The combination invariably brings to mind David Pollack, who used a tenacious playing style to earn three All-America honors during his time at the position.
Bulldog fans, meet Jarius Wynn.
“The thing that caught so many people’s eyes was the tremendous motor,” said Georgia Military head coach Bert Williams, who developed Wynn for two years before handing him over the Bulldogs. “Every play, his snap-to-whistle was outstanding. Even when he wasn’t making the play, he stood out because of that.”
Wynn’s mouth will never match Pollack’s – “yes, sir” and “no, sir” fill Wynn’s answers to most questions – but if his production is anywhere close to Pollack’s, no one will begrudge his quiet nature.
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior, graduated from GMC in time to join Georgia for spring practice and is in the thick of the competition for one of the starting spots vacated by Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson. Of the candidates for those spots, Wynn most looks the part.
“He really looks like he’s in great condition and is very athletic and has the size,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s got to really work hard on his technique, but I really like what I’m seeing from him.”
“I would be surprised if he doesn’t earn that starting slot frankly,” Williams said. “He’s going to work at it, and he’s going to work at it every day. He plays so hard and he’s got the talent to back it up.”
Wynn was the defensive MVP at GMC and a second-team NJCAA All-American as a sophomore. Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina all tried to lure him to their campuses.
“Pretty much everybody that wanted a d-lineman, wanted him,” Williams said.
Wynn, the cousin of former Bulldog defensive lineman Shed Wynn, chose Georgia because “I love it,” he said.
“It’s close to home and got a lot of good tradition,” he said.
The opportunity for early playing time also was a big factor, he admitted.
“I feel I can get some playing time,” he said. “I know I’m going to be in the rotation. I just need to keep learning the plays.”
Georgia recruited Wynn out of Lincoln County High School in 2004 but the courtship never got very far because of academic issues.
“I was coming up here a lot, went to a lot of camps,” Wynn said. “They had interest, but everything didn’t fall into place like it was supposed to. I had a Georgia offer, but my grades weren’t that good. I had failed a couple classes and had to go to junior college.”
Wynn was a two-time first-team all-state selection – once on the offensive line and once on the defensive line -- for the traditionally powerful Red Devils program.
“I think he was a good prospect coming out of high school,” Williams said. “He needed to develop physically, but he had a lot of very good things going for him. You might could say we took a B-plus, A-minus guy and turned him into an A-plus.”
Not into a talker, though.
“He talks a little out there on the field, but not a lot,” Williams said. “Jarius is very much about taking care of his business and working hard to get where he wants to be.”
Georgia’s defensive ends
Here’s a look at the eight players who will be trying to replace departed defensive ends Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses in 2007. Only three – Roderick Battle, Marcus Howard and Jeremy Lomax – have played in a Division I-A game. Those three have combined for 48 career tackles, and 38 of those belong to Howard.
Roderick Battle sophomore 6-5, 256
Damarcus Dobbs redshirt freshman 6-2, 263
Marcus Howard senior 6-2, 220
Michael Lemon redshirt freshman 6-4, 260
Jeremy Lomax junior 6-4, 233
Kiante Tripp redshirt freshman 6-6, 272
Brandon Wood redshirt freshman 6-1, 275
Jarius Wynn junior 6-5, 275