Moving Ogletree leaves a big question mark in Dogs’ secondary

The move of Alec Ogletree to linebacker leaves a big question mark at safety. (Associated Press)

The move of Alec Ogletree to linebacker leaves a big question mark at safety. (Associated Press)

The personnel moves announced Thursday in Athens cleared up some questions and raised others that will linger well into August and possibly on into the season.

Not surprisingly, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is already counting on recently signed JUCO player John Jenkins to plug the middle at nose guard, meaning DeAngelo Tyson moves to his more natural position at defensive end. That’s good for the pass rush.

The most notable switch, though, is Alec Ogletree going from the safety spot he won late last season to inside linebacker, which will allow Jarvis Jones, the much heralded transfer from Southern California, to play outside linebacker.

This ups the speed quotient considerably at the depleted linebacker position and, as Grantham said, moves “two guys that can make plays closer to the ball. Kind of around the action a bit more.”

That sounds good, but the departure of Ogletree from safety leaves Bacarri Rambo as the one starter there and opens the other spot up to a battle between Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams, both of whom competed for the spot last year, along with redshirt freshman Marc Deas. Hamilton initially won the starter’s job but was pretty much a bust and eventually lost out to freshman Ogletree, who got burned a couple of times due to inexperience but generally was a much more solid performer. Hamilton briefly was moved to cornerback.

Grantham said Hamiton, Williams and Deas “are going to get their opportunity in the spring to show us what they can do with the system and how productive they can be.”

You’ve got to wonder if Grantham’s not seeing these guys as placeholders until some of the new freshman signees who arrive in August get the chance to show what they can do. Corey Moore and Chris Sanders both were signed as safeties, and while versatile Nick Marshall is penciled in at cornerback (and expected to get some time at receiver as well as returning kicks), he has experience playing safety as well. And, who knows, maybe if celebrated signee Malcolm Mitchell wows Grantham enough to demand some playing time at one of the corners, where Brandon Boykin and Sanders Commings currently are projected as the starters, one of the other cornerbacks might wind up moving to the safety corps.

The bottom line is that the signing of Jenkins and Grantham’s moves appear to be a good step toward shoring up the middle of the Georgia defense, which was weak last year. But the secondary remains suspect.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

113 comments Add your comment

Inspector G

March 4th, 2011
10:39 am

First, maybe

John

March 4th, 2011
10:40 am

Tide roll

March 4th, 2011
10:41 am

Sanders Commings to safety, Brandon Smith to corner?

Tide roll

March 4th, 2011
10:43 am

Bean Anderson and Kenarious Gates at offensive guard, Cordy Glenn and Sturdivant at tackles and you win the SEC.

Inspector G

March 4th, 2011
10:43 am

One time I saw Matthew Stafford single-handedly thwart a robbery of the Pita Pit by singing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (The Dan Band Addition). The robber’s were so anxious to make sure they hit the ‘f’ notes in the lyrics that they forgot all about the robbery and left carrying out only 2 Chicken Craves that were satisfying to say the least. The left Sgt Owens of Athens-Clarke Co Police Dept to know refer to good samaritans as ‘good Staffords’. Sgt Owens took Matt out to Amicis where they split some Buffalo Chicken Garcheemar and reportdedly they still share texts to this day.

42-34 Dawgs STILL Run This Street

March 4th, 2011
10:45 am

I agree Bill – Hamilton and Rambo definitely have to step up their games.

I look for CTG’s defense to bounce back this season, especially on third and forever.

jaglaw

March 4th, 2011
10:50 am

I just hope these guys find a position by fall ball. I do agree, if BOBO cant find a way to get B. Smith the ball in space, but him at corner and leave him there.
Commings could be a solid “lock down” corner, likewise with Boykin. Hope we can find a REAL safety by fall.
I am excited about this year’s defense. Hey, even Bama went 6-6 the first year under Saban.

AltamahaDawg

March 4th, 2011
10:50 am

“pretty much a bust” seem a tad harsh.

Macclenny_dawg

March 4th, 2011
10:53 am

Get a pass rush and the secondary will be fine!!! The Qb must go down and must go down Hard!!!

jaglaw

March 4th, 2011
10:54 am

So is Jarves Jones replacing Houston’s position as pass rusher???

ugaclassof2004

March 4th, 2011
10:55 am

As the Ole’ saying goes ” Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend”

2008: Blowout loss to Florida and Bama, and upset by Tech
2009: Blowout losses to UT and Florida, upset loss to Kentucky
2010: Upset loss to Colorado, and finished with 6-7 record.

Rome is burning folks. I’m getting out of the city.

ugaclassof2004

March 4th, 2011
10:59 am

@jaglaw

“Hey, even Bama went 6-6 the first year under Saban.”

The operative word being FIRST season. Who cares how you do in your first season! Going 6-6 in your first season means you’re rebuilding . Going 6-6 in your TENTH season means things are falling apart.

JAWJeRDAWG

March 4th, 2011
11:02 am

I’ve got faith that CTG knows how to structure our new defensive scheme around the best players we have / will have by fall. Spring practice and the incoming freshman class this summer and pre-season August camp will give our coaches a good look at what we have on defense, and enable them to get the right players in their best position.

Hopefully by the beginning of 2011 season, we’ll find we have some players who will have learned our new defensive scheme, can play it aggressively, benefit greatly from our new S&C program, and give us some depth that UGA has lacked for the past couple of years where we can compete successfully for four quarters of football … Go Dawgs!

Jim

March 4th, 2011
11:04 am

ugaclassof2004: “Rome is burning folks. I’m getting out of the city.”

Don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.

Vladdy

March 4th, 2011
11:11 am

Altamaha….he was/is a bust. Nevver lived-up to “”Hit-Man” nickname.
The other noticeable event here is the continued distrust in Samuel (another “bust”). All the talk last fall that Samuel was “killing it” on the scout team….come on, really? It should be obvious now that TG will play Samuel sparringly. What is frightening is another year of pathetic saftey play upcoming – Rambo can’t do it, Williams can’t do it and would suspect Deas can’t do it. None of the 185 lb frosh will do it either…not in the SEC. Can you say deep ball toast toast?

OkieDawg

March 4th, 2011
11:12 am

September 3 can’t get here fast enough. I’m liking all these moves and when you look at the holes, there are a lot of quality names in the mix to fill them. And there is plenty of experience and talent on the offensive line. I think Crowell, Malcome and Ealey are going to have a great year. I hope King gets his academics together and can join the group. Get the running going, and Coach Bobo’s play calling will make him look like the Comeback Coach of the year. CMR probably watched a re-run of the Colorado and UCF games and decided he can’t take anymore of that stuff.

Athens= God's Country

March 4th, 2011
11:15 am

Can we please refrain from calling first year players at UGA a “bust?”

Busts: Marquise Elmore, Bryan Evans, Prince Miller.

Jakar will be fine, Bill.

TrueDawgFan

March 4th, 2011
11:15 am

So where do they have richard samual playing inside or outside?

sturn

March 4th, 2011
11:17 am

I think this could be a great move. When Mike Smith took over for the Falcons he stated how the defense needs to be built from the inside out. This appears to be what TG is doing. With Jenkins coming in and locking up the ILB’s. Remember we have sume stud DB’s coming in this year, TG must expect one of them to contribute.

AthensDAWG

March 4th, 2011
11:19 am

ugaclassof2004…. Go ahead and get out of town, change your user name to something else that disassociates you with UGA, and jump on the bandwagon with another team!

RxDawg

March 4th, 2011
11:23 am

I trust the coaches and all, but on the surface I really don’t like this move. Other than Rashad Jones, we’ve really missed a great player at safety for the past few years. Olgletree looked like he was ready to step right in and lock it up for the next 2 years (figured he’s off to the NFL).

I-DOG

March 4th, 2011
11:29 am

Wow, that is a lot of change. I am more concerned about the safety play for the coming season than any other position. I’m sure these guys were giving it their all, but I thought Jakar H. looked like he was not ready for Division 1 football in the Colorado game and didn’t seem to contribute much after it. Rambo just hasn’t come close to living up to his recruiting hype yet and though very athletic doesn’t seem to have any kind of football instincts. I don’t have anything against these two guys and I hope they both prove me wrong and make first All SEC. We have a lot of talented safety types coming into this recruiting class, so there will be some options.

I-DOG

March 4th, 2011
11:33 am

I kind of agree with Tide Roll on those four offensive line spots. I can’t believe I just typed that! I’m sure he will want Chris Burnette to start at center in place of Ben Jones or are you finally sold that Jones is a pretty darn good center?

McDawg

March 4th, 2011
11:36 am

i like moving ogletree but concerned about size and i think S. Williams will do a decent job-commings could move around he is pretty versatile

i’ll let the coaches coach

rural dawg

March 4th, 2011
11:38 am

Anyone other than me notice the gt idiot in the photo has Ogletree by the facemask?? I don’t remember, but it problably wasn’t a penalty because the UGA guy didn’t do it…….

RxDawg

March 4th, 2011
11:42 am

“i’ll let the coaches coach”

Yep

Arthur Redding, Jr.

March 4th, 2011
11:42 am

Grantham and the other defensive coaches are moving a lot closer to shaping the defense to fit their scheme. Last year was pretty much a patch work year.

Alec Ogletree’s potential is so high, you find the position that best serves his skills. He was a little slow on pass coverage–but he’ll be a speedy, hard-to-block linebacker. By fall, he should be up to 235-240 lbs. and he’s a hitter.

Jarvis Jones looked great in practices and is going to be a force on the outside.

The defensive backfield is definitely the concern. Hamilton was certainly a disappointment. Boykin is a corner, not a safety–but Cummings could play safety.

And the new DB recruits are among the best in the country. (Malcolm Mitchell is probably to be given a chance to get a lot of playing time at wide receiver.)

With Big John Jenkins anchoring the line, UGA fans have good reasons to expect genuine improvements in the defense. Mark Richt could have a defensive that only allows 16 points-per-game, not 23 or 24. That translates into at least 3 more wins next year, maybe more.

Shawn

March 4th, 2011
11:48 am

A lot of first year players look foolish in their first year as a safety. Look at the lack of first year starters at safety in the NFL. It is one of the most complicated positions on the field. I am more comfortable with these guys getting their second year going into this new system. If we bring the heat to the QB like I think CTG is going to, it will make the safeties job easier. We will be fine. GATA!

nostrodamus

March 4th, 2011
11:58 am

Rashard Jones??? Great safety??? lol

georgia87

March 4th, 2011
12:07 pm

Nick Saban has never made it to his tenth season. We have no idea of what he would or would not do. But there is no doubt: the longer you are at a school, the harder it is.

kb

March 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

From the time he signed at Georgia many thought Ogletree would out grow the safety position. Swann played some safety in the Army all America game and looked good so he may be in the rotation.
look for Williams , Rambo, Deas rotation.

RxDawg

March 4th, 2011
12:22 pm

“Rashard Jones??? Great safety??? lol”

Best one we’ve had since Thomas Davis. Other than that botched tackle during our 1 Tech loss of the decade, how else was Rashad a bad safety?

Ted Striker

March 4th, 2011
12:32 pm

Give the guy more than one year before you label him a bust. Just saying.

Here is how he was bad

March 4th, 2011
12:38 pm

Arm tackles, flying seagull tackles and simply out of position Rashad Jones always seemed to be.
His one decent to good game was a “I will show em” thing vs GT in 09. Too little and too late. He actually said that he was tired of reading how lousy he was, so he did play decently vs GT. What is he doing now?

Delta Flight Attendant

March 4th, 2011
12:39 pm

Sounds a lot like re-arranging the decks chairs on the Titanic now don’t it? It will not stop the ship from sinking, but it can’t be said the coaches are not trying something.

UGADawg83

March 4th, 2011
12:42 pm

Better than average effort today Bill. Good analysis and no comments from your brother or buddies. Maybe you ate out to show that your are not a “bust” as a blogger.

UGADawg83

March 4th, 2011
12:44 pm

Should have said “are” out instead of “ate” out.

The KEY in 2011

March 4th, 2011
12:44 pm

UGA needs to STOP the belly series like SC used on us up our gut and they need to sack the QB.

If UGA can greatly improve these two areas and thirdly, RUN the ball for 125+ per game, they can win 9 or 10. Folks, these hallmarks of UGA football were badly missing in 2010.

Change the above weaknesses and UGA will be fine. In 2010 with the above, we would have defeated SC, Colorado and MSU, Arkansas and probably Florida. In the Florida game, Aaron Murray did choke badly, however.

Go Dogs.

mgdawg

March 4th, 2011
12:49 pm

Both safety positions are suspect, rambo at times plays like he is still in high school watching receivers catch balls instead of going after them and assuming that someone else is going to make the play instead of stepping up in case they miss. Hopefully he has grown up, as far as jakar, I know him and while he is a good athlete, he really isn’t that good of a football player. Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.

Mark (another one)

March 4th, 2011
1:10 pm

Rashad Jones was rated as either the 3rd or 4th best safety in last year’s draft. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Dolphins, and had 18 tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception. I am glad people feel he was a bust in college. Miami doesn’t think so.

I won’t substitute my opinion for coach Grantham’s. He is seeing the players on a regular basis and knows how they are developing. Ogletree was a big safety. With a year’s training he may have gained a few pounds of muscle, allowing him to move to the inside backer position. With his speed, playing at the level of the defense may enable him to be near the top in tackles in ‘11.

The big move for me is seeing what Tyson can do at end. Getting the big guy in the middle is almost like getting two new starters for one signing. Having Tyson in the middle was not taking advantage of his speed, but he was our best option last year. Jenkins may have a huge impact by allowing Tyson to shift out.

ugab

March 4th, 2011
1:19 pm

Change!! We need the coaches to step up or get out of Athens. We need players to stay out of trouble on and off the field. We need Senior leadership. It sounds like we are mixing players up again. Just like every year!! Alabama has players fall into place after losing a player. MR was made by Mikey Andrew’s DEFENSE. DEFENSE wins ball games. If a player is changing positions, he needs to have a hell of a off season. Coaches need to get off their asses on the off season.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Vladdy

March 4th, 2011
1:40 pm

R Jones was one of the misfits (P Milla & B Evans) that anchored one of the WORST defensive backfields UGA has ever fielded. No question…no doubt!

RxDawg

March 4th, 2011
1:46 pm

“What is he doing now?”

Ummm… only playing in the NFL. What a bum I tell ya. O.o

DAWGS forever

March 4th, 2011
1:50 pm

Like the moves. O probably outgrew the secondary and he needs to be near the line of scrimage to make plays.

I agree this opens up concern for the secondary for sure. Looking forward to the new kennel of DAWGS coming in. Go DAWGS!

Dream Season now that Dream Team is in place!

Dawg Tired

March 4th, 2011
1:54 pm

we will not be an elite defense if Hamilton and Rambo play safety.

stevo

March 4th, 2011
2:02 pm

Our safties will be Rambo and Commings. Commings has a safety body anyway. I think he stands at 6′2″ which is more than adequate size to get the job done and he has corner speed. I anticipate a much improved defense in 2011. Only time will tell.

chilidawg

March 4th, 2011
2:42 pm

Two big question marks. I sure hope that the coaches are keeping this competition wide open. The best player should play, period. No more rewarding a guy for hanging around the program for three or four years.

UGASlobberknocker

March 4th, 2011
2:44 pm

Rashad Jones was and is a very good player who was never utilized properly and never improved while at UGA. The fact that he is in the NFL anyway should tell you something.

gbal

March 4th, 2011
2:45 pm

Stay away from this one DOGINLEX – Good boy.