2020 Georgia Football Primer: Tray Scott relying on veterans Davis, Herring, Rochester, and Wyatt

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2020 Georgia Football Primer: Tray Scott relying on veterans Davis, Herring, Rochester, and Wyatt

UGA d-lineman Julian Rochester gives a thumbs up during the Sugar Bowl postgame celebrations after the Bulldogs defeated Baylor 26-14 in New Orleans, LA on Wednesday, January 01, 2020
UGA d-lineman Julian Rochester gives a thumbs up during the Sugar Bowl postgame celebrations after the Bulldogs defeated Baylor 26-14 in New Orleans, LA on Wednesday, January 01, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING UGA FOOTBALL’S SPRING PRACTICE:

Friday, March 13, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ET: The SEC announced that all organized team activities, including competitions, team, and individual practices, meetings, and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through April 15th. This includes spring football practices, scrimmages, and games.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET: The SEC has announced all regular-season conference and non-conference competitions are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year This includes all spring football games and remaining SEC championship events, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus.

Georgia assistant coach Tray Scott lost five players off his defensive line from the 2019 team. Gone are defensive ends David Marshall and Justin Young along with defensive tackles Michael BarnettMichail Carter, and Tyler Clark.

But as many veterans as UGA lost off that 2019 squad, there are a number of key leaders back. Julian Rochester returns as a fifth-year senior, and Malik Herring and DeVonte Wyatt also both chose to return for their final senior year. Jordan Davis is also back

The 6-foot-6 and 330 lbs junior was a force in the middle of the Dawgs d-line last season and played better with each snap and each game. Although the stat sheet won’t show his full impact, his ability to tie up offensive lineman for his teammates was on full display. Davis finished with 18 stops, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks in 14 games, eight of which he started.

With Herring and Wyatt announcing their return, Georgia gets their top two defensive linemen in tackles. The 6-foot-3 and 301 lbs athletic Wyatt led all d-lineman with 30 stops. Wyatt has played in 25 games for the Bulldogs the last two years and earned a start in the Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor to finish the 2019 season.

Herring was on his teammate’s heels with 26 stops of his own, including 5 for a loss. The 6-foot-3 and 280 lbs former Mary Persons High School standout has played in over 42 games for Georgia since signing as a member of the Dawgs’ 2017 recruiting class. He started 9 of UGA’s 14 games last season.

Netori Johnson and Tramel Walthour also return. The 6-foot-3 and 280 lbs Walthour joined the Bulldogs in 2019 as a JUCO sophomore transfer from Hutchinson Community College. Walthour played his high school ball in the Peach State at Liberty County in Hinesville, GA. He saw limited action last season battling through some injuries and took a redshirt.

UGA d-lineman Netori Johnson (72)
UGA d-lineman Netori Johnson (72)

Johnson signed with Georgia out of Cedar Grove High School as part of the Bulldogs 2018 recruiting class as an offensive lineman. The 6-foot-4 and 320 lbs redshirt junior made the switch to the defensive side of the ball the week of the Kentucky game in 2018. Johnson saw limited playing time last year but he could and should take a bigger role in 2020.

UGA also returns some young but promising talent on the defensive front in Zion Logue, Tymon Mitchell, Bill Norton, Travon Walker, and added to its depth by signing Warren Brinson, who enrolled early, along with Jalen Carter and Nazir Stackhouse in their 2020 recruiting class. Carter and Stackhouse will join the Dawgs in the summer after graduating this spring.

UGA d-lineman Travon Walker (44)
UGA d-lineman Travon Walker (44)

Logue, Mitchell, and Norton saw limited action last season and all three took a redshirt, but Travon Walker made an instant impact as a true freshman. The 6-foot-5 and 290 lbs d-lineman signed with the Bulldogs as part of their 2019 recruiting class out of Upson-Lee High School, Thomaston, GA. He played in 12 of Georgia’s 14 games making 15 stops, 2.5 quarterback sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Walker’s performance earned him a spot on the Freshman All-SEC team.

All ten returning d-linemen along with the three new signees will see action this fall as Coach Scott rotates his players quite a bit to keep them fresh and fast through four quarters of play.

Up next, we take a look at the defensive backs and Georgia’s 2020 secondary on Thursday.

2020 Georgia Football Primer Series:

I. Quarterbacks: Bulldogs look for a new field general under center

II. New offensive line coach Matt Luke tasked with replacing three starters

III. The next chapter in “Running Back U”

IV. Young and talented receiving corps led by George Pickens

V. Washington and McKitty join talented tight end group of FitzPatrick, Goede, and Seither

VI. Who has a leg up on special teams?

VII. Monty Rice leads a lean, mean inside linebacking corps

VIII. Bulldogs to bring the pressure with a veteran group of outside linebackers

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The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!