ATHENS – Jake Ganus got a steady stream of congratulatory text messages on Saturday night. Now a Georgia linebacker, he heard from plenty of former UAB teammates after word of Georgia’s first spring scrimmage got out.
“I think a bunch of them saw a bunch of stuff on Twitter so they all reached out to me,” Ganus said.
It was an impressive performance: Ganus was credited with a game-high 10 tackles, along with a sack and interception. But it comes with a caveat: Ganus was working with the second-teamers,and against the second-teamers.
It doesn’t mean his performance should be discounted. But the UAB transfer still has a ways to go before he grabs a starting spot.
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Tim Kimbrough and Reggie Carter, who were the top backups the past two seasons, have been getting most of the first-team work. But Ganus, who was UAB’s leading tackler the past two seasons, is making it interesting. So did junior college transfer Chuks Amaechi, although he was with the outside linebackers on Tuesday.
“All of them guys keep making plays,” outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said, when asked to judge the competition. “I’ve seen Tim and Reggie for the longest, and now adding Ganus, Chuks and all them other guys, it’s a hard toss-up. They’re all my boys, and I still don’t know who’s gonna get the spot in the end. That’s just how intense it’s been all spring.”
Ganus, who has one year of eligibility remaining, was asked if he felt he had shown Georgia’s coaches he was ready to play at the SEC level.
“I hope I have shown that,” he said. “We’re halfway through, so I have seven more practices and a spring game to show what I can do. But I hope they’ve seen what I can do, through practices and what-not.”
Ganus was also up-front about this being a step up from UAB. He knew it when he enrolled at Georgia two months ago, and spring practice has brought it home.
“I think there’s a difference in depth,” he said. “There’s players at UAB that can play anywhere in the country, and you can see that from where they landed. But I think overall, just the speed, size, strength, it is different. It’s why Georgia is in the SEC and why they compete every year in the SEC, because they have the speed, the size and the talent to do that.”