Otis Reese offers a lot of size to his frame.
He is 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and at the ideal age where he could still probably add 20-to-30 pounds over the next couple of years and become an ideal outside linebacker. In fact, there were recruiting experts projecting Reese to be a linebacker of some sort.
That's not how Georgia head coach Kirby Smart plans to use Reese, at least initially. Reese, who committed to Michigan two summers ago before officially flipping to Georgia on National Signing Day, will begin his college career at safety. During his Wednesday news conference, Smart explained why.
"Otis, he brings a force," Smart said. "He brings some contact toughness. He brings some size and stature to the safety position that -- we've had success, both Coach Tucker and myself, coaching big guys at safety."
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Smart saw that some analysts pegged Reese as a linebacker and didn't necessarily rule out that he could eventually add enough bulk to play a different position. But when it comes to defensive backs, Smart has stated for a while that he enjoys trotting big, physical players on the football field.
When he was the defensive coordinator at Alabama, Smart routinely played taller defensive backs. That has become a bit of a trend at Georgia. In the past two recruiting classes, the Bulldogs have signed nine defensive backs who are 6-foot or taller. That doesn't necessarily mean Georgia has a height threshold in the secondary. After all, Richard LeCounte and Chris Smith check in under 6-foot.
But it does go to show that this coaching staff does value size in the back end.
"So a lot of people list this guy at outside linebacker and inside linebacker," Smart said. "He's the size that the safeties should be. He could grow into something else but his first position is going to be safety, and we expect him to excel there. He did it at a really high, competitive level in high school."