Georgia secondary gets a big boost from Tyson Campbell – and Otis Reese


Otis Reese - UGA recruiting

ATHENS – Kirby Smart, a bit of an undersized safety in his playing days, didn’t look at Otis Reese and see a linebacker, as many pegged. Smart, as he honed in getting a commitment from Reese, saw height, “contact toughness,” and speed. He saw a safety.

“We’ve had success, both coach (Mel) Tucker and myself, coaching big guys at safety,” Smart said. “So a lot of people list this guy at outside linebacker and inside linebacker. He’s the size that the safeties should be. He could grow into something else, but his first position is going to be safety, and we expect him to excel there.”

And thus Georgia’s top-ranked recruiting class, which already had four good defensive backs, gained a fifth one.

Tyson Campbell was the headliner, a five-star prospect who chose Georgia over Alabama and Miami on Wednesday. Georgia also signed Christopher Smith, Nadab Joseph and Divaad Wilson during the early signing period. Joseph was listed as a cornerback by UGA, while Smith, Wilson and Campbell were listed as defensive backs.

Georgia’s secondary was an area of concern heading into recruiting this cycle: Three starters (safety Dominick Sanders, versatile Aaron Davis and cornerback Malkom Parrish) are out of eligibility, the status of rising sophomore Deangelo Gibbs is in doubt, and it’s uncertain how good the other young players will be.

That made defensive back, and secondary specifically, one of the last boxes to be checked in this class, as Smart put it Wednesday.

“It’s an area that we felt like we could improve our team, and we were able to do it through recruiting,” Smart said.

Campbell could be a starter from the outset, if he is as good as advertised. Georgia has its best cornerback returning, rising senior Deandre Baker, but has openings at the other spot and nickel back.

“Tyson Campbell, what’s not to love?” Smart said, then mentioning the player’s character, the fact he came from a high school (American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) that has produced other Georgia stars, and a big player (6-foot-2 and 180 pounds) who is fast.

“I mean, the guy can fly, and he’s really competitive,” Smart said. “Obviously we know what the stature and the size bring, but more important than that on Tyson Campbell is his intangibles.”

There’s also at least one opening at safety, where Reese may not be an immediate favorite – but is an intriguing option at least for the long term.

Reese was a consensus four-star prospect, the No. 87 overall prospect in the country per 247Sports.com. He was rated the nation’s fifth-best outside linebacker by the same outlet, and the fourth-best outside linebacker by Rivals. But as a safety, which Reese played at Lee County High School, he helped his team to a state title this past season.

And Georgia will keep him at that position, at least in the short term.

“He brings a force. He brings some contact toughness,” Smart said. “He brings some size and stature to the safety position.”

The post Georgia secondary gets a big boost from Tyson Campbell – and Otis Reese appeared first on DawgNation.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

A Bulldog in spirit, a driver by blood, Elliott seeks any kind of breakthrough
A Bulldog in spirit, a driver by blood, Elliott seeks any kind of breakthrough

You think you had a tough day after Georgia went overtime late into the night before losing the national championship game to Alabama. You didn’t have to get up before dawn, fly to Texas and drive 180 mph in a circle. “That was a bummer, for sure,” Chase Elliott said. Born an Elliott and born in Georgia means that he is race-car driver...
Never mind pains of rebuild -- Braves need to start winning
Never mind pains of rebuild -- Braves need to start winning
Anybody who ever has planted a garden understands there’s a point at which you stare at the dirt and think, “Those plants don’t look so good,” or, “Those plants have a chance,” or possibly, “That’s it, I’m done. Going to Kroger for tomatoes.” Welcome to 2018. It’s dirt-staring time...
There’s more: ESPN reports the Feds have Arizona’s Miller on tape
There’s more: ESPN reports the Feds have Arizona’s Miller on tape
Sean Miller is considered one of the nation’s 10 best coaches. He won at Xavier and has won at Arizona. Whenever we media types are thinking who might be the next guy at one of the sport’s tentpole programs – the guy after Calipari at Lexington or Ol’ Roy in Chapel Hill – Miller’s name always arises. (Last spring&rsquo...
Hawks view Antonius Cleveland as long-term prospect
Hawks view Antonius Cleveland as long-term prospect

Hawks rookie guard Antonius Cleveland is scheduled to be cleared for on-court activities early next week. The Hawks plan to sign him to a second 10-day contract when his current one expires and, if all goes well, eventually offer him a contract for next season.  Following that plan the Hawks at minimum would get to work with Cleveland through...
Atlanta Motor Speedway moves up start time of Sunday’s race
Atlanta Motor Speedway moves up start time of Sunday’s race

With rain forecast for race day, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced an hour earlier start time for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The scheduled drop of the green flag is now 1 p.m., as opposed to the original 2 p.m. start time. That subsequently moves up the scheduled start time for all the pre-race events. Gates will open now...
More Stories