Another Blow to the Secondary

Another Blow to the Secondary

ATHENS – News of yet another suspension will make matters increasingly difficult for a Georgia secondary that doesn't have much depth.

Senior safety Bacarri Rambo became the fifth defensive back to run into trouble this offseason, joining Sanders Commings (suspended two games for domestic violence) and Branden Smith (expected to be suspended one game for a misdemeanor marijuana arrest). Underclassmen Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders were dismissed in early February for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Rambo, along with linebacker Alec Ogletree, will be suspended for multiple games for a violation of team rules.

The trio of Rambo, Sanders and Smith considered leaving school early for the NFL, only to return to help boost a defense that finished last season ranked fifth nationally in points allowed. The off-the-field troubles have created a serious issue at least for the early portion of the Bulldogs schedule.

"Coach (Todd) Grantham will come up with something," Rambo said earlier in the spring, speaking about Commings and Smith before his own indiscretions came to light. "Him and the coaching staff – they're brilliant at that, man. That's what they're here for, so they'll come up with the right guys for the right positions to make plays and help out the secondary. They see we don't have much depth in the secondary so they'll handle that."

The cornerback position is left with only four scholarship players that aren't facing suspension: Damian Swann, Malcolm Mitchell, Devin Bowman and incoming freshman Sheldon Dawson.

Only Swann has seen action in a game before. The sophomore played in 11 games last season, including one start, and recorded five tackles.

Mitchell moved to defense after playing wide receiver as a freshman last season.

Rambo and fellow senior Shawn Williams were seen as one of the best safety tandems in the nation after a strong 2011 season. Rambo was named an All-American by numerous outlets, finishing with 55 tackles and a team-high eight interceptions. He was suspended for the season-opener last season for an undisclosed rules violation. He'll now miss multiple games to start this season.

That leaves Williams, who led the team with 72 tackles in 2011, and a handful of inexperienced players. Backups Corey Moore, Connor Norman, Quintavious Harrow and Marc Deas have all seen playing time, but mostly on special teams.

"I've been telling all those younger guys that they've got to step in and help out as much as they can by putting in the extra work, staying after practice, working on technique and asking questions and learning coverages" Rambo said.

DawgPost.com Recommended Stories