BULLDOGS TO WATCH: Georgia-Kentucky

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BULLDOGS TO WATCH: Georgia-Kentucky

Bulldog DE Jonathan Ledbetter (13) during the first half of the Georgia-Auburn game on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.
Bulldog DE Jonathan Ledbetter (13)


Who are the Bulldogs to watch between the hedges for the Georgia-Kentucky game for Senior Day?



Ledbetter, a 6-4, 277-pound junior, has been one of the top run stoppers on the Bulldogs’ defensive front this season, from his end position. Possessing both power and quickness, the Tucker, Ga. product is able to cause stalemates with opposing offensive tackles, which enables the Georgia linebackers the freedom to nail the opponents’ running backs. Ledbetter’s performance will be a key in the Bulldogs slowing down Kentucky’s capable offense on Saturday.

J.R. REED (SAF, #20)

Georgia’s No. 2 tackler this season behind team leader Roquan Smith, the 6-1, 194-pound Reed has been likely the Bulldogs’ most pleasant surprise in that, like Alabama transfer DB Mo Smith last year, he is a redshirt sophomore transfer from Tulsa who has solidified Georgia’s secondary this fall. Reed has also had several key picks and will be looking for another one against UK quarterback Stephen Johnson Saturday.

Deandre Baker (18) - UGA vs. Mississippi State - Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
Deandre Baker (18)



Baker, like Reed, has also sparkled in the UGA secondary in 2017. He’s among the top five tackle leaders on the team and has also played the pass extremely well. The 5-11, 180-pound junior will need to step up once again against both the Wildcats’ passing and running attack on Saturday.


Prior to the season, it was known that this 6-4, 215-pound senior had the talent to become one of the Bulldogs’ top receivers but it’s safe to say that Wims has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Not only has he developed into Georgia’s leading pass catcher and the favorite target of freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, but Wims has flashed NFL potential, as demonstrated by his sensational touchdown catches against Florida and South Carolina. Wims will present a big problem for the Wildcat secondary.

Mecole Hardman (4) - UGA vs. Auburn, Sat., Nov. 11, 2017 -
Mecole Hardman (4)
– UGA vs. Auburn, Sat., Nov. 11, 2017 –



Arguably the fastest player on this year’s Bulldogs, Hardman has overcome his early season drops after making the transition from defensive back to wide receiver. With his speed and quickness, the 5-11, 183-pound sophomore is a threat to score from any point on the field, whether after catching a pass or returning a kickoff. As did Wims, Hardman had a spectacular scoring catch in the win over the Gamecocks.

JAMES COLEY (Wide Receivers Coach)

This former offensive coordinator at Miami and Florida State is in his second year of coaching the Bulldogs’ wideouts and has shaped the Georgia receivers into one of the most sure-handed corps in the SEC. As the defensive fronts of Kentucky, Georgia Tech and the eventual West Division champion the Bulldogs will face in the SEC Championship Game continue to stack the box to slow Georgia’s potent running attack, Coley’s pass catchers will take on an even bigger role for the UGA offense.


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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.