The Georgia Bulldogs have an outstanding tradition of superb linebacker play. In just recent years, the ‘Dawgs have put out guys like Boss Bailey, Thomas Davis, Akeem Dent, Dannell Ellerbe, Justin Houston, Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. And that’s just recently. Well, the ‘Dawgs may have found their next star linebacker with their recent commitment from outside linebacker Detric Dukes.
Dukes, from nearby Tucker High School (just under an hour’s drive to Athens) had previously been committed to the Louisville Cardinals since last April, but after a slew of visits to Athens the last couple of weeks, Dukes decided to change his mind and stay close to home.
Dukes is an exciting prospect for the ‘Dawgs. He spent the majority of his high school career at defensive end, but switched to middle linebacker for his junior season to increase his stock. The experience he gained rushing the passer just adds to his impressive skills.
At 6-foot-1, 230-pounds, he has great size to play either inside or out in the ‘Dawgs 3-4 front. He’s a sound tackler, takes proper angles, plays downhill against the run, strong rushing the passer, and quick enough to cover tight ends and running backs against the pass.
With Dukes in the fold, head coach Mark Richt is surely hoping he’ll start playing the role of recruiter instead of recruit. Tucker High School has a long history of pumping out talent, and they’ve usually been pretty good to UGA. The ‘Dawgs have been going hard after not only Dukes, but Tucker’s big defensive tackle, Elisha Shaw, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound beast in the middle.
Ole Miss seems to be in the lead for Shaw, but Georgia won’t back down, and now with Dukes chirping in Shaw’s ear, a changing of the tides could be in order.
So all in all, a very good addition by Richt and co. Not only did they grab a very talented linebacker capable of playing all four spots for the ‘Dawgs, but they could have an ‘in’ with one of the best defensive tackles in the country as well.