February 28, 2011

Pre-spring look at safeties

With the start of spring practice now just over a week away, Alec Ogletree appears to be well on his way to living up to his vast potential, when he signed with Georgia just over a year ago as one of the country's top high school safeties.

The Bulldogs' secondary was inconsistent at best in 2010, with safety being one of the positions in question until secondary coach Scott Lakatos finally saw enough of the true freshman to give him his chance to start at strong safety.

It was a rather impressive debut.

Although the Bulldogs wound up being run out of Jordan-Hare Stadium by the eventual SEC champions 49-31, Ogletree's 10 tackles were certainly a memorable start for the former four-star standout.

As UGASports continues its pre-spring position breakdown, we examine the safety position where Ogletree and rising junior Bacarri Rambo look to anchor the position, which looks to be one of the areas of depth for the Bulldogs.

Along with Ogletree and Rambo, rising senior Jakar Hamilton, rising junior Shawn Williams and redshirt freshman Marc Deas will give Lakatos plenty of options come spring.

The depth pool gets a bit deeper come fall with freshmen Corey Moore headlining a group of newcomers scheduled to get an early look.

But before they do, the afore mentioned vets will go through their paces, including Rambo, who started all 13 games in 2010, finishing with 76 tackles, an average of 6.3 per contest.

Although Rambo often drew the ire of fans for what some considered inconsistent play, Bulldog coaches have no intention of moving the former Seminole County star, who along with Ogletree, figures to start most of - if not all of - Georgia's games at safety this fall.

As for Ogletree, the Newnan native is hoping the experience he's gained as a freshman will give the Bulldog secondary some welcomed consistency.

"I'm pretty comfortable now," Ogletree said recently. "I pretty much know everything they've taught me. There's still some stuff I know I still need to work on, but eventually I'll get it. I just want to be someone coaches can depend on every game."

Ogletree - whose twin brother Zander has been a key member of the Bulldog special teams - has certainly made an impression on head coach Mark Richt.

Although Richt concedes as a young safety, there are still issues in coverage that Ogletree needs to learn, he likes what he sees in the young star.

"Alec's a football players; both of them (and Zander) are," Richt said. "We're expecting great things from both of them."

Like many freshmen, it took Ogletree a while to start feeling totally comfortable with his new surroundings.

"At first I pretty much stayed to myself," he said. "I didn't say a lot."

But with 2010 over, Ogletree says he'll be trying to come out of his shell.

"I'm just going to try and do everything the right way," he said. "I've been given a good opportunity; I just want to be there for the guys, lead by example; do whatever I need to do."


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