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23 For 2023 - The 23 People Who Will Have the Biggest Impact on UGA Football's Pursuit of a Three-Peat (#23 - Jamaal Jarrett)

Graham Coffey

“Who would you rank as the coaches most important to UGA’s success?” 

That question was recently posed to me by a DawgsCentral subscriber in response to a piece of intel that I posted on our forum. I started to type out a response, but a couple sentences in I realized that the answer to the question is quite complex. To make such a list, one must make broad value judgments on what assets are most important to a modern college football program. 

When thinking about the answer I also found myself thinking about an old football cliche… "It's not the X's and the O's but the Jimmys and the Joes." That got me considering the players who will suit up on gamedays for Georgia next fall. Good gameplans and great play calls are key to any team’s success, but they are usually only as good as the personnel executing them. 

With that in mind, I decided to broaden the scope of these rankings beyond just members of the coaching staff. As I go through this list I will touch on every position room and virtually every facet of the Georgia Football program. In that way, it will serve as both my version of a spring practice preview and a look at the state of the program. 

Today we kick the rankings off with #23. Since we are a newer website and this might be your introduction to DawgsCentral, the first few entries in this series will not be paywalled. As we get further down the list it will become a subscriber’s only feature.

So without further adieu, here are the 23 people most crucial to UGA’s success in the year 2023. Whether or not Georgia is able to win a third straight championship, and how they go about trying to do it, will be largely influenced by the roles these individuals play.

#23. Jamaal Jarrett

This entry will come as a surprise to many. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s fair to ask what a true freshman is doing on this list, especially when you consider the fact that Jarrett was ranked as the 185th overall recruit nationally in the 2023 class. While that doesn’t make him unheralded, there are 15 other signees in UGA’s 2023 recruiting class who ranked higher. 

So what’s he doing here? By football standards a guy like Jarrett is a bit of a unicorn. First, let’s explain who he is. Jarrett is a 6’6” 355 pound defensive lineman from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a massive mountain of a human being but despite his size he ran a 12.2 second 100 meter dash last year. That means that Jamaal Jarrett weighs 350 pounds and is faster than you. It also means that God made him into the perfect Nose Tackle for Kirby Smart’s defense. 

Georgia won a national championship last year, but they did it without a true nose in the lineup. There are different types of defensive tackles in football. The first is what is called a 3-technique. This refers to the pre-snap alignment of the defender. 3-techniques line up in the hole between the Guard and the Tackle and shade towards the Guard’s outside shoulder. In most cases these types of DT’s are better pass rushers than the other type of defensive tackles we are going to discuss, and that is the 0-technique. 

A 0-technique is often referred to as a Nose Tackle in many defenses, but all that it means is that the player is more well-suited to line up over the offense’s Center. They may also shade over into either A-Gap, which would cause them to line up on the outside shoulder of the Center or the inside shoulder of either the Right Guard or the Left Guard. Here’s a nice easy picture to explain what we’re talking about. 11AC1761-15D4-4EFD-AB09-E4DFAAB1ED20.jpeg


In Georgia’s 2022 defense those 3-technique guys often lined up as 4i Defensive Ends or even as 5-technique pass rushers. UGA has a lot of players who fit this mold. Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Warren Brinson, Bear Alexander, Zion Logue and Nazir Stackhouse are among the guys on UGA’s defense who can play as a 3-tech or 5-tech depending on what personnel Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp want on the field. Stackhouse is an excellent interior lineman. He was Georgia’s second highest graded run defender in 2022 after Jalen Carter. Part of his value to UGA is the versatility that he brings to their defensive fronts. In 2022, Stackhouse lined up in the A-Gap (Nose Tackle/0-Tech) 189 times and was in the B-Gap (Defensive Tackle/3-Tech) 281 times.


Stackhouse played 473 snaps this year for Georgia’s defense. That was the most of any lineman on the team. A big reason for his high snap count is that aforementioned versatility. His ability to control those inside run lanes when lining up in the A-Gap was important to UGA’s defense, and he did an excellent job when lined up closer to the Center. That said, his skillset is probably more suited to playing in the B-Gaps as a 3-Technique. 

In that sense, Stackhouse is a lot like the rest of UGA’s interior lineman. The Bulldogs have a lot of guys who are capable of playing in those A-Gaps when needed, but they’re a bit out of position doing so. In fact, Georgia played without anyone lined up over the A-Gaps in a lot of situations during the 2022 season. They were able to get away with that for a few reasons…

  1. Jalen Carter is a freakishly explosive athlete by interior lineman standards. That meant he almost always demanded a double team when on the field. That double team meant that Georgia’s other defensive lineman were able to draw one-on-one matchups with their blockers. 
  2. Georgia’s interior linemen are insanely good at what’s called “two-gapping.” That means that they don’t play selfishly and try to rack up sacks on every play. On most plays the snap comes and their priority is to control the gaps to their left and right. For the guys playing Defensive Tackle that means they are responsible for the gap between the Center and Guard as well as the gap between the Guard and the Tackle. What makes this really impressive is the fact that linemen like Bear Alexander and Warren Brinson are really athletic pass rushers who have been taught to two-gap by UGA’s coaching staff. There’s also another reason why UGA could get away with playing run defense with lighter interior linemen who didn’t always lineup in the A-Gaps…
  3. Smael Mondon and Jamon Dumas-Johnson are really good at their jobs. Georgia’s inside linebacker duo is super athletic and quick to read run or pass on any given down. Their quickness allows them to crash into holes and help UGA’s defensive line patrol the running lanes. 

I should be clear that Georgia doesn’t have a problem with its run defense by usual college football standards. They were first in the nation last year, allowing just 81.2 rushing yards per game. Part of their success was fueled by UGA’s offense creating big leads. Teams don’t run as much when they’re losing, and the 27.4 rushing attempts per a game that Georgia faced in 2022 was the lowest amount in the FBS. Still, they only allowed 3.0 yards per carry over the course of the entire season. 

In 2023, Georgia returns an insane amount of defensive talent. The Bulldogs lose only three starters from last year’s defense, but one of them is Jalen Carter. You cannot replace a Jalen Carter, but in the theme of the Moneyball approach made famous by Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s of the early-2000’s, you can find ways to replace him in the aggregate. Carter was 2nd on the team last season with 32 pressures. That is an impressive amount for a defensive tackle, but with the promise shown by Bear Alexander, Warren Brinson and Ingram-Dawkins I think UGA will have plenty of pass rush threat from its interior linemen (I also expect more pressures off the edge but that’s for later in this series). 

Remember that UGA plays with a light box. They only keep 5-6 defenders in the box and the key to much of Georgia’s success is stopping the run without committing so many bodies to it that they become susceptible to the pass. Where Carter is most difficult to replace is in the run defense. From a scheme standpoint, Jalen Carter was a trump card. Georgia could put him anywhere and force double teams in places where they wouldn’t usually be. In the run game that meant Dumas-Johnson and Mondon could scrape into holes and stuff running backs at the line of scrimmage.

Jamaal Jarrett has outsized influence on 2023 Georgia because he has the body type of a true 0-Tech defensive tackle where nobody else on the roster does. Flip through the recruiting rankings of your choice. You will find dozens of linebackers. You will see tons of cornerbacks and safeties. You will come across a ton of defensive ends. There’s only a few Jamaal Jarrett’s in college football at a time. There are teams who put giant guys on the field that aren’t athletic, but find a guy who is 330-plus pounds and has some quickness and you have another one of those trump cards I was talking about earlier. 

Georgia can be an excellent defense in 2022 even if Jarrett never plays a down, but if he is able to contribute early in his career then it makes life easier for everyone in Georgia’s front seven. It should be quite easy for UGA fans to understand what a player like him can do for a defense because it has only been a season since they last had one. 

Look at this picture of UGA’s defensive alignment against Clemson in 2021. UGA has Davis lined up over Center patrolling the middle and occupying both A-Gaps. His presence was a huge reason for the success that we saw out of Georgia’s ILB trio of Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker and Channing Tindall. 


Flash forward to 2022 and you saw UGA with much more alignments like the one below. It was still plenty effective and by no means did UGA concede the middle of the line. That said, giving Schumann and Muschamp a chess piece like Jarrett would give them much more freedom when scheming up pressures and deciding how to control the opposition’s run game. It could also free up Stackhouse to get into the backfield more and allow UGA to line him up where they think he can do the most damage instead of always needing him to do the dirty work of taking on blockers in the middle. 


Georgia likes to keep teams guessing with its fronts. The Bulldogs will line up with 3-man and 4-man fronts, but in 2022 I didn’t find many instances where they lined up with a 3-man front and didn’t have Carter in the middle playing that Nose. On a lot of downs where Carter wasn’t on the field, Georgia committed Mondon or Dumas-Johnson to rush the A-Gap because they wanted to stress the offense’s Center against the pass and control the middle if the ball was run. 

Jarrett comes into UGA much more ready to play than Jordan Davis was when he was a freshman, but I want to make it clear that Jarrett doesn’t have to be 2021 Jordan Davis to have a significant impact on the 2023 UGA defense. Davis developed more pass rush skills by the time he reached his senior year, but earlier in his career he was in the A-Gaps a lot.

If Jarrett can play as a true Nose Tackle/0-Tech and occupy blockers it will be a huge help to everyone around him. Georgia’s superb inside linebackers will have more clean space to work through when hunting down running backs and rushing passers on delayed blitzes. The athletic group of defensive tackles that Georgia already has would line up next to a guy who will help them secure one-on-one matchups with blockers on passing situations.

I expect Georgia’s 2023 defense to be an excellent and ferocious unit regardless, but Jarrett’s emergence would raise its ceiling to a point that could make it one of the best defensive units Kirby Smart has ever had. If Jarrett does the unexpected and shows the ability to bull rush on passing downs it will turn them into a whole other type of animal.

It looks like UGA’s strength and conditioning team is doing everything it can to get the big man from North Carolina ready for his freshman campaign. 


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