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.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

113 comments Add your comment


March 4th, 2011
2:51 pm

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March 4th, 2011
3:01 pm

Corey Moore will probably be starting at one ot the Safety spots by the third game. The moves sound solid. Now all we have to do is get the WRs to step up and the OL to play meaner.


March 4th, 2011
3:06 pm


I post the list for the trolls to save time and energy. If you are not a troll, ignore it.

For the trolls, it is my way of going green on the blogs.

To the topic at hand, Bill your headline is totally wrong. How can it leave a void when he didn’t do very well back there? He got burned repeatedly against Auburn and had the go ahead TD sail straight over his head after cheating up and getting burned.

How is that leaving a void?

Seems to me he can put on a little weight and use his speed to slobberknock some folks at linebacker.

Big Earl

March 4th, 2011
3:12 pm

I like it!!! Looks to me like Coach Grantham is wanting more speed on the field. This will allow our super fast LB’s, especially in the middle, to attack, attack, attack!!! No more sitting back waiting for the other team to dictate the tempo to us…it’s time for us to dictate to them.

The SEC used to be all about who could run the ball, but much like the NFL, it’s now a passing league. In your base scheme, you need at least 3 of your 4 DB’s to actually be CB’s. The FS is really your 3rd CB. Looks to me like that’s what coach is going for.

Without some freshman sensation coming in and showing that he has to play (high hopes for Ray Drew and Malcom Mitchell) I see the following opening day depth chart. SPEED EVERYWHERE!

CB Branden Boykin/Malcom Mitchell
CB Branden Smith/Jordan Love
CB/FS Sanders Cummings/Shawn Williams
SS Nick Williams/Baccari Rambo
OLB Jarvis Jones/Ray Drew
OLB Cornelius Washington/Ray Drew
ILB Christian Robinson/Richard Samuel
ILB Alec Ogletree/Richard Samuel
DE DeAngelo Tyson/Garrison Smith
DE Abry Jones/Garrison Smith
NG John Jenkins/Kwame Geathers

Skitty Fritty

March 4th, 2011
3:13 pm

Don’t forget about Richard Samuel next year at the LB position.


March 4th, 2011
3:24 pm

Bill, what do you think of the “brither ” question? It’s beginning to grt wings!!!


March 4th, 2011
3:25 pm

Rambo and Hamilton make Prince Miller look good, which is next to impossible. All three are total Flounder Spanks and will be pressed hard by the incoming talent.

I like the move to middle linebacker for Ogletree. Alec now needs to add 10-15 lbs. of muscle now. I think Ray Drew will give Washington a run for his money at Outside LB.


March 4th, 2011
3:26 pm

“Moving Ogletree leaves a big question mark in Dogs’ secondary…”

So where would you rather have your question mark, close or kinda away from the line of scrimmage?


March 4th, 2011
3:27 pm

Ooopppsss, Prince Miller is no longer on the team. I must have been having a nightmare!!!



March 4th, 2011
3:28 pm

Maurice Clarett also played in the NFL, so don’t act like Reshad Jones is King of the Universe and such an awesome player. He was only worried about a knock out hit, not the ball, hence why our secondary never had a deep safety and got burnt all the time. He would sure lay the wood on anyone, but his coverage skills were not that of the 5 star recruit he was labeled, or the D-1 safety he played.


March 4th, 2011
3:30 pm

Good ole “Bi tc chin Bill”. Always got to find something to complain about. If I was Richt or McGarity I’d ban you from the stadium until the AJC fired you.

Athens= God's Country

March 4th, 2011
3:45 pm

The best Safety at UGA since Thomas Davis was Greg Blue. End of discussion. Reshad sucked at Georgia. He was definitely one of the bad apples.

Let dem coaches coach yall.


March 4th, 2011
3:52 pm

Greg Blue had a great game against West Virginia. He was in position to make a play almost half the time.


March 4th, 2011
3:54 pm

Watching Ogletree in the second half of last season, LB seems likely to be a more natural fit for him. He was not exactly great in coverage, but he is good in the running game. Tyson at DE should also be a big improvement. Starting to get excited.


March 4th, 2011
3:56 pm

“The best Safety at UGA since Thomas Davis was Greg Blue.”

I knew there would be somebody…

Simply put, your wrong just wrong.


March 4th, 2011
3:56 pm

Sean Jones was probably better than Blue, but Blue was great. I still remember when he filled in for SJ, who was injured, and laid a sick hit that made SJ start jumping and waiving his uninjured arm.

TD is the best safety in UGA history, and probably top-10 all-time in the SEC.


March 4th, 2011
3:57 pm

man on man i was so sick of reshad dropping pics, it had to be well over 10 in his career, he wont last long down in miami


March 4th, 2011
3:58 pm

I really hope our safeties make progress. Neither of the Williams nor Rambo were any good last year. Other than OL, that was probably the weakness of the team.


March 4th, 2011
4:21 pm

Best UGA safety – Terry Hoage!

Hairy Perry

March 4th, 2011
4:33 pm

I have a feeling this will be a special year in Athens, the trolls will still hang out on our blog, coming up with new one liners so get used to it.


March 4th, 2011
4:38 pm

I made statements about how rare it is for a rookie to start at safety in the NFL but Reshad started in Miami by the end of last season and his coaches rave about his potential. He was and still is a stud athletically but did not get mentored very well by CWM. He would have helped his draft status if he would have stayed 1 more year and gotten some quality coaching by CSL and CTG. Nonetheless, he will be a pro bowler in Miami for years to come. Mark it down! As far as the Dawgs safety issues next year, I think they will be a non issue with the pass rush you see next year. Our new defensive scheme will bring the heat and force mistakes. If you want proof just check the difference in the TO ratio after the first year of the new system. Stop whining and get ready for the winning!

Hairy Perry

March 4th, 2011
4:40 pm

People come on this blog and act like we are crazy because we think Georgia can have a big year. It was’t long ago we were winning the SEC. These people know the dogs will be strong. They are just getting their kicks in while they can. We will be doing the same thing to them.


March 4th, 2011
4:41 pm

BTW, I cannot wait to see ‘Tree play LB. He would absolutely light people up in the run game LY. LB will be a natural fit for him with his size and speed!

Hairy Perry

March 4th, 2011
4:41 pm


That’s the kind of attitude we need. GO DAWGS!

Too Easy

March 4th, 2011
4:46 pm

I’m thinking that with a better defense up closer to the ball, the QBs won’t have time to strike long. Could be wrong, though.

Too Easy

March 4th, 2011
4:47 pm

More concerned about fake punts.


March 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

My thoughts too! This D is going to get in peoples faces!


March 4th, 2011
4:53 pm

Best UGA safety= Scott Woerner

name one celebrated TG defense

March 4th, 2011
4:59 pm

that would make me feel alot better about this

Delta Stewardess

March 4th, 2011
5:08 pm

Best Defense is a ball control offence.


March 4th, 2011
5:36 pm

Great moves!!! We will win the EAST just wait and see and be a top 10 program in 2011. Way too much talent on hand and the weakness of the SEC East begs us to step up. Likely only Bama and LSU are similar to us in talent the only difference has been coaching. Sad to say that LSU has the better coaches but just maybe Richt has awaken and Grantham appears headed in the right direction. Pray our QB stays healthy.


March 4th, 2011
5:59 pm

Jakar “Hitman” Hamilton = Bryan “4.3″ Evans. Rambo hasn’t been anywhere near the same since his injury. I think our freshmen will help.

bob K in NC

March 4th, 2011
6:01 pm

How about Damian Swann 6-0, 170 lbs. One of the top players in the country. Could play either cornerback or safety in college. Excellent speed. Forty yard dash: 4.49 secs, bench max: 185, squat max: 260, shuttle: 4.2, vertical: 31 inches. How about Devin Bowman 6-0, 175 lbs. One of the top athletes is the state. Either could play Safety or CB. Damian give us more speed then most of the others and better ball skills


March 4th, 2011
6:19 pm

If UGA can’t stop the run between the tackles then all else on defense is a mute point. If we have to take a hit at safety in order to stop another “Georgia Tech” from averaging 7-8 yards per carry then we will be better on d’fense.


March 4th, 2011
6:28 pm

bob K….are you nuts? 170 lb safety? 185 lb bencher? Dude, no disrespect, but you are wayyyy removed from big time college football. D-1 ballers at safety are north of 6-0′ and 200 lbs+. Could you imagine a kid that puts up 185 lbs on the bar stopping 230 lb RB…or defending a 6-5 265 TE….come on, man!


March 4th, 2011
6:36 pm

Somebody in the mix will step up as a safety and that will be the guy. If these guys coming in can play as advertised and the current team members will start living up to their individual ratings coming out of high school this could be a good year.

Personally I would love to see someone who maybe isn’t expected to be much of a contributor step up and claim a starting role with their performance. I would love to see a couple of the lesser known rb’s get into the mix and contribute. It would be awesome to have a beavy of studs running the ball and wearing down opposing defenses.

Best of luck in 2011 and forward….


March 4th, 2011
6:41 pm

Williams played just as good as Ogletree IMO.Tree has a bigger upside as a player but Shawn Williams should have started over Hamilton out of the gate.


March 4th, 2011
7:39 pm

Big Earl: That was a great post, well thought out and researched. I’m not a football coach, but those of you who dog Prince Miller and Reshad Jones, you clearly don’t know the game. Ask the NFL, where both landed. If that’s a “bust,” I’m all for it. What it really brings into question, is quality of coaching in Athens? Needs improvement, imho. For the record, I see Shawn Williams and Rambo. SW can play. BR, good athlete..and with proper coaching and trust that someone has his backside…he’ll do just fine. I think Commings stays at CB. Somebody has to cover these monster receivers on the edge. 2011 will bring some smiling faces and warm fuzzies back in the Classic City.

athdog..the original

March 4th, 2011
8:25 pm

Rambo hasn’t been the same since the hit year before last against AllBurn. Maybe one of those shots that it takes a while to get past. Perhaps this year we see improvement in his tenacity, and ‘HitMan’ will live up to his hype. Note: Juco players, Jakar Hamilton, Mount Cody, Fairley at Auburn, usually don’t do much their first year. The size and speed of SEC players takes a bit to get used to. Remember that when watching John Jenkins this coming season.

You're gonna . . . choke!

March 4th, 2011
8:26 pm

My projected starting defensive roster:
CB — Boykin
CB — Commings
Nickel — Smith*
FS — Rambo
SS — S. Williams
SOLB — J. Jones
WOLB — C. Washington
ILB — Robinson
ILB — Ogletree
DE — Tyson
DE — A. Jones
NT — Jenkins

The only positions–as they are now–that really seem SET are those on the D-line and Boykin at corner. Not saying that Ogletree won’t remain a LB, but he might end up at OLB. J. Jones might get moved back to ILB.

Yes, we’re in a bit of trouble at safety. Hamilton, regardless of whether or not you feel he was a bust, was largely ineffective. Although, I think it’s fair to call him a bust; if you don’t want to be labeled a bust, either play lights out, or don’t anoint yourself the “HITMAN.”

Rambo has always shown promise and is definitely a starter at safety. While Commings could indeed make a good safety, his size is needed at corner. B. Smith is a great corner . . . in a 4-3. He’s definitely the go-to man in nickel, but 5′11″ and 170 lbs is not going to be particularly effective w/ the press in our base coverage. Lucky for him, w/ all of the spreads we see, we’re almost always in nickel coverage anyway.

While Ogeltree’s move to LB is a net positive for the corps, C. Robinson still remains a starter. He may be a “leader” on the field, but–sorry–the guy just isn’t that good. Soft. Missed tackles. Weighs less than 220 in a 3-4. Prototypical ILB size in a 3-4 is at least 240. Marcus Dowtin–Mr. Missed Tackle Himself–had more tackles than Robinson last season, w/o seeing the field NEARLY as often as Robinson. I don’t understand this, at all. I really hope Samuel develops into a starter. Not second-guessing the coaches on starting Robinson. I just hope that by the time Fall rolls around, UGA have a better option.

As far as the convo a/b best safeties since T.Davis, don’t forget Tra Battle. Arguably better than Blue, even at 170 lbs. Mean as cat$*%!.

Over and Out.

You're gonna . . . choke!

March 4th, 2011
8:38 pm

Based on his past experience as a QB, his insane athletic ability, and his height, I could see Nick Marshall coming in and claiming the starting corner spot opposite Boykin; this could open things up to move Commings to FS. Swann might be able to do the same thing, but I think Marshall’s collective HS experience will lessen the learning curve for him. Corey Moore will at least begin the season in the safety rotation, possibly starting by the end of the year.

N. Williams will continue to get d***ed over by the coaching staff; it is unwise to continue moving him back and forth b/w SS and LB. I know that depth becomes a concern from time to time, but that is so short-sighted. If he had remained at 1 position and had been allowed to develop physically, he would be a heck of a player now. Athleticism and versatility are only part of the equation. Stop cross-training him so much and let him commit to a posiiton!

You're gonna . . . choke!

March 4th, 2011
8:46 pm

Ray Drew will get many reps at OLB, but I don’t think he overtakes C.Washington. Once it clicks for Washington, he’s going to be lights-out. He’s built for this position. Great size 6′4″ 250 and crazy speed (although not the 4.2 that coaches claim . . . absurd). But at most, he’s definitely a legit 4.5.

Don’t forget a/b TJ Stripling. Hopefully, he’ll have recouped from his knee injury and put on another 15 lbs of muscle. 6′6″ and 230 lbs will be serviceable at OLB, but after another season of developing, he’ll be a terror off the edge.


March 4th, 2011
9:30 pm

Rashad Jones was a good safety but could have been a great safety. He wasn’t coached well at GA. The Dolphins drafted him so they see something in him. He was a big hitter but was terrible with the ball in the air. From my understnading, players were not taught to play the ball but play the hands of the receiver. Nick Saban want even recruit DB’s that do have ball skills. However, to win the recruiting battle in your own state, you have to take the top players and coach them up. The key words, “Coach them up”!! Hopefually, we are during that with the new coaching staff.


March 4th, 2011
10:10 pm

Sure, a new defensive player being moved to a different position will save the season, seriously? Nah. richt’s tried that before, didn’t help, only got worse, lost 2 more games than last season, last 2 years.

DJ Southern_MoonPie

March 4th, 2011
10:35 pm

Here is the line to my latest DJ mix i just posted you can put in your browser and your set.


March 4th, 2011
10:37 pm

They better hope the freshman can play because Rambo is one of the worst defensive players I’ve ever seen. Late to the ball, poor tackler and generally clueless.


March 5th, 2011
1:06 am

@Jake……..and ‘ol Bill King………My goodness gracious boys ! I think I’ll call you two “Bummer one ” and “Bummer two “………..I’m wondering, are you two just a couple “Little Debbie Downers” or have you ever followed a college football player long enough to see him improve his play ?…….Since neither of you seem to have an ounce of optomism, you may borrow some from me. Grantham has made some extremely bright position changes, changes that will increase our D speed, plug-up the middle, and put the fear of God in oposing QBs………our corners should be as good as any in the SEC……..and yes Virginia there is a Santa………oops! and yes “Bummer one” and “Bummer two”……..Hamilton and Rambo will indeed improve, and catch that winning “fever”………Relax fellas……BULLDOGS do well in 2011………Regards, RED

A-Ville Ranger

March 5th, 2011
2:51 am

I think Corey Moore will turn heads this summer. Whether he’s ready to start is another question. I presonally think Derek Owens would be our best cover corner in Lakatos didn’t have such a stick up his azz about height. I also think Commings would be a much better FS than corner.

If Owens doesn’t fit in with Lakatos’ style he should transfer. I think he has a shot at playing on sundays if he gets with the right coach in the right defense.


March 5th, 2011
7:14 am

It’s kind of sad to see all the Dawg fans getting so excited this year (just like the year before, the year before that, etc.). How long is it going to take for UGA fans to realize that UGA is simply no longer relevant in the SEC? In the national picture, UGA isn’t even a blip on the radar, and hasn’t been since the preseason #1 ranking two years ago.

Sit back and be grateful for the six or seven wins you’ll get every year. Coaching genius Mark Richt may take you to 8-4 or even 9-3 occasionally, but Florida will still win the SEC, meaning no BCS bowls and no top 10 final ranking. Most years, UGA will be very lucky to finish in the top 25, and only after a big bowl win over a nobody opponent.

It’s a different world now, and Dawg fans need to adjust their expectations downward to reflect reality.

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawgtard Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama, to name two schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Get your heads out of the sand and face reality. And mediocrity and irrelevance. 

UGA, winner of the Fulmer/Richt Cup and known worldwide as The Cesspool of the South.

Vance Duuley

March 5th, 2011
7:22 am

There were a lot of things for the dawgs to celebrate this year. Let’s see…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director with red panties in his lap.

2. Twelve players arrested. And 41% of UGA football players are arrested during their time at UGA.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-7 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

That’s really something to be proud of!