Defensive back Mark Webb, Jr. is in the midst of competing for playing time and a possible start in Georgia’s secondary at the “STAR” and “Money” positions, but the junior didn’t start out on defense for the Bulldawgs. A 2017 signee out of Warminster, PA, Webb was recruited to UGA to play wide receiver on offense, but just three months after arriving on campus, he switched over to the other side of the ball.
Last week, after Monday’s practice, Webb talked about his journey from offense to defense and making the transition from playing at wide receiver to defensive back.
“Notre Dame… that’s the week I got switched,” said Mark Webb. “I didn’t play right away though. I got a lot of time at the end of games and on special teams.”
Webb saw action in all 13 games for Georgia in 2017, mainly on special teams. No. 23 gave some insight into what it was like at first.
“When I first started to get out there, I was scared,” said Mark Webb. “More of like that I would make mistakes when I got out there instead of just playing what I was taught and I learned in practice. It was different.”
He got his first collegiate tackle during the UGA’s home game versus Missouri on October 14, 2017. Webb would go on to play in all of Georgia’s 14 games during his sophomore year last season. He had a career-high 6 tackles when the Bulldogs hosted Auburn on November 10, 2018.
Heading into the 2019 season, Webb looks to play a major role in Georiga’s secondary. He could see time at both the STAR and the Money positions. So what is the difference between the two?
“It’s almost the same, but just playing-wise, you get a bigger role when you play STAR at the Nickle position,” said Mark Webb. “More calls. It comes with more responsibility on the field. Definitely, at Georgia, it takes a lot to play STAR.”
So what does Webb think of his “journey” so far from offense to defense?
“I understand the journey that I’m on and I see what Coach (Kirby) Smart has in store for me. It was rough, but I’m getting to the right place,” said Mark Webb. “… I wasn’t used to the defense, especially our defense. It’s very complicated and that was a big change for me, but I never second guess the move. Coach Smart has a plan for me.”
While the Georgia defense under Kirby Smart is a base 3-4, they are in the Nickle formation quite a bit because so many offenses trot out 3 and 4 wide receiver sets. Webb stated that he thought UGA utilized a STAR about 70% of the time last season. Divaad Wilson, Jake Skole, William Poole, and Mark Webb look to anchor the STAR position for the Georgia defense in 2019, and I hope you join me this season as we continue to watch Webb compete and grow as a defensive back.
You can listen to Mark Webb, Jr.s full interview by clicking on the video below and don’t forget to check his photo gallery as well.