Georgia Bulldogs: Shaun McGee

UGA position groups to improve: No. 3

February, 12, 2014
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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
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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

DawgNation Mailbag 

May, 1, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- With the spring camp over and the spring evaluation period underway, this seems as good a time as any to reopen the DawgNation Mailbag. We missed two weeks with the release of the ESPN 150 rankings and all the fireworks last week with the commitments of Sony Michel and Jeb Blazevich so let us get back to your burning questions.

gilly5134: I know it's hard to judge but how do you think the ACL injuries will affect Michael Bennett and Tramel Terry next year? I know it takes a lot of guys a while to get that mental edge back after realizing they can break.

Post-spring position review: OLB 

April, 24, 2013
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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.)

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DawgNation signing day live blog

February, 6, 2013
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Welcome to DawgNation's live coverage of national signing day for the Georgia Bulldogs. We'll be with you throughout the day providing up-to-the minute updates on Georgia's Class of 2013.

Watch live coverage on ESPNU | Talk signing day in "The Pound"

Follow the live blog after the jump.

(Read full post)

Dawgs Snapshot 2013: Shaun McGee 

January, 29, 2013
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, DawgNation's Radi Nabulsi is breaking down every commitment in the Bulldogs' 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Defensive end Shaun McGee, Lawrenceville, Ga./Brookwood | 6-foot-2, 235 pounds

Committed: July 16, 2012

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CB Nick Ruffin receives good news 

January, 20, 2013
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ESPN Watch List cornerback Nick Ruffin (Atlanta/St. Pius X) was meeting with two of his football coaches when the three of them were joined by Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon. Some good news followed.


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Position scouting report: Outside LBs 

December, 27, 2012
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Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and project how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s outside linebackers.

Current two-deep depth chart:
Jarvis Jones (Jr.), Ramik Wilson (So.)
Jordan Jenkins (Fr.), Josh Dawson (Fr.)

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Position scouting report: Defensive end 

December, 18, 2012
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Editor’s note: Over the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart today and projecting how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s defensive ends:

Current two-deep depth chart:
Garrison Smith (Jr.), John Jenkins (Sr.)
Cornelius Washington (Sr.), Ray Drew (So.)

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Weekend rewind: Georgia 

December, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia coaching staff was on the road Friday, as usual, checking in on commits and targets alike. In what had to the most fortuitous turn of events of the day, tight ends coach John Lilly and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti just happened to be stopping by Auburn (Ala.) High School right after the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, decommitted from Auburn University. Both coaches met with Foster, who reopened his recruitment, citing reports that his mentor Trooper Taylor had been let go at Auburn.

Later that night, another coach would also prove lucky as defensive line coach Rodney Garner was on hand to congratulate Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) after the top-ranked defensive tackle won the chance to play for the Georgia Class A championship.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon were on hand to see the Bulldogs’ top tailback target, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), win his semifinal game as well. Alabama’s Kirby Smart was also there, and the battle for Kamara is still neck and neck.

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DawgNation Q&A 

November, 9, 2012
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We asked for questions on The Pound, DawgNation’s message board, and our readers had quit a few. From coaching hot seats to hot recruits to ice cold players, we touch on a little bit of everything.

[+] EnlargeReuben Foster
Alex Scarborough/ESPN.comWould Georgia handing Auburn another loss put LB Reuben Foster, the No. 24 prospect nationally, back in play?
Bullpup969:- Do you know if Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) is still solid on Auburn? Would a coaching change play into the picture?

Radi Nabulsi: Coaching changes always have consequences and if Gene Chizik and, more importantly, Trooper Taylor were no longer with Auburn, then I would expect Foster to take some official visits. He would likely check out Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Oregon and Washington. The Tide coaches have never stopped recruiting him. Some of Georgia’s commits would try and sway Foster to Athens since he is so close to Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek). The last time I spoke to Foster, he was solid to Auburn. He has a good family situation living in Auburn, Ala. But things change in recruiting. Here is one angle that I have not seen mentioned. If Chizik were fired and Auburn hired a new, exciting coach, the prospects committed to the Tigers might become more enthusiastic. I can see them lining up to play for a Charlie Strong or a Jon Gruden.

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Inside the DawgHouse: Sept. 28 

September, 28, 2012
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DawgNation is here to take you Inside the DawgHouse -- a confidential look inside Georgia football recruiting for DawgNation subscribers only. As it will be every week, everything reported Inside the DawgHouse stays on The Pound forum. We are providing this information for our subscribers and hope that you help keep this information protected by keeping it here.

In this week's update:

  • Prospects flock to Athens
  • Spots filling up

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Georgia commits weigh in on Dawgs win 

September, 2, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Quite a few of Georgia’s committed prospects were in town to watch the Bulldogs game against the Buffalo Bulls, others caught the telecast. The home crowd left mostly happy with the 45-23 victory, but most did not expect the Bulls to give Georgia as much trouble as they did in the second quarter. The defense made adjustments, freshman Todd Gurley took off and the natural order was restored -- at least the way Georgia fans see it. DawgNation wanted to know what those prospects thought of the game.

WR Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro): “I liked everything about the game. The guys got after it and I noticed they kept the defense simple. The secondary could have been a little bit better.”

OL Brandon Kublanow (Marietta, Ga./Walton): “I loved the atmosphere and everyone there. The team played great. I know they feel they have work to do to win it all. If I could change anything it would be to have air conditioning throughout the stadium. Other than that it was perfect. Go Dawgs!

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Notebook: Summer recruiting recap 

August, 7, 2012
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While the summer months are considered downtime, the Georgia Bulldogs have continued their torrid recruiting pace this summer, picking up several commitments from prospects in several states. With the ability and, arguably, the dire need to bring in more than 30 signees for the 2013 class, the Bulldogs have been aggressive with offers. That has paid off with a group that already dwarfs that of the freshman class now on campus. As football season approaches, DawgNation takes a look back at the goings on and decisions made in the past few months, along with a look ahead at what to keep an eye on this fall.

[+] EnlargeParis Bostick
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comTampa, Fla., safety Paris Bostick was slated to announce his decision this summer, and still might. The Bulldogs are considered a favorite to earn his commitment.
Commitments piling up
As school let out across the country, prospects seemingly lined up to make their commitments known to the Bulldogs. ESPN 300 wide receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) committed to Georgia on June 1. The 6-foot-2, 197-pound wideout picked the Bulldogs over Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Ohio State, among others. Two days later, another ESPN 300 receiver secured a spot, as Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) verbally committed. The 6-foot, 162-pound four-star prospect is considered one of the top deep threats in the always-loaded Sunshine State. Less than a week later the Bulldogs picked up their top outside linebacker target, Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta). It was a rare in-state battle for the 6-foot-4, 235-pound four-star, although SEC rival Tennessee continues its pursuit.

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ESPN 150 CB Shaq Wiggins pushes UGA 

July, 28, 2012
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Brice Ramsey, Shaq WigginsJenny Zimmerman/ESPN.comUGA commits Brice Ramsey (left) and Shaq Wiggins have spent a lot of time together at prospect camps and know each other well. Wiggins says players form deep bonds at camp, and many end up wanting to commit to the same school.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Since cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) committed to the University of Georgia in February, the ESPN 150 prospect has been unabashed in his efforts to bring other top recruits to Athens. Several subsequent commitments have mentioned Wiggins as being in their ear, and as the highest rated Georgia commitment to date in the 2013 recruiting cycle, Wiggins is seen by many as the face of the Bulldogs' class.


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