The secondary was a perceived weakness in Georgia’s 2021 defense that has terrorized opponents throughout the season. Heading into the season, a lack of experienced depth has led to widespread concern about what the back of the Georgia defense would look like without experienced starters like Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell and Richard LeCounte.
Still, statistically speaking, Georgia has improved in high school. In the COVID-shortened 2020 10-game season, Georgia allowed 248.7 yards per game, ranking them 88th in the nation. Even without the likes of Stokes, Campbell and LeCounte, Georgia’s passing defense has found a way to improve. The Bulldogs allowed 190.9 yards per game, ranking their passing defense 13th nationally, as noted by CBS’s David Cobb.
With the return of redshirt sophomore cornerback Kelee Ringo among other notable contributors, Cobb believes Georgia’s high school is the “best in college football.”
“Even with some attrition, this group should be the elite again, and it’s led by elite cornerback Kelee Ringo. The second highest-ranked redshirt player and former cornerback in the Class of 2020 recently was projected as the No. 4 pick in an early 2023 NFL simulation draft by CBS Sports draft expert Ryan Wilson.”
After being transferred to Georgia via West Virginia last offseason, former USA defensive back Tykee Smith missed most of the 2021 season. Smith initially missed the first five games of the season due to from a foot injury from fall camp. After returning to the field, a torn ACL sidelined him for the rest of the season.
It’s unclear where exactly the former mountaineer will feature in the secondary. William Poole’s escape to the STAR playoff position will likely see one of the two moved to safety and play alongside returning starter Christopher Smith.
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Strong recruiting over the years in the high school has been a constant so far under head coach Kirby Smart. Despite attrition, he suffered as a defensive backs coach, with Mel Tucker, Charlton Warren and Jahmile Addae all moving on to other jobs after helping coach defensive backs. New cornerbacks coach Fran Brown and safety coach Will Muschamp will have a lot to do this fall.
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