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Georgia safety unit ranks top three nationally per On3

On3 imageby:Jake Rowe05/17/24


Another Georgia position unit is ranked inside of the top 10 of it’s kind. Jesse Simonton of On3Sports continued his position-unit ranking series on Friday with a look at safety and the Bulldogs, for the fifth time, are inside the top three.

Simonton ranks the group No. 3 nationally, largely due to the presence of a third-year starter. Georgia is still searching for its starter at the other safety position.

Malaki Starks has looked the part since his first game in a UGA uniform when he intercepted Oregon’s Bo Nix in the 2022 season-opener,” Simonton writes. “Since then, the former 5-star prospect has developed into an All-American and one of the best safeties in college football. 

“Although Georgia will certainly miss Javon Bullard, who went from a 3-star prospect to Day 2 NFL Draft pick, UGA has solid internal options with veteran returnees Dan Jackson, a former walk-on, and JaCorey Thomas. Both saw time with the 1s this spring, and they’ll have to hold off 5-star freshman KJ Bolden, who is going to play a lot in 2024. UGA also brought in Alabama transfer Jake Pope for some insurance.”

Starks missed spring drills after have shoulder surgery this offseason but he’s expected to be full speed in plenty of time for preseason camp. That allowed all of those contenders for the other starting safety spot and opportunity to get plenty of reps.

Jackson and Thomas started with the first-team defense on G-Day. Pope and Bolden worked with the second team. Jackson has the most experience of the group, starting a handful of games in his Georgia career and serving as the Bulldogs’ sixth defensive back in their third-down package the past three seasons when healthy.

Thomas, however, made a move this spring and is a strong contender for the starting strong safety spot. Bolden is another guy to keep an eye on. DawgsHQ reported a number of times this spring that the Georgia staff is high on the former five-star prospect from Buford High School.

Georgia has been in the top 10 of each of Simonton’s position-unit rankings. It ranked No. 4 at quarterback, No. 2 at running back, No. 1 at tight end, No. 6 at receiver, No. 3 at offensive and defensive line, and No. 8 at cornerback.

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