Bulldogs Beat

Georgia's outside linebackers too good to sit on bench

ATHENS - By now it's so obvious it's not worth keeping a secret. So Georgia assistant coach Kevin Sherrer didn't play coy.

The Bulldogs will find ways to play its talented top three outside linebackers - Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter - at the same time.

"Yeah. We want to get as many of those guys on the field as we can, in different ways," said Sherrer, who coaches the outside linebackers.

Put another way: The depth chart may list Jenkins (15 sacks in three years) and Floyd (12.5 sacks in two years) as starters, but Carter (4.5 sacks as a freshman) will almost certainly play as many snaps as them. Throw in Davin Bellamy, and Georgia's coaches are going to get creative to try to maximize the snaps of their outside linebackers.

Jenkins, who at 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds is the biggest of the three, could play some at defensive end. Carter, who's the tallest at 6-foot-6 and is adding weight, could also do that. Floyd, who is 6-4 and 230, could also play some inside linebacker, as he did last year.

"A lot of times it depends on what style of offense you're facing each week too," Sherrer said. "But last year at Auburn we played three of those guys at the same time, and then on third down sometimes we had four on the field. It just gives us more ability to mix and match those guys."

That mixing and matching could include several new players. Junior college transfer Chuks Amaechi and freshman early enrollee Natrez Patrick have been impressive enough this spring that they're pushing for snaps.

Patrick began camp at outside linebacker, but moved inside, flipping spots with Amaechi, who will likely stay with Sherrer's outside linebackers this season.

"He's looked good. He's done some really good things. He's gonna help us a lot," Sherrer said. "He brings a lot of size and athleticism to the field. ... We try to recruit multiple-position guys, and he's one of those."

The development of those young players will impact how much time Floyd spends in the middle of the field. He played some inside linebacker last season, and Sherrer said it could happen more this season, depending on how the rest of the linebackers pan out.

"It's still up in the air, we haven't decided exactly yet," Sherrer said. "We know he'll do both."

Floyd, who is sitting out spring practice after shoulder surgery, should be a full-go by June, according to Sherrer. Bellamy is also sitting out after tearing his labrum, but is expected to be ready for the preseason.

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