New linebackers coach John Jancek knew he was going to be tested coming into the season. But now – after Derrick White was dismissed from the program yesterday after a DUI arrest, Josh Johnson was kicked off the team weeks ago for breaking unspecified team rules and newcomer Jamar Chaney was not allowed into the University after a review committee red flagged his SAT score and then did not allow his admission into the University – Jancek’s job just got that more difficult.
White was a potential starter on the outside – he was listed as the number one Sam linebacker – and Johnson was surging for significant playing time during the spring – both were expected to contribute to make the Bulldogs’ linebackers one of the deepest in the SEC. Chaney – the third player in Georgia’s 2005 class that will not enroll this fall – was expected to play, albeit not a major role; Chaney will now likely end up in playing for Florida.
“This really bothered me because Georgia is the school that I wanted to go to,” Chaney told Scout.com’s Gator Country. “I'm disappointed about Georgia but playing at Florida for Coach Urban Meyer is nothing to be mad about.”
Now Georgia’s linebacker depth chart must be reshuffled for the fall.
Tony Taylor will still likely be the starter in the middle of the defense with Jarvis Jackson backing him up. At the Sam spot, White will be replaced by Brandon Miller – a player that was pushing for the starting spot by the end of spring practice. Danny Verdun Wheeler will be the starter at the Will spot with redshirt freshman Dannell Ellerbe backing him up. The backup Sam linebacker could wind up being Marcus Howard, but he was moved to defensive end for much of the spring for pass rushing purposes. Verdun Wheeler, Ellerbe, and Miller will likely be forced to rotate for heavy reps at the two outside spots.
Darius Dewberry, who will be headed to Hargrave to try to get his SAT score this fall, was expected to miss the 2005 season, but now his departure hurts the Bulldogs in terms of depth at the outside linebacker spot.
Jamar Chaney’s denied admission marks the second time in two years that the University did not allow a qualified student-athlete into school. Last year Michael Grant was not allowed to enroll at Georgia and ended up at Arkansas.