Bulldogs to Watch: Georgia vs. South Carolina

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Bulldogs to Watch: Georgia vs. South Carolina

Eli Wolf (17) during the second quarter of the Murray State game, 
Saturday, September 07, 2019
Eli Wolf (17) during the second quarter of the Murray State game,
Saturday, September 07, 2019

ELI WOLF (TE, #17)

This graduate transfer from the University of Tennessee has teamed with senior Charlie Woerner to provide the Bulldogs with one of the SEC’s best tight end tandems. The 6-4, 236-pound Wolf has quickly become one of quarterback Jake Fromm’s leading targets and in the earlier win over Murray State, he had four receptions for 73 yards. Now, after going against his old team this past weekend in Knoxville, Wolf and the Georgia passing game will be primed for a big afternoon against the South Carolina defense on Saturday between the hedges.

GEORGE PICKENS (WR, #1)

Most certainly, Pickens has lived up to all the ballyhoo that surrounded him when he came out of Alabama as that state’s No. 1 recruiting prospect last year. An original Auburn commit before signing with Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs, the 6-3, 190-pound freshman wideout has already soared high for a number of spectacular catches and has drawn comparisons with former Georgia great A.J. Green for his receiving prowess. Pickens, who had five receptions for 84 yards in the win over Arkansas State, will be looking to exploit the South Carolina secondary Saturday afternoon.

- Divaad Wilson (1) -
Georgia vs. Arkansas State - Third Quarter - September 14, 2019
– Divaad Wilson (1) –
Georgia vs. Arkansas State – Third Quarter – September 14, 2019

DIVAAD WILSON (DB, #1)

Wilson was redshirted in 2018 but made his collegiate debut with extensive action against Texas in the Sugar Bowl when he had four tackles, including one for lost yardage and also a pass breakup. This season, the 6-0, 195-pound Miami product has shared time with junior Mark Webb at the Bulldogs’ STAR position and has seen action in all five Georgia games. Getting the start in the huge win over Notre Dame, Wilson recorded three tackles and a pass breakup while also notching his first collegiate interception. Wilson and the rest of the Bulldogs’ defensive backfield will be primed to slow the Ryan Hilinski-Bryan Edwards Gamecock passing attack.

NOLAN SMITH (OLB, #4)

Smith is developing into a pass rusher deluxe for the Bulldogs with a combination of quickness and strength coming off the edge that is already drawing comparisons with Georgia all-time great defensive end David Pollack. And this is no surprise to UGA fans as the 6-3, 235-pound Smith, out of Savannah and IMG Academy, was a celebrated 5-star performer while playing for the Florida prep power, in fact being named the nation’s top overall prospect in 2018. Along with junior college transfer Jermaine Johnson, it was freshman Smith who brought the pressure on Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book, forcing Book to throw a fourth-down incompletion to end the Irish’s final bid to upset the Bulldogs.

Devonte Wyatt (95), second quarter, Georgia vs. Tennessee game, Saturday, October 05, 2019
Devonte Wyatt (95), second quarter, Georgia vs. Tennessee game,
Saturday, October 05, 2019

DEVONTE WYATT (DT, #95)

Like Divaad Wilson, Wyatt stepped up in Georgia’s Sugar Bowl loss to Texas with a career-high seven tackles including 1.5 tackles-for-loss as well as a batted-down pass and two QB pressures. The 6-3, 301-pound junior out of Decatur, who came to the Bulldogs from Hutchinson Community College, played in 12 of 14 games in 2018 and finished with 19 total tackles. Wyatt is off to a faster start this season in the Bulldogs’ defensive front as he and the Georgia defense gear up to stymie the Gamecocks’ offensive attack on Saturday.

DAN LANNING (DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR)

Lanning was named the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator in February of this year after serving one year as Georgia’s outside linebackers coach. He joined the UGA staff after two years as inside linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Memphis. At Alabama, Lanning was a member of the coaching staff that guided the Crimson Tide to a 14-1 record, the SEC Championship and the 2015 CFP national title. Reunited with Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Lanning has molded the Bulldog defense into one of the SEC and nation’s best over the first five games this season.

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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.