2005 Starters: Kedric Golston (30 career starts, 95 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 recovered fumbles and 54 quarterback pressures) and Gerald Anderson (29 career starts, 128 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 30 quarterback pressures)
Gerald Anderson and Kedric Golston were a stable pair in the middle of Georgia’s defensive line for the last three seasons. Now that pair is gone, and there are several players that could replace them – which ones will end up with the starting nod this fall is still up in the air.
Ray Gant (11 career starts, 66 total tackles, 3 sacks, 19 quarterback pressures), might not be as big or as experienced heading into his senior season as Golston and Anderson were, but he’s got a non-stop motor. Gant – a very vocal player who wants results-is also the leader of the defensive line. When reviewing the depth chart, Gant may not jump out, but he’s steady, and gives this young group of players a person to look up to when it comes to work ethic.
Jeff Owens (0 career starts, 16 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 16 quarterback pressures), who had better-than-expected production in 2005, got to the quarterback a lot in 2005, and will likely be a starter at the beginning of the season. He was named Freshman All-America second team by The Sporting News and first team Freshman All-SEC by the SEC Coaches and The Sporting News. Owens had a steady spring – it does not appear he will have a sophomore slump.
If he does, redshirt freshman Kade Weston, who has improved the most of any defensive lineman in the last six months, will be there to step into the starting spot. Weston is in much better condition now, and that mattered this spring. He was one of the most talked-about players this spring. Many expect big things from Weston this fall, and he did nothing this spring to lower those expectations.
Marquis Elmore (0 career starts, 5 total tackles) and Dale Dixson (1 career starts and 7 total tackles) are running out of time to make an impact on the program. Elmore was highly celebrated when he signed with Georgia a few years back, but he’s not been able to avoid injuries long enough to get going. Dixson, too, has had troubles with injuries, but at least he has a career start. Both will provide depth this fall – don’t look for either in the starting lineup.
Recent signee Ricardo Crawford did well this spring. The likelihood of his redshirting this fall seems 50/50. Had he not come in early to play, there would have been little doubt that he would have redshirted. If he can move up the depth chart at all in the fall (and avoid injuries while doing so) he’ll play.