During Coach Smart’s tenure at Alabama, his defenses were known for their size, physicality and propensity for being fundamentally sound. The Tide defense annually ranked amongst the best in the nation, but when they were elite at safety, the Alabama defense was at its best. For that reason, Coach Smart has been extremely aggressive recruiting safeties in the Class of 2017.
At Alabama, Smart signed the likes of Mark Barron, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Landon Collins, Deionte Thompson and Ronnie Harrison just to name a few. In the Class of 2017, Coach Smart got off to a fast start landing 5-Star free safety Richard Lecounte, III. Watching his film from his junior seasons of football and basketball you would be very hard-pressed to find an a more explosive/fast-twitch athlete anywhere else in the country. Lecounte is the prototypical free safety for UGA’s new scheme with his elite athletic ability that will allow him to lock down a receiver in man coverage or drop into center field and play the role of the ball-hawking safety.
With Lecounte already in the fold, UGA has turned up the heat on JaCoby Stevens from Murfreesboro, TN in an attempt to potentially land the Top 2 safeties in the nation as a part of the Class of 2017. Stevens is the yin to Lecounte’s yang. Stevens has the size, strength and physical style of play to the role of enforcer in the Bulldogs secondary.
However, those two are far from the only names the Bulldogs are recruiting to play the safety position. Xavier McKinney, Isaiah Pryor and Juwan Burgess are additional names currently being aggressively pursued by the Bulldogs staff.
A return to the days of a dominant duo of safeties patrolling the field at the safety position would go a long way to bringing the Junkyard Dawg defense back Between the Hedges.