Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sulek: walk on ready

Nice piece by Ching on walk on Jeremy Sulek, who has taken on an expanded role most walk-ons can only dream of. He might not have the size and speed of Gilliard and Herrera. But it wasn't just athleticism that Coach Grantham needed to replace when Tree and Crob came down with injuries.
Sulek made the team last year, appearing in six games and impressing coaches and teammates with his grasp of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.
"He knows the defense just as well as I do," said Robinson, who typically made the calls in the defensive huddle. "That was one thing about having him out there. Mentally there was no drop-off. We were able to communicate. We sat next to each other in the meeting room long before [Ogletree] got hurt. It's easy when you have someone out there who knows the signals, knows the calls and can spread it out to everyone else so we can play faster."
There was a time when playing in the GA Dome against a top ranked team were as far away as the opponent itself. Sulek had given up the game and Robinson had to talk him into giving it another try. He might be behind Gilliard on the depth chart for Saturday's game against Coastal Carolina, but at a very minimum he's set the bar higher for those around him. If they struggle with assignments, Coach Olivadotti knows he can go to Sulek.
While nobody will confuse Sulek with a former five-star prospect such as Ogletree, he still managed to hold his own by hustling when thrown into the spotlight against Boise State.
"He knew where to put a Georgia jersey, and he did that and he finished plays with tackles," Georgia inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti said. "If you look at that game, he had some third-down stops where Kellen Moore threw the ball three yards and they needed six and Sulek was the guy that was tackling them. It happened two or three times in the game. He made those completions, and we're off the field now because he knew where he was supposed to be and he made the tackles."
It's not easy seeing your team 0-2. And it can't be easy for coaches to see two vital components to the defense go down with injuries the first two games of the season. Sulek may not have reached the status of a Tra Battle or a Verron Haynes. But Dawg fans can be thankful he gave the game of football another shot.

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