ATLANTA — The Georgia football linebacking corps will be in good hands moving forward with sophomore players like Adam Anderson and Quay Walker returning to compete with incoming 5-star linebackers Nolan Smith and Nakobe Dean.
Walker and Anderson have made it clear that the standard Coach Kirby Smart insists his players measure up to is not going to do anything but go up.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Walker said after the SEC Championship Game. “We’re going to be back here.”
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) next challenge is against No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
Walker, who famously tossed a Tennessee hat into the crowd at his signing last year, admits the 2018 season was a big adjustment from high school.
“The biggest challenge was learning insider linebacker, I was used to playing outside linebacker, and there was a lot to it,” said Walker, a consensus Top 100 prospect from Cordele, Ga., who played in all 13 games this season. “It’s something I didn’t expect, but it will be all right. This whole season I’ll keep working and everything will come the way it’s supposed to come.
“Learning the play book has been the thing, learning all the calls, getting every lined up,” he said. “But now I’m more comfortable with it and I think I have a great career in front of me.”
Anderson, who played in all 13 games and finished with 14 tackles and 6 TFLs, has been working on his body as much as learning the defensive scheme.
“I came in at like 213 and now I’m up to 225,” said Anderson, one of the taller ‘backers at 6-foot-5. “I still want to get a little heavier so I can stay in more on first and second down — it’s been pretty much third down for me.”
Anderson said the speed of the game has been the biggest challenge, but he’s learned a valuable lesson about Georgia football that will keep him sharp as competition plays out in the offseason.
“You’re never too young to play, and if you can play, you can play here,” said Anderson, the nation’s No. 1-rated OLB in the 2018 signing class coming out of Rome, Ga. “There’s no telling what’s going to happen in the future.
“We’re not done. This is just the beginning.”
Georgia football LB Adam Anderson
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