NG Kwame Geathers becomes UGA’s third junior to declare for NFL draft

Kwame Geathers had 40 tackles, five tackles for loss and a sack while starting four games for the Bulldogs this past season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Kwame Geathers had 40 tackles, five tackles for loss and a sack while starting four games for the Bulldogs this past season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

On the day Georgia landed its new defensive line coach, the Bulldogs lost their most important defensive lineman.

Kwame Geathers, a 6-foot-6, 355-pound rising senior and four-game starter at noseguard, informed UGA coaches on Wednesday he intends to enter the NFL draft this year.

“That was the speculation since the bowl game, obviously, but nothing was in writing,” said Chris Wilson, who was officially announced as the Bulldogs’ defensive line coach Wednesday afternoon. “I didn’t get a chance to meet the  young man but I know he was one heck of a player watching him from afar. I had yet to get a chance to sit down with him. But it’s one of those deals where you want what’s best for the young man. If him and his family feels that’s the best thing, you wish them the best of luck.”

Wilson had to deal with similar decisions while serving as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator the past three years and while working at his alma mater, Oklahoma. The Maroon Bulldogs lost Fletcher Cox a year early to the NFL draft last year. Cox went to the Philadelphia Eagles with the 12th pick overall.

“It’s part of college football nowadays,” Wilson said. “If you get kids more than three or four years is rare and especially five years now.”

Geathers was redshirted, so he has already been at UGA four years. His departure is not unexpected as he comes from a football-playing family that rarely completed its college eligibility.

Geathers could not immediately be reached for comment. But but he first told the subscription-based website Dawgs247.com of his decision.

“I’m going to go ahead and leave,” Geathers told reporter Gentry Estes. “I felt like I was ready to go. I think I did everything at Georgia that I wanted to do. I felt like it was time to get a jump on the next step in my career.”

Geathers played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs (12-2) this past season. His primary role was to back up second-team, All-SEC starter John Jenkins. But after defensive end Abry Jones was lost to a season-ending ankle injury midseason, Geathers played primarily at noseguard while Jenkins moved outside to end. Geathers started in the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska and had three tackles. He finished the season with 40 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack and closes his career with 98 tackles, two sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Geathers’ departure is not a surprise, especially considering his family’s history regarding the NFL. On Wednesday, Georgia announced it had hired Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris White to replace Rodney Garner as the Bulldogs’ defensive line coach. Garner was extremely close to Kwame and the entire Geathers family, and his decision to leave UGA for Auburn was thought to galvanize Kwame’s decision to move on.

Georgia is hopeful that promising redshirt freshman John Taylor will be able to fill Geathers’ shoes next season. The Bulldogs also moved Garrison Smith inside to noseguard in the bowl game when Geathers had to leave the game due to fatigue. Rising junior Mike Thornton is also waiting in the wings and Georgia is hot on the recruiting trail for several other impact defensive line recruits, including junior college all-star Toby Johnson and high school blue-chipper Montravius Adams.

The Bulldogs had already lost star linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree to NFL early declarations.

184 comments Add your comment

RakkasanDawg

January 9th, 2013
6:58 pm

First! Good luck Kwame. I think the Dawgs will be fine.

It is time, he knows it

January 9th, 2013
7:00 pm

Good luck. I enjoyed watching your career.

IT is time to start with an entirely new rotation. Competition will be keen and UGA does have some talented inventory and incoming players. This is good and is tally expected by all.

Go Dogs.

dawggirl

January 9th, 2013
7:01 pm

Sorry to see him go as we need as much experience as we can, but it’s not surpising. Especially with Garner bolting. I’m nowhere near an expert on this as much as the rest of you, but where is he expected to land? Certainly not 1st or 2nd round, so where then?

Good luck in the NFL, Kwame.

CJJScout

January 9th, 2013
7:02 pm

I’ll cheer for him, but he certainly could have used another year. I hope he proves me wrong, he was a great Dawg.

sflanagan21

January 9th, 2013
7:05 pm

That’s a BIG bummer… But good look big man and thanks for your hard work!!! His draft grade is 3rd to 6th round.

Red Stick

January 9th, 2013
7:06 pm

It’s hard to blame him since he’s already been in school 4 years. Hopefully he’ll have a solid NFL career.

Geaux Tigers

LakeDawg

January 9th, 2013
7:07 pm

Sorry to see him go, but I’m ready for some young, hungry D-linemen, who are in shape.

icedawg

January 9th, 2013
7:11 pm

All the best to him. Hope he perseveres and gets his degree.

C-Ya

January 9th, 2013
7:11 pm

Good look young man! – I think GA will be fine – we will actually have some competition and hopefully get some one that was not pushed around as much as Geathers – big guy – but lacks strenght and motivation -he was a big reason other teams could run up the middle as much as they did.
Bring on the fresh blood

valdosta dawg 68

January 9th, 2013
7:14 pm

Good luck Kwame. I think next year we will be better on defense.

Big Dawg

January 9th, 2013
7:19 pm

The John Taylor you refer to is actually Jonathan Taylor. I have known hom personally since he was a toddler. I know he is ready to step up. He is a beast and is stronger than any other DL on the team.
I am looking forward to seeing him stuff the run in the SEC.

Hunting Dawg

January 9th, 2013
7:19 pm

DGD! Best of luck to Kwame at the next level!!

Joe Jenkins.

January 9th, 2013
7:21 pm

Never was impressed with geathers……just another fat guy who will not make it in the Nfl. He is a good year blimp just like garner is. I’m ready to see what Atkins can do.

56 dog

January 9th, 2013
7:21 pm

big mistake he needed another yr.

GUTRAKE

January 9th, 2013
7:22 pm

He’ s just carrying on a family tradition…

Lakedawg

January 9th, 2013
7:27 pm

The Dawgs lost their most important D lineman???? Do not think so.

Good luck to Kwame, hope he can make it.

Smith, Taylor, Drew,DeLoach, Atkins, Mayes, Dawson, Jenkins, Vasser, Thorton, Jjohnson (both), and hopefully MA have to step up next year.

JDawg

January 9th, 2013
7:28 pm

No upside to staying. Probably not going to get much better. Might as well get paid a little bit before finding your career. Just hope you are prepared for one.

Buckeye

January 9th, 2013
7:28 pm

Shock.

Total Shock.

Round 5 and hopefully not bankrupt in 6 years.

Bets?

Buckeye

January 9th, 2013
7:28 pm

“Tub” Jenkins spotted at Steak n Shake. Up to 399.

No. 1 Braves Fan

January 9th, 2013
7:31 pm

I watched him go off the field in the Nebraska game looking like he was thoroughly winded.He looked as if he could have used some help to the sidelines. He was not injured. I wish him well but hope he gets in better shape if he wants to play in the NFL.

drbasic1

January 9th, 2013
7:32 pm

@bigdawg

Thanks for the info, I have been wondering about him and heard he was very very strong and physical, I don’t know if Garner played a little favoritism since he was in good with the Geathers family, as Kwame seemed to get pushed around quite a bit for a big man, and from what I heard about Mr. Taylor, is he could not be pushed off the line easily. I hope he steps up and makes us forget all about big john and Kwame.

GeoffDawg

January 9th, 2013
7:41 pm

Not surprised but by all indications, he could’ve used another year getting stronger and working on technique. He shouldn’t have a problem making an NFL roster however. Best of luck to him.

So long

January 9th, 2013
7:47 pm

Good bye – glad to see you go. – glad some one gets to step up and fill the void. Geathers was not good at all – he will be out of the NFL in a few years – his work ethic is terrible and as someone stated before – just a big, fat weak kid.
Got pushed from one end of the field to the other –
Go Dawgs!

GDAWG

January 9th, 2013
7:51 pm

Glad he is gone he got pushed around every game the last 3 years

sflanagan21

January 9th, 2013
7:57 pm

J Taylor is a BEAST!!!

Dawg89

January 9th, 2013
7:59 pm

Interesting contrast between AM and KG. AM says he loves UGA and wants to play next season. KG is ready to get on with the next step in his career. I bet KG won’t be drafted earlier than 2nd or 3rd round – same as AM’s projection.

sflanagan21

January 9th, 2013
8:00 pm

Glad to see your coming to your senses Buckeye…

Joe Jenkins.

January 9th, 2013
8:00 pm

I just don’t see how a guy who never starts a full season in college can make it in the Nfl. He couldn’t even beat out deanglo Tyson in 2010 and Tyson was a very undersized ng playing out of his normal position. My prediction is he will sign a contract and in two years he will eat himself out of the league because he is to lazy to burn off all the food from all the extra money he will be making. Good riddance to garner and Kwame feathers

GB's Hamburgers

January 9th, 2013
8:00 pm

Enter your comments here

hmmmmm...........

January 9th, 2013
8:01 pm

Oh well…..with all the coaching changes in NFL will Grantham be next to bolt? Yeah I’m excited about rebuilding the D. Peace Out Coach G

Game Changer

January 9th, 2013
8:03 pm

Two days after the fact

Game Changer

January 9th, 2013
8:04 pm

dawg89, AM was not going to be drafted at all. The second or third round talk is all BS.

UGADawg97

January 9th, 2013
8:05 pm

Go on take the money and run.
Also, our hoops team sucks!

GB's Hamburgers

January 9th, 2013
8:06 pm

OK some defensive guys are going to the pros. Everyone said there was plenty of talent there. So why was the defense so porous. Sure, they were opportunistic and individual players made some great plays and caused some turnovers but overall, not very good. Is is the scheme? The coaching? If it’s not the athletes then what is it? I dont know if I’ve seen a good explanation.

Buckeye

January 9th, 2013
8:07 pm

7:57 Buckeye is an IMPOSTER

(red) Panties F

Buckeye

January 9th, 2013
8:08 pm

dogs on D in the middle:

FAT

Game Changer

January 9th, 2013
8:09 pm

@ GB Hamburgers: It is the LACK OF LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM COMING OUT OF BUTTS MEHRE.

Look at the other mens sports programs: They suck and are an embarrasement, FIRE MCQUACKITY

UGADawg97

January 9th, 2013
8:09 pm

Dawg89, the NFL doesn’t want a 6 even, inconsistent qb that plays their worse in big games. 4th or 5th round at best. If he was a first rounder, he’d be gone too. Wake up. Geathers will play in the nfl because of his size.

graphite

January 9th, 2013
8:09 pm

@ Buck Belue………. You hit the nail on the head……. Roll ON….

Mark (another one)

January 9th, 2013
8:09 pm

Best of luck to him. He’s been and will continue to be a DGD. Hopefully, we have the depth to replace, not rebuild. That is what major college teams do, and we want to be a major college team.

If Grantham and Richt have confidence in Wilson, I see no reason to be concerned. He’s experienced and has a solid track record. He wil also be under the microscope after the success Garner has experienced at UGA.

gritsdawgsfan

January 9th, 2013
8:13 pm

I don’t know what games you all watched but Geathers is a hell of a player. And just as good if not better than Jenkins. Yea he was tired during the Nebraska game, that is because he basically played the whole game because Jenkins couldn’t work hard enough to pass his classes and be bowl eligible. Geathers will be fine and all of you naysayers and fair weather Georgia fans will continue to bask in negativity. Maybe you all should take a better look at the Bama game and watch Geathers ability. Because I was there and he held his own against Barrett Jones not to mention he had the first sack for the D Line during the seawon . #GoDawgs

slydog

January 9th, 2013
8:14 pm

It’s funny how most of you feel Kwame was a bust and won’t make it in the NFL. Well proof is in the pudding. How many underachievers has Richt coached only to have them go on the productive careers in the NFL? Think about it folks.

Joe Jenkins.

January 9th, 2013
8:15 pm

Geathers will not make it, as I said before he is just a weak player…….he is just terrible

slydog

January 9th, 2013
8:15 pm

“go on to have” productive careers

Uncle Kirk

January 9th, 2013
8:16 pm

Notre dame did not do better. They lined up in a 50 front to st the run and Bama stll had 250 yards rushing. But with ND in a 5 man front, Bama decided to pass more and racked up a lot of passing yards. UGA never had more than 4 on the line of scrimmage.

Joe Jenkins.

January 9th, 2013
8:17 pm

Yeah sly dog most of them were rb,s…….geathers is too fat and slow. I think him and garner got banned fron the local buffets

If the kid could not...

January 9th, 2013
8:17 pm

…be a full time starter at a place like UGA what makes him think he can even play in the NFL? Yes, he comes from a family that played in the NFL, but like I have said before, potential plus $1 will get you a cup of coffee at Mickey D’s…and this kid was ALWAYS out of shape, too – boy, is he in for rude awakening in April, and especially in August when camp starts…

slydog

January 9th, 2013
8:21 pm

I wish OSU was in the game on Monday Night. Urban Liar would have had more chest pains and quit.

Destin Dawg

January 9th, 2013
8:22 pm

what did he get his degree in ????

Sean

January 9th, 2013
8:42 pm

He’s going pro?? Really? Wow….well, good luck man, but this seems like a real reach.