ATHENS - One early theme from Georgia preseason practice has been how impressive the trio of freshmen outside linebackers have been. On Sunday, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham joined the chorus.
This is what Grantham had to say when asked to assess Jordan Jenkins, Josh Dawson and James DeLoach, all of whom seem set to play as true freshmen:
“Jordan is probably one of the most explosive guys in the country as a freshman coming in. He’s got really good work ethic. He’s got all the tools you look for in an edge rusher in terms of ability to get a guy on the edge. But because of his size he has ability to convert to power when needed. And that’s what separates really good pass rushers. …
“Josh is a guy who is explosive off the ball. He’s probably a guy who’s a good technician, for a young guy, with his hands. He’s got some instincts sometimes when sometimes maybe you haven’t gone over it, but he applies concepts, and then it gets him in the right spot. He’s done a good job.
“And James is a guy who’s a really physical guy. He’s a big-bodied guy who moves well in space for a big man. And he can set the edge on things. I think all three of those guys will help us somehow this year.”
That Jenkins is impressing should be little surprise. He was an elite recruit and considered by many the top senior in the state of Georgia. He chose the Bulldogs over Alabama a month before signing day, and was considered a huge coup for Grantham, who personally helped seal the deal.
Dawson was also a heralded recruit out of Tucker, choosing Georgia on signing day after being committed to Vanderbilt for a long time.
But DeLoach wasn't talked about as much coming out of Jenkins County - but that wasn't a reflection of his talent, according to Grantham. It was because he committed very early to Georgia and never wavered.
Addressing the media, Grantham then went on a funny riff on why DeLoach isn’t as big a name as the other guys.
“That’s a good example of recruiting, to be honest with you," he said. "Because all you guys when a guy commits you kind of forget about him. And then you all go talk to the guys who haven’t made a decision yet on where he’s gonna go. And that becomes the news. And there’s a guy who loved Georgia and committed to Georgia and knew what he wanted to do. So he never gets talked about. So you can blame yourself on that one.”
(In our defense, it was the beat writers Grantham was talking to, and we don't tend to cover recruiting at all, and if we do it's at the last minute. But Grantham's point is still well taken.)