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

Fire wood for sale

March 5th, 2011
8:41 am

So Vance duuly what team do you pull for? They must be that bad not to mention them


March 5th, 2011
9:25 am

“pretty much a bust” seem a tad harsh.

Given all the “hitman” hype and how Richt talked him up like he was the second coming of Thomas Davis, he was a bust.

Talk, talk, talk, and yap, yap, yap. That’s all we’ve been doing for 3 whole years now.


March 5th, 2011
9:28 am

If the 3-4 defense is working right, with the right personnel on the field, the QB will be hurried a lot more, and you will be containing the runners. No CB or safety is going to cover a receiver if the QB has all day to find him because he is not getting any pressure. IF Big J. Jenkins can plug up the middle and occupy two linesmen, that means we can utilize the outside linebacker to blitz a lot more, and the inside linebacker can contain the middle. When you have a young man such as Ogletree, that is still growing and hits like a guy 20 pounds heavier than him, it makes sense to move him into the middle of the backfield. He has exceptional speed as well. I believe, with his speed and toughness, he will be a real good player there. UGA’s 3-4 scheme, or any teams 3-4 for that fact; depends on pressure at the point of attack and I beleive we have the big boy in the middle and the Def. ends to deliver that this year. I look for a much improved defense this year as I really believe the DC is an excellent coach and now he has had a year with his folks and some quality recruits to work with and utilize. He can fashion the defense to work the way it should.
The best offense starts with a good defense.



March 5th, 2011
9:35 am

Forget UGAG. Let’s get Georgia Tech back on track. Attendance at our Tickle Piles has been down and it’s because of Hewitt and Johnson. We need better coaching.


March 5th, 2011
10:19 am

Don’t forget about that Stipling kid at outside linebacker – looked pretty atheletic to me and just needed experience.


March 5th, 2011
10:31 am

“Memories…….like the colors of my mind……misty watered colored memories…….of the way “dawgs” were………


March 5th, 2011
10:35 am

The Dawgs will make that triple option, wing-T, Veer, Wishbone, no passing, fish frying ACC offense impotent, just like the rest of the nerds.


March 5th, 2011
10:44 am

Wow Buckeye,
You really need to get on key with that singing dude. I thought it was somebody trying to lay rubber on the road there for a minute, LOL.


March 5th, 2011
10:54 am

Bacari Rambo had a couple of head injuries last year. Redshirt Freshman year was promising. Should get back on track.

Jakari Hamilton, we probably had too many expectations last year. A year in the system should help. Appears to be a more instinctual rather than cerebral player.

Bacari & Jakari….should be a good nickname there somewhere. ;)


March 5th, 2011
10:55 am

I think the DB’s will be fine,the’ve had a yr in the system and they all are very good athletes. Increasecd pressure form the front 7 will aid them as well. Not worried

Dawg Tired

March 5th, 2011
2:45 pm

Rambo is afraid to hit anybody since he knocked himself out against Auburn in 2009. He’s done. Put somebody else in there and forget about him. A safety who is afraid to hit is worthless. Moving Ogeltree to LB appears to be a good idea.


March 8th, 2011
5:28 pm

get off Richt’s case the greatest coaches ever had looseing season’s Bear,Dooley,Saban. Who would u replace him with kiffen Lol.You idiots

[...] defense, and how key personnel changes will shake out. We’ve already discussed last week how the recent move of Alec Ogletree from safety to inside linebacker leaves the [...]