the Year semifinalist Azeez Ojulari, to former No. 1-overall ranked recruit Nolan Smith, and former No. 1-ranked JUCO prospect Jermaine Johnson.
And yet, it was Anderson that has jumped out at Burns.
“I ain’t never seen anything like that in high school,” Burns continued, his awe of Anderson’s physical abilities in the offseason workouts. “So we’re here, and I saw that, and it opened my eyes.
“I was like, all right, that’s nice to have next to me.”
Indeed, it’s players like Anderson that make Georgia a championship contender to watch for, apparently just as much in workouts as game day Saturdays.
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