Spring Preview: Defensive Tackles

Georgia's 2006 spring practice opens soon – the Bulldogs start on March 4 – so here is a look at Georgia's situation at defensive tackle.

Defensive Tackle:

2005 Starters: Kedric Golston (30 career starts, 95 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 recovered fumbles and 54 quarterback pressures) and Gerald Anderson (29 career starts, 128 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 30 quarterback pressures)

Georgia's top two defensive tackles for the last few seasons are gone. Golston and Anderson provided the foundation that has been one of the most stout run defenses in the country of the last three seasons. Their departure to the NFL will hurt the Bulldogs, but not as much as it was once thought it would. Injures kept both off the field for a substantial part of 2005, and that opened the door for depth to develop at defensive tackle. Ray Gant (11 career starts, 66 total tackles, 3 sacks, 19 quarterback pressures), returned from injury and has his best overall season since arriving at Georgia. Gant will be a force to be dealt with this fall. He's not as big as Golston and Anderson, but he's a fighter and he's tough. Gant more than doubled his quarterback pressures last season alone. Gant will likely be joined in the starting lineup by sophomore Jeff Owens (0 career starts, 16 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 16 quarterback pressures), who had better-than-expected production in 2005. Owens got to the quarterback a lot, and for that he was named Freshman All-America second team by The Sporting News and first team Freshman All-SEC by the SEC Coaches and The Sporting News.

Marquis Elmore (0 career starts, 5 total tackles) and Dale Dixson (1 career starts and 7 total tackles) might be able to do more in 2005 if they both could just avoid the injury bug. Neither has contributed significantly while at Georgia. Redshirt freshmen Kade Weston will get his shot to live up to his high school hype starting this spring. He may challenge Gant and Owens for a starting spot by the time August rolls around. Recent signee Ricardo Crawford is already enrolled in school and will get a taste of college football this spring.

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