Redshirt Diaries: Sterling Bailey

Dawg Post takes a look at players who redshirted last season and what could be in store in 2012.

Sterling Bailey – OLB – 6-3, 259 pounds
East Hall High School – Gainesville, Ga. – Major: Sport Management

Why he redshirted:

Bailey had shoulder surgery in March of 2011 and spent most of the season in a green, non-contact jersey.

A look at the depth chart:

There isn't a wealth of depth at the two outside linebacker positions – but there is talent at the top.

Jarvis Jones
Cornelius Washington
Ray Drew (who could potentially grow into a defensive end)
Chase Vasser
T.J. Stripling
Reuben Faloughi
Dexter Morant
Ramik Wilson (who plays both inside and outside linebacker)

Bailey will need to step on his progression – coming in the 2012 recruiting class:

Jordan Jenkins
Josh Harvey-Clemons
Josh Dawson
Leonard Floyd

A peer's perspective:

"He's just waiting to show what he really can do. Having redshirted and been injured for his freshman year – once he has time and health people will see how good he really is. For a guy his size to be able to move as well he can, Sterling will have an opportunity to show what he has next season." – Linebacker Christian Robinson

What the spring needs to bring:

First things first – Bailey needs to stay healthy for the entirety of spring practice. He's not injury prone, but he's behind due to missing out on drills, workouts and contact for most of his first season at Georgia.

Secondly – if Bailey stays at outside linebacker (a move to defensive end down the road isn't out of the question), he needs to improve his pass coverage. This isn't a dire necessity because Bailey could thrive in nickel situations in a way similar to what Washington did in 2011.

Balancing his skills as a pass-rusher and in coverage would make Bailey more useful and available in more situations.

Contributions for next season and beyond:

Bailey could go one of two directions from here. He could grow and gain weight and move to defensive end. Perhaps a Demarcus Dobbs type? Or, he could stay at outside linebacker, manning the spot Washington and Drew did in 2011 as predominately a pass rusher.

If he does his homework and learns the playbook, Bailey could potentially play faster and with more confidence than Washington by the end of his career.

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