Dewberry takes Ellerbe's spot on first team

ATHENS – One week after head coach Mark Richt bragged on the progress of Dannell Ellerbe, the junior linebacker has taken a step back.

Sophomore Darius Dewberry moved to the starting spot at weak side linebacker Wednesday thanks to his performance in Saturday's scrimmage.

"I'm going to play the best three linebackers and coming out of the scrimmage, I was happy with (Dewberry, middle linebacker Brandon Miller and strong side linebacker Akeem Dent) and not as pleased with Dannell so I made the move," linebackers coach John Jancek said.

While this may simply be a move to motivate Ellerbe, Dewberry is for now slated to be with the first-team defense in Saturday's G-Day game, Jancek said. Dewberry played sparingly in a reserve role last year and finished with six tackles.

"He doesn't know the position (weak side linebacker) right now, but in the long run for him to get some reps at weak side linebacker and some cross training is going to be crucial to his overall development and getting him on the field," Jancek said.

It's likely by the time the fall rolls around, or even by G-Day, Ellerbe will be back with the starters on the weak side. Ellerbe has made 22 tackles in his career, which has been hampered by injury and off-field issues. Georgia's coaches are very pleased with the progress of Dent, a redshirt freshman, and expect to platoon Dent and Dewberry on the strong side this year.

"They are two guys that can really play the position, very athletic and very strong," head coach Mark Richt said. "Of course, they're young and they'll probably get fooled a little bit here or there, but you probably couldn't draw them up better than those two guys right there. And they're great kids, great competitors."

Redshirt freshman linebacker Akeem Hebron has missed all but the first three spring practices due to a hamstring injury, and he will not play in the G-Day game.

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