Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Practice - looking at outside linebackers

While a lot of the attention is centered on Chase Vasser and Jordan Jenkins as the players to get most of the snaps Jarvis Jones left on campus, it's a sophomore from Jenkins Co. that is getting a lot of the early attention at outside linebacker (note that Vasser will miss most if not all of spring drills while he recovers from shoulder surgery).

DeLoach and JCHS teammate Johnathan Taylor
signing with UGA. (via)
James DeLoach is up to a whopping 270 pounds and is ready to prove to his coaches that he's ready to play.
Jones’ departure has opened up a starting spot for the Bulldogs. DeLoach is working at first-team strongside linebacker and could join another member of the 2012 signing class, Jordan Jenkins, as starters at outside linebacker
“It’s going to be a big spring to prove to the coaches that I can be out there with the best of them as a starter,” DeLoach said.
“I think he’s a really big, athletic guy,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “I’ve been really impressed with him in workouts. … We’re going to play him at SAM linebacker and let him be a physical presence there. I’ve been really pleased with his progress, his movements. He was in the meeting room last year so he kind of understands all the things, he just hasn’t done it as much as other people. …He’s a guy that we’ll be looking for him to be a contributor for us in the fall.”  
The other day we talked about some of the size differential expected with the defensive changes specifically. Considering Jarvis played at about 245 and Vasser is about ten pounds lighter, that holds true. But with DeLoach's size and Jenkins who is now up to around 260 lbs, the "SAM" spot could be getting bigger. Hopefully the competition can produce Jarvis-like numbers.

Speaking of the competition there, Brandon Burrows is working out at the SAM as well. Don't forget about this guy as he has suffered from some shoulder problems as well. This would seem to be a good move from his inside spot where Ryne Rankin and Reggie Carter are getting early looks. Burrows may be a bit of a question mark still, but he can push DeLoach and Jenkins this spring.

Outside linebacker is shaping up to be one of the top spots to watch come GDay...ONE month from today!!