Georgia football ‘No-Name’ defense narrative continues, Bulldogs snubbed again

Georgia football-UGA-Azeez Ojulari
Georgia redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari was a Freshman All-American and one of seven semifinalists for FWAA Freshman of the Year, but he didn't even make Athlon's third-team preseason All-SEC unit.

ATHENS — Georgia’s defense will apparently begin the 2020 season where it left off last season, in terms of its “No-Name” status.

This, despite returning 80 percent of the production off a defense that led the nation in scoring defense and rushing defense, and ranked third in total defense and No. 8 in pass efficiency defense.

Athlon Magazine, based in Nashville, includes only UGA safety Richard LeCounte on its preseason first team list.

RELATED: Athlon preview picks Florida to finish ahead of Georgia.

Alabama, which ranked 13th in scoring defense and 20th in total defense, has three preseason first-team picks per Athlon.

Last year at the SEC Media Days, only J.R. Reed  was selected as a first-team preseason All-SEC pick.

Amazingly, no UGA players off the league’s leading defense were named to the postseason All-SEC Associated Press team.

RELATED: Georgia’s league-leading SEC defense snubbed

“We build our mantra on kind of being the no‑name defense,” Lanning said in New Orleans two days before the Sugar Bowl. “It’s not really about the players, it’s about us.

WATCH: Dan Lanning discusses UGA defense before Baylor matchup

“Our guys have gone out constantly and performed, tried to play to a standard regardless of who the opponent is. It’s been exciting to see our guys embrace that this year.”

Reed predicted at the NFL combine last February that UGA defenders would soon get their due.

“The next defensive star, if he’s not already a star, is Richard LeCounte,” Reed told DawgNation in Indianapolis. “After him, you have Azeez Ojulari, and a bunch of guys that are going to step up.

RELATED: Ojulari FWAA Freshman Player of Year semifinalist

“You’ve got a great corner in Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes, Malik Herring and Monty Rice,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a no-name defense any more.”

Stokes, Herring, Rice and defensive tackle Jordan Davis were named preseason second-team picks by Athlon.

But Ojulari and Campbell were totally overlooked, not even making the third team.

Here’s a look at Athlon’s preseason first-team defense and second-team defense:

First-Team Defense            

DL       Tyler Shelvin, LSU

DL       Big Kat Bryant, Auburn

DL       LaBryan Ray, Alabama

DL       Bobby Brown, Texas A&M

LB       Dylan Moses, Alabama

LB       Nick Bolton, Missouri

LB       K.J. Britt, Auburn

CB       Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

CB       Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

S         Richard LeCounte, Georgia

S         JaCoby Stevens, LSU


Second-Team Defense           

DL       Kobie Whiteside, Missouri

DL       Jordan Davis, Georgia

DL       Malik Herring, Georgia

DL       Aaron Sterling, South Carolina

LB       Monty Rice, Georgia

LB       Henry To’o-To’o, Tennessee

LB       Boogie Watson, Kentucky

CB       Eric Stokes, Georgia

CB       Kaiir Elam, Florida

S         Demani Richardson, Texas A&M

S         Tyree Gillespie, Missouri

Third-Team Defense                        

DL       Zachary Carter, Florida        

DL       Christian Barmore, Alabama           

DL       DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M 

DL       Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt           

LB       Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State

LB       Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M

LB       Ernest Jones, South Carolina          

CB       Jaycee Horn, South Carolina           

CB       Marco Wilson, Florida          

S         Shawn Davis, Florida 

S         Jammie Robinson, South Carolina


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