Lorenzo Carter needs to step up this year. That is just the reality of the situation. The Bulldogs had an up-and-down season in 2016 in which they went 8-5, which included losses to rivals Tennessee, Florida and Georgia Tech. That year, the defense was good but inconsistent.
If Georgia wants to have a big bounce-back season this fall, a strong defense will be critical to the Bulldogs having success. Even though they were the No. 16 defense in college football last year, there is room for improvement. Many people believe this unit will be one of the top defenses in the SEC if not the entire country this fall.
One area in which this defense needs to really improve upon is its pass rush. UGA sought to hep address that in its 2017 recruiting class, but they are further aided by the return of outside linebackers Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter for their senior seasons. Even though both have had good careers, they both have the potential to do even bigger things this fall.
Personally, I believe Carter in particular has the ability to be the guy to lead the defense this season. The 6-6, 242 pound, former 5-star prospect from Norcross, Ga., has had a good career at UGA so far (104 tackles and 9.5 sacks in three years), but he has also merely shown flashes of what he is capable of doing. That is being the next elite force on this Bulldogs’ defense that quarterbacks fear.
I talked to Carter in the aftermath of the G-Day Game last Saturday, and he spoke about his critical senior season.
“For myself, I just plan on working hard. Like you said, it’s my last year – last chance to come out here and show everybody what I can do. I just look forward to going out and working hard with my teammates everyday and compete to win games.”
Head coach Kirby Smart has challenged Carter and the rest of the UGA defense to fight complacency, as they seek to take that next step to being truly great on that side of the ball next season. Carter will play a huge role in making that a reality.
Carter will look to further impress NFL scouts this fall in his last between the hedges. He is a big framed, athletic guy that has the ability to really take a step forward and be the face of this defense. He can be the next great pass rusher at UGA since Leonard Floyd. If he does take these steps forward, it will only mean good things for the Dawgs.