Georgia Bulldogs: Davin Bellamy

UGA position groups to improve: No. 3

February, 12, 2014
Feb 12
9:00
AM ET
Georgia doesn't open spring practice until March 18, so we'll use the next few weeks to look ahead to those all-important workouts and preview what to watch once the Bulldogs get started.

Today we continue a series where we examine five position groups with room to improve. After touching on the inside linebackers and offensive line, today we focus on the outside linebackers, who were inconsistent last season despite worlds of potential.

[+] EnlargeLeonard Floyd
Jeffrey Vest/Icon SMILeonard Floyd emerged at outside linebacker last season for the Bulldogs, leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
3. Outside linebackers

Battling for No. 1: The starters here seem fairly easy to predict, as rising junior Jordan Jenkins and sophomore Leonard Floyd combined for 21 starts a season ago. Floyd made a big splash during preseason camp and was one of the pleasant surprises of the fall, leading the team with 6.5 sacks and adding 9.5 tackles for a loss. Jenkins had a fairly quiet season, posting five sacks and a team-high 12 TFLs. Both players need to do a better job of controlling the edge against the run, as last season's disappointing defensive results often proved. They have clear pro potential -- particularly as pass rushers -- but they must refine their positional skills in order for the defense to improve this fall.

Strength in numbers: James DeLoach was penciled in as a starter last year until Floyd came along and stole his thunder. Nonetheless, the versatile outside linebacker offers a bit more bulk at the position (he's listed at 265 pounds) than the two starters. Rising senior Brandon Burrows is the only other veteran at the position, but he has never played much of a role in the Bulldogs' defensive scheme.

New on the scene: Five-star defensive end/OLB Lorenzo Carter is the name to know here. ESPN's No. 14 overall prospect became the crown jewel in a strong recruiting class when he signed with the Bulldogs last week on national signing day. The Under Armour All-American is still raw, but he possesses size and freak athleticism that should help him make it on the field early in his career. In addition, ESPN 300 defensive end/OLB Keyon Brown looks like another versatile prospect who can contribute at either position depending on the situation. The Bulldogs will also have two redshirt freshmen enter the mix in Davin Bellamy and Shaun McGee.

UGA redshirt review: defense

December, 20, 2013
12/20/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia signed a massive 33-man recruiting class in February, and many of those signees -- like Leonard Floyd, Shaq Wiggins, J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas -- contributed immediately. Yesterday we reviewed the players who redshirted on offense. Today we move to the defense.

[+] EnlargeDavin Bellamy
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNDavin Bellamy, a former four-star prospect, could work his way into the DL rotation this spring.
John Atkins, Fr., DL
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 119 overall in 2012, No. 11 defensive tackle
This season: The prep school transfer did not seize a role in the defensive line rotation, but impressed coaches and teammates with a promising skill set that could help him play multiple positions in the future.
Veteran's perspective: “John Atkins' footwork is crazy for a big guy. He's like 320 -- we're the same size – and he has amazing footwork and work ethic. He's going to be one of those guys popping off the scene next year.” -- sophomore defensive lineman Chris Mayes

Davin Bellamy, Fr., OLB
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 299 overall, No. 25 defensive end
This season: Underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason, but could have played this season according to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham were it not for the emergence of Floyd and Jordan Jenkins at his position.
Veteran's perspective: “Bellamy's a big-bodied kid. I know just from being around him, he has a giant attitude. And when I say that, it's a good thing. He believes in himself and what he can do. He thinks he's the best thing since sliced bread, which is the attitude that you have to have when you're playing football because if you don't believe in yourself, nobody will.” -- junior defensive end Ray Drew

Paris Bostick, Fr., ILB
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 55 safety
This season: Grantham compares Bostick's skills to those of another converted safety -- former UGA linebacker Alec Ogletree. Bostick suffered a toe injury during the summer and returned to practice during the season.
Veteran's perspective: “Bigger than what most people think -- real big dude now. He's just trying to learn the system and figure out where he's going to fit in at. … He's a real big dude, but he still runs like a safety. He's fast. He's going to be a real good addition to us.” -- junior linebacker Ramik Wilson

Shaquille Fluker, Jr., S
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 36 on Junior College 50, No. 2 safety
This season: Initially set back by an array of physical ailments, Fluker was designated as a redshirt candidate by midseason. He announced this week his plans to transfer in search of playing time.
Coach's perspective: “I can't comment on any medical situation, but everybody wants to play more, obviously, and I hope wherever he goes, he gets to play. I hope he finds a good home. I like him a lot. He's a good kid. I'm very confident we had his best interests at heart the entire time he was here at Georgia and we treated him well.” -- coach Mark Richt

DeAndre Johnson, Fr., DL
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 84 defensive tackle
This season: The youngest defensive lineman on the roster, Johnson needs to have a productive offseason in order to crack a veteran-heavy rotation next season, defensive line coach Chris Wilson said.
Veteran's perspective: “He's a low-pad-level player, just a young guy that's got to build up and get more experience and get comfortable with the game. … I think he'll be able to play the 3-technique as he has to learn the game and progress. For his size, he's pretty shifty, so I think he'll be all right.” -- Mayes

Kennar Johnson, Jr., CB
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 4 safety
This season: Injuries slowed Johnson's development early in the season and the coaches opted to redshirt him instead of utilizing another inexperienced player in a youthful secondary.
Veteran's perspective: “KJ is an athlete. He's very fast. It just comes with being able to compete and learning the system. I think he was kind of put in a bad situation coming in playing behind Corey [Moore], playing behind Tray [Matthews], who was here in the spring, and playing behind Josh [Harvey-Clemons] who's been here for two years. … [Johnson and Fluker were] playing behind guys who had already been here that grasped the system very well. That kind of put them behind the 8-ball a little bit.” -- junior cornerback Damian Swann

Shaun McGee, Fr., OLB
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 43 defensive end
This season: Capable of playing inside or outside, McGee's development this offseason will establish which of the two spots he plays next fall according to Grantham.
Veteran's perspective: “He's a little bit shorter, but he's very strong. His legs are massive and he can run. He has great speed off the edge, so I see that being one of his best contributions to the team.” -- Drew

Reggie Wilkerson, Fr., CB
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 163 overall, No. 15 athlete
This season: Enrolled in January and was on track to contribute this season before suffering a season-ending knee injury during summer workouts.
Veteran's perspective: “Reggie had a pretty good spring and he had a freak injury during the summer doing [pass skeleton drills] and we lost him. But I think he can be a big key and big part of this secondary with what we already have with Sheldon [Dawson], with Shaq and with [Brendan] Langley.” -- Swann

Thumb surgery for Leonard Floyd

August, 6, 2013
8/06/13
7:59
PM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Yet another left thumb injury will cost a Georgia outside linebacker some practice time.

For the third time in two days, UGA announced on Tuesday that an outside linebacker -- this time freshman Leonard Floyd -- underwent surgery to repair an injured thumb. Floyd fractured the thumb in Monday’s practice, but should return to practice in a cast shortly.

“We’re hoping that everybody [returns] early next week,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

Georgia announced on Monday that sophomore James DeLoach -- the projected starting strongside linebacker -- and freshman Davin Bellamy both underwent thumb surgery that day. As with Floyd, both players should return to practice within a few days and work for an undetermined length of time with a cast covering their surgically-repaired hands, but be back in time for the Aug. 31 opener at Clemson.

Richt was unaware that all three linebackers had injured their left thumbs -- a seemingly freak occurrence for so many players at the same position in such a short period of time.

“But it is hand-to-hand combat,” Richt told a reporter after Tuesday’s evening practice. “You can strengthen just about everything in the world -- you can strengthen your grip a little bit, but I don’t know if you can strengthen your hand for if your thumb gets bent back or your hand gets cracked.”

Floyd, who signed with Georgia in 2012 and spent last season at Hargrave Military after failing to qualify, has been one of the freshman standouts so far in the Bulldogs’ preseason camp. The pass-rush specialist earned praise from coaches and teammates almost immediately once camp started, with Richt remarking that “you see big upside” from the freshman in his first post-practice comments of the preseason.

“He’s a really good player,” Richt said Tuesday.

Strongside linebacker Chase Vasser also missed Tuesday’s practice with a sprained left ankle, making the fifth-year senior one of a whopping 17 Georgia players listed on the day’s injury report.

Versatile sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons practiced with Georgia’s outside linebackers during the portion of Tuesday afternoon’s practice that was open to the media -- a move that Richt described as “a quick fix” because of the numerous injuries at strongside linebacker. Although Harvey-Clemons is expected to predominantly play safety and nickelback, Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has insisted for months that Harvey-Clemons -- who is suspended for the Clemson game for violating team rules -- will also see some time at outside linebacker.

“Part of it is just the sam linebacker position is depleted enough where we’ve had to figure out how we were going to line up, and that was part of it,” Richt said of Harvey-Clemons’ move. “The reason why he’s a natural for that position is that the nickel position or … the star position … they are very much alike in assignment.”
ATHENS, Ga. -- James DeLoach, the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs' projected starter at strongside linebacker, sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Sunday's practice and will undergo surgery Monday.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said DeLoach should be back for the Bulldogs' Aug. 31 opener at Clemson, though the sophomore will practice for some time with his hand covered by a cast when he returns in the next day or two.

"He knows enough of what to do that I don't think it will [set him back]," Richt said of DeLoach, who watched from the sidelines during Monday's morning practice while wearing a green non-contact jersey. "He can get all the mental reps, as well, so I think he'll be fine."

Freshman outside linebacker Davin Bellamy also sustained a left thumb injury -- a fracture -- during Sunday's practice and was slated for Monday surgery. Bellamy is expected to be healthy in time for the Clemson game, too.

"You've got a lot of hand-to-hand combat in there and your digits get pushed back sometimes and get damaged. So we're going to clean them up with the surgery and club them up to protect them," Richt said. "They'll be practicing relatively soon. You don't miss an awful lot off of that, and then we're hoping by the time the game rolls around, they'll have just about every finger and thumb free."

DeLoach and Bellamy are among a number of young Bulldogs defenders who are dealing with minor injuries early in camp. And that comes at an inopportune time as several of the newcomers are competing to fill holes created by 12 departed regulars from Georgia's 2012 defense.

Freshman cornerback Shaq Wiggins was impressive in the first few days of camp, but was sidelined Monday by a groin strain. Freshman safety Tray Matthews -- who claimed a first-team job in the spring -- practiced for the second straight day in a non-contact jersey on Monday after injuring his shoulder. And first-team cornerback Sheldon Dawson continues to practice through a knee injury he sustained in the spring.

"It's not good," Richt said. "But like I told them after practice, that's football. ... You take DeLoach and Bellamy, Davin's the one that's going to have a harder time missing those reps where a veteran missing a day or two won't kill him on a knowledge standpoint.

"But yeah, it is inconvenient for them not to be there and not to get reps. We just hope that they do a great job in meetings, and we do a lot of walkthroughs so most guys can walk and talk through assignments if they can't go full speed so they get as many mental reps as possible."

Post-spring position review: OLB 

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
7:00
AM ET
Editor’s note: Our DawgNation post-spring positional analysis continues this week after focusing on the offense last week. Today we examine the outside linebackers:

Returning players/stats: Jordan Jenkins, So. (Six starts in 2012, 31 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery); Chase Vasser, Sr. (Two starts, 19 tackles, four TFL, 1 FF); T.J. Stripling, Sr. (Eight tackles, one TFL, one sack, one FF); Brandon Burrows, Jr. (No tackles); Josh Dawson, So. (five tackles, 1.5 TFL); James DeLoach, So. (four tackles)

Newcomers: Davin Bellamy, Fr. (ESPN’s No. 299 overall prospect, No. 25 defensive end. Expected to enroll this summer); Leonard Floyd, Fr. (The four-star prospect had no position rating as a player from Hargrave Military Academy. Expected to enroll this summer); Shaun McGee (No. 43 DE. Expected to enroll this summer.)

Mailbag: What's behind Garner stories? 

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
9:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- With signing day in the rear-view mirror and spring practice just a few weeks away, we have decided to bring back our mailbag feature where we can address the topics our readers want addressed. Each week we will take submitted questions from either our premium message board, The Pound, or from Twitter or Facebook.

GAbread: I am curious about your thoughts on Rodney Garner. Quotes coming out lately from recruits have not put him in the best light. Did you hear these rumblings before? Or is this just recent? And how would you summarize his time at Georgia?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Bellamy on his decision, Grantham rumors 

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
1:52
AM ET
Georgia picked up commitment No. 32 for the Class of 2013 just after 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, which put the finishing touch on one of the largest recruiting classes in coach Mark Richt’s tenure. And while it appeared that ESPN 300 defensive end Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) chose Georgia over Tennessee and Oregon on signing day, in actuality Bellamy had secretly been committed for a while.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Grantham coy about NFL possibilities

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
6:26
PM ET
Todd GranthamDaniel Shirey/US PresswireWill he or won't he? UGA D-coordinator Todd Grantham isn't saying much about NFL teams courting him, though he did indicate that some conversations, however insignificant, have occurred.
ATHENS, Ga. -- After Georgia’s national signing day press conference this afternoon, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham addressed in general terms the published reports that he is a candidate for multiple NFL job openings.

Grantham’s message: He hadn’t spoken to Bulldogs coach Mark Richt or athletic director Greg McGarity about specific job openings, as required by terms in his contract, because there was nothing to discuss. Not yet, anyway.

“If I feel like I need to discuss something, I have a great relationship with Coach Richt and Greg and I would definitely do that from that standpoint,” Grantham said. “For me, the most important thing is doing a great job at Georgia because I like my job here. At the same time, as you move forward, if opportunities came up, I don’t think it’s fair to comment on every particular one because then all I’d be doing is talking about the rumors and innuendos and those kind of things, and then I couldn’t do my job.”

(Read full post)

ESPN 300 DE Bellamy joins Dogs 

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
11:37
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) became the 14th ESPN 300 member to join Georgia’s 2013 recruiting class Wednesday, following through on recent interest in the Bulldogs after checking out Tennessee and Oregon.

The former Florida State commitment was defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s top target at outside linebacker, particularly after Naim Mustafaa switched his commitment to Oklahoma State after the season. The 6-foot-5 Bellamy is ESPN’s No. 299 overall prospect and No. 25 defensive end.

Georgia believes the athletic Bellamy can eventually fill a similar role to that of former Bulldogs All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones as his career progresses.

What is the impact of Bellamy's decision?

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Davin Bellamy TweetChat 

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
9:00
AM ET
ESPN 300 defensive end Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee) is one day away from announcing where he will attend college. He recently returned from an official visit to Oregon after having taken visits to Tennessee and Georgia. After visiting the Bulldogs, Bellamy decommitted from Florida State and named Georgia his leader. On Monday night, he consented to answer some questions that were submitted by people on Twitter. Be sure to follow him at @DavinBellamy17.

Nick @godawgs924: What time is your decision coming on Wednesday?

Davin Bellamy: Probably around 12:00 p.m. We always do something in the library. Four other kids and I are signing and I will probably go last.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Last two classes made instant impact 

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s coaching staff proved in the last two seasons that it is more than willing to play a newcomer in order to address glaring needs. And as they prepare to put the finishing touches on their 2013 signing class, the coaches can only hope that the newest Bulldogs can be as effective as their predecessors from that last two years at addressing Georgia’s depth concerns.

Mark Richt’s critics might once have had a point when they observed that his coaching staff gave veterans too much of a benefit of the doubt when it came to playing them over talented young players. The last two seasons have neutralized those criticisms, as it’s hard to imagine Georgia having won the last two SEC East titles without extensive contributions from brand new Bulldogs.

[+] EnlargeTodd Gurley #3 and Keith Marshall
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesFreshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 2,144 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns in the 2012 season.
Think back to 2011, when John Jenkins’ emergence at nose guard was one of the leading factors in Georgia’s defensive resurgence that carried the Bulldogs to their first division title since 2005. Or how tailback Isaiah Crowell led the team with 850 rushing yards en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Or how Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Conley both made their share of big plays at receiver, as did Amarlo Herrera at linebacker.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Possibilities and predictions: Georgia 

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
9:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Last Friday demonstrated the reason why the recruiting hotboard in the Georgia coaches’ meeting room is kept on a dry erase board. As the day started, the Bulldogs had 10 targets in mind for signing day. By midnight, the erasers had been worked hard. Let’s review what happened so we can gauge the possible commits on signing day.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Mitchell, Rome helped spark UGA surge

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
7:00
AM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s football program seemed to be on the ropes with two weeks remaining until signing day 2011. Three seasons of declining results, capped by the program’s first losing record under Mark Richt in 2010, left the Bulldogs in an uncertain position.

But when Malcolm Mitchell and Jay Rome elected to join the Bulldogs’ “Dream Team” recruiting class on Jan. 20, 2011, an impressive finishing push for Richt’s coaching staff leading up to signing day was launched. That was a big step toward the on-field resurgence that allowed the Bulldogs to win back-to-back SEC East titles over the last two years.

Another strong signing class followed the “Dream Team” in 2012 and played a role in the Bulldogs’ division championship. And as Richt’s staff attempts to reel in a final batch of blue-chip prospects before national signing day on Wednesday, we can review the successes of the past two seasons and point to that mid-January day -- 13 days before signing day 2011 -- that Valdosta (Ga.) teammates Mitchell and Rome publicly committed to the Bulldogs as the jumping-off point for Richt’s staff to restock their roster with a flood of talent.

(Read full post)

ESPN 300 DE comments on photo 

February, 3, 2013
2/03/13
4:58
PM ET
The official visits are over for ESPN 300 defensive end Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee). The 6-foot-4, 235-pound pass-rusher has taken trips to Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia and Oregon, with the Ducks sneaking in for his last official over the weekend. The former Seminoles commitment said the trip to Oregon went well, besides one small mishap.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Inside the DawgHouse 

February, 1, 2013
2/01/13
10:19
PM ET
Heading in to the last weekend before signing day, the news is coming fast and furious, as Georgia chases after its top targets and prepares for a breakneck end to the 2013 recruiting cycle. Here is a quick recap of news that has broken on The Pound in the last 24 hours.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Gurley or Mariota For Heisman?
Heather Dinich and Ivan Maisel look at which of the two front-runners for the Heisman award most deserves it this season.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 10/4