Georgia DB Sheldon Dawson
Bringing in new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt means that every defensive player on Georgia's roster has to win back their job. For members of the Georgia secondary, that may take a lot of work.
The Bulldogs finished ninth in the SEC last season in pass defense (227.4), and never felt comfortable with former coordinator Todd Grantham's system.
Sheldon Dawson will likely man the "star" position former safety Josh Harvey-Clemons dropped down to last year at times, but he could be pushed by running back-turned-defensive back J.J. Green. Green tied for a team-high seven tackles in Georgia's last scrimmage and impressed head coach Mark Richt, according to Connor Smolensky of The Telegraph.
“He is very tough, very physical,” Richt told Smolensky. “For a guy that hasn’t played defense in a while I really like what he’s doing.”
That's important, because physicality—namely tackling—was a big issue for the Georgia secondary last year in addition to the confusion. Pruitt has options. Green, Dawson, Shaq Wiggins and Damian Swann are all talented cornerbacks who can be successful; and safeties Tray Matthews, Corey Moore and Quincy Mauger all have experience.
Figuring out how those pieces of the puzzle fit together as spring winds down is important for Pruitt, so that they can avoid a repeat of the uncertainty that plagued last year's group.