Overview: The NFL took away almost all of the experience of Georga's linebacking corp. But Brandon Miller
, who struggled getting used to outside linebacker his entire career in Athens, has moved to the middle and did well there this spring. People have been waiting nearly four seasons for Miller to explode on the SEC stage, and this may be the opportunity the former five-star player needed to do just that.
By the end of the spring redshirt freshman Akeem Dent was too good to keep off the field and junior Dannell Ellerbe lost his starting job. However, Ellerbe is listed as a starter now as Dent is hurt. Darius Dewberry is starting at the other outside linebacker spot. Akeem Hebron's is gone to GMC now – will he ever be back? Marcus Washington is still getting healthy, and Darryl Gamble is still getting used to college ball. Walk-ons Tommy Watkins and Benjamin Boyd, both special teams stalwarts, don't look bad. Add to that young Curran and White have looked good already in pass skeleton.
Total linebackers (scholarship): 8 in 2007 (Hebron is gone or it would be nine); 7 in 2008 (at this moment, again Hebron is the unknown)
Starters: Brandon Miller, Darius Dewberry and Dannell Ellerbe
Backups: Marcus Washington, Darryl Gamble, Akeem Dent, and Akeem Hebron
Signed in 2007: Rennie Curran and Charles White
Won't be here in 2008: Brandon Miller
Committed for 2008: Christian Robinson and Marcus Dowtin
2008 Offers: Etienne Sabino (Krop, FL), Ricky Holloway (Fayette Ware, TN), Jerrell Harris (Gadsden City, AL), Arthur Brown (Wichita East, KS), Ramon Buchanon (Palm Bay, FL), Ebele Okakpu (Roswell), Steven Sylvester (Union Grove)
What it all means: Georgia has been very picky in the linebacker department this year. The Bulldogs reached and offered many of the top out-of-state linebackers around, but when Akeem Hebron was sent to GMC the Bulldogs started to roll out the recruiting effort a little bit more. Okakpu and Sylvester are top targets to be sure, and it seemed like Georgia was "taking forever" to offer the two of them. Many people I trust in the recruiting game are very high on Okakpu's speed. Dowtin, like Sylvester, may have been looked at as a running back, but after the Mark Richt Camp in June the staff was certain he was a linebacker.
ATHENS – In a week-long series of articles, Dean Legge takes a look at Georgia's recruiting; today, the linebackers.
Dean Legge takes a look at Georgia's recruiting; today, the linebackers.