ATHENS -- Leonard Floyd can do it all.
He’s done more than his share at outside linebacker in his Georgia career. During Friday afternoon’s practice he was playing the star position, which is a fifth defensive back in the slot when the Bulldogs are in a nickel defense.
But in the first week of camp, Floyd has also been working as a Mike linebacker in Georgia’s base defense, which is the standard 3-4 set the Bulldogs would typically begin a game with. In this set, Floyd and Tim Kimbrough are the inside linebackers, with Floyd kicking out to star and Reggie Carter filling the Mike spot in the nickel.
Floyd’s length and athleticism gives Georgia plenty of options of how they want to use the playmaker.
“He’s a guy that could play safety if he wanted to,” inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler said. “He’s one of the most athletic players in the country.”
However, Ekeler said that Floyd is primarily in defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt and outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer’s meeting rooms instead of his.
“We got a lot of guys in the mix," Ekeler said when asked if he was down to two guys that could start. "We could pick a lot of guys at this point."
Ekeler added that as of now, six or seven players that have a realistic shot at playing time.
Though Floyd is seeing time as a base inside linebacker, it's seen as being on a tryout basis at the moment.
During two periods of practice open to the media, Floyd worked on the sled with the outside linebackers before moving to participate in star drills. His height, at 6-4, was unique to see as he towered over his defensive back counterparts. After two consecutive plays, safety Quincy Mauger stepped in to assist him with his technique. Floyd then received a third rep before that particular period of practice ended.
"We're trying to build a fearless team and he's definitely a piece we need to achieve that," Mauger said. "We're all trying new positions."