ATHENS — Jeremy Pruitt promotes fluidity in the linebackers’ lineups. Versatile is his favorite adjective for the unit.
“All week and all season we kind of prepare each other because we always try to outdo each other,” sophomore Davin Bellamy said. “At the end of the day we’re trying to make each other better. Everyone is very talented and versatile. So you just plug us in different places, and we’ll go to work for you.”
But for Bellamy to get his first career start, specialty took precedent.
“All of us in that room bring something different to the table, so I think last week was kind of focused on stopping the run [against Vanderbilt], so that’s kind of one of my specialties,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy played in 10 games during his redshirt freshman season. Against No. 9 Auburn, Bellamy notched his first fumble recovery. From preseason to the projected depth chart for Vanderbilt, he was listed as the No. 2 behind Jordan Jenkins.
But he was one of the 11 guys to take the field first against the Commodores, taking the place of Lorenzo Carter in the starting lineup. He finished with three tackles and a quarterback hurry.
“Well, Davin’s getting better. He’s been playing first and second down pretty good,” coach Mark Richt said. “Lorenzo’s got to get better at that, and he will continue to get better. Lorenzo’s been a very good pass rush guy. We’ve just got to get him to be a little more dynamic on all downs.”
Carter entered the game on the first third down. But an early-game ejection for targeting prevented him from getting heavy game reps.
His exit allowed for the early entrance of junior Chuks Amaechi, a transfer from Arizona Western College.
Though he played outside linebacker in high school and his second year of junior college, Amaechi came to Georgia looking to primarily play at inside linebacker. After a handful of practices, he moved back to outside, a “more comfortable” position for him.
That switch led him to seeing 37 snaps in his second game.
“At the end of the spring, [Pruitt] said that I was more fluent at outside, so he was going to keep me there and then have me play inside if I need to,” Amaechi said.
While outside linebacker may be the more natural fit for Amaechi, it put him at a position already stacked with the talent of super-trio Carter, Jenkins and Leonard Floyd.
“It’s a lot of great players,” Amaechi said. “I just watch them and watch what they do and mimic what they do to even better myself more and more every day.”
Jordan Jenkins, who had 11 tackles 2 sacks and 5.5 tackles-for-loss against Vanderbilt, is who Amaechi has pinned as his role model. Bellamy, too, for that matter.
Bellamy called him “a beast,” while Amaechi praised him for his leadership.
“[Jordan] brings a different tempo in practices and games,” Amaechi said. “He’s a slow and steady teacher. He’ll make sure that you get it right.”