An In-Depth Look: Can Georgia get over the loss of Divaad Wilson?

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An In-Depth Look: Can Georgia get over the loss of Divaad Wilson?

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When you recruit at a high level as UGA does, some players are bound to slip through the cracks and enter the NCAA Transfer Portal sometimes. The portal has caused the Bulldogs some ups and downs over the past couple of years, but Monday it caused more grief when redshirt sophomore defensive back Divaad Wilson entered his name.

It’s what shocking is that Wilson had a lot of upside heading into the 2020 season. Last year he showed a lot of potential on the field in big moments for a defense that was regarded as one of the nation’s best. The former four-star prospect showed a lot of athleticism and poise as he appeared in all fourteen games in 2019, including two starts.

Wilson joined the program in January of 2018 and would’ve played a major role as a freshman if he wouldn’t have torn his ACL during the third spring practice. He came in at the end of the 2018 season and played really well against Texas. As a redshirt freshman, he played a lot more and against Notre Dame he came down with a huge interception. He also made several other big stops during the 2019 season.

It’s not an ideal situation for both parties but Wilson ultimately made the decision, and nothing can change it now. The best thing for the Bulldogs to do is take a step back and regroup before the start of fall camp. Georgia has a ton of talent and experience returning to the secondary.

Let’s take a look at some of the best options at the Star/Nickel and Money/Dime positions:

Mark Webb (Senior): Webb is a former wideout who can play either of these spots at a high level. He was the Bulldogs’ primary option at STAR during the 2019 season. Since arriving at Georgia, he has really developed his coverage skills, but he’s also a great run defender as well. He should be one of the favorites to win the starting job considering his experience. He is going to either play STAR or MONEY as long as he stays healthy.

The Philadelphia native has accounted for 61 total tackles throughout his career as a Bulldog, with 46 of them coming in 2019. Last season he also had 3.0 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. The best game of Webb’s career came against Vanderbilt last year when he racked up seven total stops.

Tyrique Stevenson (Sophomore): Stevenson is a guy who can really shake things up for Georgia’s defense next season. He showed his abilities in a huge way at the end of last season while playing primarily in the MONEY spot. He got a lot of playing time last year as a result of Wilson being injured. The 6-foot, 202-pound sophomore can cover like a corner, but also rush off the edge like an outside linebacker. He’s easily one of the most talented players on the field.

As a freshman, he appeared in all 14 games totaling 13 stops, 1,0 tackles for loss and five pass deflections. He is projected by many to the favorite to win the starting STAR spot in 2020.

William Poole (31) - G-Day 2019 - April 20, 2019 - First Half Photos
William Poole (31) – G-Day 2019 – April 20, 2019 – First Half Photos

William Poole (Fourth-year Junior): The Atlanta, Ga., product has some valuable playing time under his belt, but didn’t get to play much in 2019. He provides a lot of depth at this spot and will be ready if called upon. In practice last season, it seemed like he has really developed since arriving in Athens in 2017. He’s an all-around good defender with great coverage ability and can play the run as well. He just fell behind guys like Wilson and Stevenson the last couple of years.

Kelee Ringo (Freshman): Ringo is the nation’s No. 1 ranked cornerback in the class of 2020 and just arrived to campus a month ago. And with Wilson gone, he could possibly be spending a lot more time at STAR than corner during his freshman campaign. It’s a tough position to learn, but it might be an easier opportunity for him to get on the field because the Bulldogs are loaded at cornerback. Having Ringo learn this spot will add some depth to the position and could benefit him and the team.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.