Taylor makes the move to the middle

ATHENS – About one year ago Tony Taylor tore his ACL. Taylor, who was at that time the starting outside linebacker for the Bulldogs, was forced to sit the year out in order to recover from the injury.

But now Tony Taylor is back, and he's move positions. Before this year's spring practices, Georgia announced the move of Taylor to middle linebacker. Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt said the move was, in part, so that Taylor could be the leader of the group.

"We really wanted to get him there for leadership," said Richt. Taylor is one of the oldest and certainly the linebacker with the most experience returning for the Bulldogs. The linebacker position seems to be a strength for the Bulldogs – there is a great deal of talent and depth on the team.

Taylor's move to the middle certainly had a lot to do with his leadership, but he has also put on pounds since he last played at Georgia. His mobility does not seem as fluid as it once was, but that is to be expected as a result of the ACL as well as the weight gain to play inside.

"Moving to the middle has been a challenge – a real big challenge," he said. "Especially when you have to come in and fill in the shoes of somebody like Odell Thurman."

Thurman, a two-year starter at Georgia, is listed as the number one inside linebacker by several pre-draft prognosticators.

"I know for me there been a lot of pressure (to fill Thurman's shoes), but my teammates have been out there helping me. I think I have adjusted to it real well," Taylor said.

"I feel fine," said Taylor of his recovery from the ACL and his return to the team. "As a defense we have been progressing. We have gotten better so far this spring."

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