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Glenn Schumann faces a difficult task entering 2022 season
Glenn Schumann is Kirby Smart’s longest-tenured assistant coach. Despite being just 32 years old, he’s the only defensive assistant from Smart’s first staff at Georgia. He’s come a long way from unheralded inside linebackers coach all the way back in 2016.
It’s been a steady climb for Schumann after arriving from Alabama where he served as an analyst. He’s coached two Butkus Award winners and had three of his linebackers taken in the first 100 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Now he is starting over entering the 2022 season. Not just at the inside linebacker position, but also in his new role as co-defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs.
Smart has been tight-lipped as far as how Schumann and Will Muschamp will work together this season, other than both receiving title bumps and pay raises.
In the past, Smart has always been quick to point out that it is a collaborative effort when working with the defensive staff. It’s in part why Schumann has received so much praise from former players and Smart alike.
“‘He’s always trying to grow and get better. He’s never satisfied,” Smart said earlier this spring. “I think a lot of times you can get complacent, it sets in on all of us, this is what we do. We don’t want to be complacent. That’s just not what I believe in
“We’re always trying to find a different way to do it better. I think Glenn epitomizes that.”
Related: From Alabama to Georgia: The Glenn Schumann experience
Georgia’s defense will have to be different this season. Not just because of who is running but also because of the personnel changes.
Never before has someone had to coordinate a defense that had five defenders taken in the first round of the NFL draft. That doesn’t include Nakobe Dean nor All-SEC cornerback Derion Kendrick.
That is what Schumann inherits. Now Georgia is not devoid of talent, with Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo both returning along a number of promising players.
One of those is inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson. He impressed in limited playing time last season and had a strong spring.
Dumas-Johnson though has massive shoes to fill. There isn’t just Dean he has to replace. Quay Walker and Channing Tindall are also gone. And while the sophomore from Maryland, Smael Mondon, Jalon Walker and Trezmen Marshall may be able to replicate some of the athletic ability that the three former Georgia linebackers displayed, there is no way to replace the years of football experience the trio brought to the table.
That is where Schumann’s best work will be needed. Through all the defensive coordinators to work with Smart, Georgia’s inside linebackers have always been the top playmakers. From Roquan Smith to Monty Rice to Dean, Georgia has always asked its inside linebackers to be standouts in both coverage and run support.
Related: Jamon Dumas-Johnson emerging as next great Georgia football linebacker: ‘I think Pop is going to be special’
Eventually, Dumas-Johnson, Marshall and others could get to that point. But to expect them to do that in the opening month against Oregon and South Carolina would be a mighty big ask. That’s where Georgia will lean on more proven players to make plays, such as Carter and outside linebacker Nolan Smith.
Schumann will have some say in how much those players rack up the tackles for loss and sacks Georgia so desperately needs to replace. He’ll work with Muschamp to design a defense that covers up for some of the deficiencies that arise from having to replace so many talented players and prospects.
Smart will have input as well on the matter. And odds are Georgia at some point will be able to overcome the departures of both Lanning and the talented players. Consider Lanning himself was an internal promotion before taking the role of defensive coordinator and evaluating it even past where Mel Tucker took the defense.
It will be nearly impossible for Schumann to do that given how good Georgia’s defense was a season ago. Georgia ranked in the top-5 in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and sacks. For as good as Lanning and the Georgia staff are from a coaching standpoint, the players had a lot to do with that success. Most of those top players are now gone.
But that doesn’t mean the inside linebacker coach won’t be up to the task of replicating the work Lanning and Tucker have done in the past.