Evaluation: Ledbetter's versatility paying off
I'll readily admit: I really don't have a definitive conclusion as to what I think about Georgia's defense. On one hand, I'm showered with contact by fans that are sold on it because "stats don't lie."
And the stats read, believe it or not, that Georgia is in possession of the No. 11 ranked (!) defensive unit in the country. Moreover, it has the No. 21 ranked rushing defense as well as the No. 17-ranked passing defense.
And while I've never professed to be the great Dave "Stats" McMahon or Patrick "Buy this book" Garbin, I'm also not dumb, either. (At least that's what my mother tells me?!)
Of all the teams the Dawgs have faced on the schedule, only Auburn (7th), Kentucky (17th) and Tennessee (50) are in the top-50 in rushing, while Mississippi (13th), North Carolina (19th) and Missouri (24th) crack the top-50 in passing.
It can be said that while the Dawgs did a marvelous job against North Carolina, through the air, all the other teams of note didn't have many problems getting its offenses going. (And a great deal of the schedule need not apply.)
And while some will say the Dawgs dominated Auburn, and rightfully so, the Tigers being without their sledgehammer -- and leading rusher in the conference -- counts a lot in my book, as Kamryn Pettway has been the straw that stirred the drink of their resurgence.
But, like I said, I'm not dumb. The eye test, which is how I analyze mostly (and which could be the reason I "dated" like 100 females before I got married), tells me that Georgia may not be that far off from living up to that lofty ranking -- in the very near future.
While there are a few major holes in the secondary, which may be cleanly drywalled with the next recruiting class, the front line has unearthed some potential stars in the form of first-and second-year players.
I've been thoroughly impressed with underclassmen talents like Julian Rochester, David Marshall, Trent Thompson, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, Natrez Patrick and Roquan Smith. But one guy in particular, line-of-scrimmage player Jonathan Ledbetter, has really flashed in the limited amount of time he's been available.
I've been anticipating his arrival ever since I saw him play at Tucker High School when I worked the Alabama beat where he was originally slated to go. I thought Ledbetter's versatility would lend itself to perhaps playing an off-the-ball linebacker spot for the Dawgs, but he's excelled along the line of scrimmage and looks to be a future stud.
Hopefully, lightning strikes twice with another former Tide commit, from Tucker, 2017 edge-player Aaron Sterling, suiting up in the Classic City next season. But, for now, click above for some further video analysis on Ledbetter.