Profiling The Georgia Bulldog Safeties
This week we will end the "Profiling" series by delving into the guys who are, typically, the last line of defense—the safeties.
First up will be Reshad Jones. It wasn't known in January of 2009 if he would even be here to open the season, but his return has all but guaranteed that the safety position will be a strength for the Dawgs this season.
So, without much more conversation, we begin with:
Reshad Jones (RJr), 6'2", 212 lbs (pictured above)
Coming into this season, Jones is likely to be one of the most talented players in the secondary. Last year, he was the second leading tackler for the Bulldogs (76) while also leading the team in interceptions (five).
His standout performance against LSU (where he recorded 12 tackles and an interception) stands out as one of the best of last season—his "coming out party" if you will.
Jones is a no-doubt talent with a lot of untapped potential still waiting to be realized. He brings an aggressive touch to his style of play—as most all Georgia safeties tend to do—and that leads to a lot of ferocity on the field.
He's quick in pursuit and has a great nose for the ball. He can break up a play in a hurry using his ability to read the quarterback and sniff out the direction of the ball.
He has great hands and is skillfully adept at disarming the ball handler before he can secure possession of and gain substantial yardage.
However, don't let the slim build lullaby you into thinking he can't knock the socks off a guy if he needs to; he can do that and then some—Jones' stock can only go higher in what will likely be his final season in the red and black uni.
Look for him to continue to build upon his skill-set—which not only includes him being a tremendous safety but a gifted return man as well—and wreak even greater havoc on SEC opponents next season.
He will be backed by Quintin Banks (RJr), 6'2", 210 lbs. He has battled a host of injuries since arriving at Georgia in 2006 and hasn't played much in the previous two seasons.
However, in limited appearances, he has shown that he is a capable player with a lot of heart and a nose for getting to the ball.
If he can stay healthy, he will contribute.
Beyond him will be Bacarri Rambo (RFr), 6'0", 208 lbs. He had five tackles in the G-Day game and is most likely to move up the depth chart should anything happen to derail Banks this fall.
Rambo has a good feel for the game and is comfortable playing in any spot you place him on the field.
He follows his instincts well and is always going to be around or on the ball no matter what the play call.
His talents as a ball handler are unsurpassed and his speed makes him a dangerous runner when he's out in the open-field.
He will need time to develop into his position, as he is a little raw and has some questionable technique in his approach to the game, but once he does there is no doubt that he will be a force.
It may also be interesting to see how incoming freshman Shawn Williams, 6'1", 190 lbs performs in the fall.
He has the talent to play in either man or zone coverage and is no stranger to making big hits.
His aggressive style of play is just the kind of thing that the Georgia coaches covet in their strong safeties and he definitely looks the part.
If he makes a strong impression, he could give both Rambo and Banks some serious competition for the second spot on the depth chart or could be a co-No. 2 with Rambo; allowing defensive coordinator Willie Martinez to substitute them based on their playing strengths.
One thing is for certain, Williams has a lot of potential and it would not surprise to see him making a move up the depth chart sooner rather than later.
Bryan Evans (Sr), 5'11", 190 lbs
Evans is new to the safety position—he moved over during spring drills— but he made his presence felt during the G-Day game (three tackles and an interception).
To this point Evans has made appearances in a lot of Georgia games—both as a starter and as a reserve—but has secured the primary position at the free safety spot this season.
Evans has good field vision and rarely, if ever, takes a bad angle to the ball—he uses his instincts well in his approach to the game; keeping mistakes to a minimum.
Further, he has the ability to recover well if a receiver does get behind him. He has great closing speed and his technique as a tackler is solid.
Behind him will be Makiri Pugh (RSo), 6'0", 202 lbs. Pugh didn't play last season as a redshirt, but did show some promise in the spring (he recorded three tackles in the G-Day Game).
Pugh's quick and has the ability to go stride-for-stride with most any receiver he is up against.
He will need to get accustomed to the speed and flow of the SEC game but has the potential to be very good at his position.
Like Reshad Jones, he loves to lay the lumber to a receiver and his approach to the game is no-holds barred.
Look for him to play in spot duty as he begins to learn the nuances of the game and get comfortable playing his position.
Overall, the safety position looks to have some nice talent both on the field and off—Jones and Evans will look to maximize their roles in the secondary and add some solid support to the corners.
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