Well, for one, rising seniors Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera led the Bulldogs’ defensive unit in tackles last season with 133 and 112 – not bad. In fact, Wilson’s total led the entire conference. The Tampa native is just the third Bulldog ever to do that. Amongst the dominating run Wilson had last season, he was also named to the Associated Press All-SEC First Team as well as the All-SEC Coaches’ First Team. The list of Wilson’s 2013 accolades goes on and on. But, and it’s a big but – DO NOT overlook Herrera.
He’s a quiet guy, so that’s easy to do.
However, Herrera is a ball hawk. He finished third in the SEC in tackles. Sure, Wilson had 11 tackles for a loss in 2013, but Herrera had five to add.
What we learned this Spring: This defense has changed. Yes, there are all new coaches. Yes, it’s a different atmosphere already. Will it be more disciplined than last season? Good question – but we won’t know until the Dawgs take on Clemson to open the season. Jeremy Pruitt entered Athens with the ‘no one has a starting spot, yet’ attitude. However, these two rising seniors have done nothing to concede their spots.
Backups: Sophomores Reggie Carter, Tim Kimbrough and Johnny O’Neal are all viable candidates to step up when needed. Carter tallied eight tackles in eight games played last season, while Kimbrough made five through 11 appearances.
Looking to the future: The Dawgs’ 2014 class of signees consisted of one lone interior linebacker in Scout.com three-star prospect Detric Dukes out of Tucker High. While Dukes could stand to improve on his quickness, he is an instinctive linebacker who doesn’t lack discipline.