The injury bug has struck Georgia along its defensive line this spring. DaQuan Hawkins is the latest Bulldog to go down, following Michael Barnett, with an MCL injury. However, both Barnett and Hawkins should be ready for the start of fall camp, relieving some of the pressure from these defensive line injuries.
“Those two guys will be back. They’ll probably be able to play in two or three weeks. We just got to do a good job the rest of camp to keep them healthy.”
Defensive linemen Jonathan Ledbetter and Chauncey Rivers will be suspended for the opening game putting extra pressure on the three highly rated recruits who will enroll this summer (Michail Carter, Tyler Clark and David Marshall). Rivers will be suspended for four games total. Of course, his absence is an opportunity for one (or more) of the talented newcomers to step into early playing time and attempt to keep Rivers on the bench.
Georgia has moved redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Alex Essex to defense to help with the depth problems this spring. Smart said:
“We moved Alex Essex over to defensive line from offensive line He’s done a really good job. He’s fighting his tail off in there for a position that he didn’t work at.”
Here are Coach Smart’s remarks on the defensive line injuries: