Richt wants to build depth at ILB, and rest starters

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ATHENS, Ga. — The number of snaps at inside linebacker that Georgia freshman Reggie Carter has played so far this season, he figures, can be counted on the fingers of his hands.

Georgia freshman linebacker Reggie Carter, out of South Gwinnett High, takes a hit during the first day of fall practice in August at the University of Georgia.  AJ REYNOLDS/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
AJ REYNOLDS/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
Georgia freshman linebacker Reggie Carter, out of South Gwinnett High, takes a hit during the first day of fall practice in August at the University of Georgia.

His workload should increase Saturday against North Texas for two reasons.

The Mean Green isn’t the caliber of opponent that Georgia has seen so far. Barring the unexpected, backups should get increased playing time. The other factor is that coach Mark Richt has said he wants to see more rotation at inside linebacker.

“I’ve been waiting for this chance,” Carter said breaking into a big smile.

Carter says he’s already prepared like he would be a starter and wanted to be ready to go should Herrera or Wilson go down with injury.

“It starts in practice, but if they put me in, I won’t be surprised,” Carter said. “I want to show them that I am the guy that they want me to be once I get in or if I get in ... I accept my job to be the next guy up.”

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has essentially said that Herrera isn’t coming off the field barring injury or a game being secure. Herrera, in his second year as a starter, leads the SEC and is fourth nationally with 12 tackles per game. Wilson, a junior who was a backup in his first two seasons, is 12th in the nation with 11 tackles per game.

Those tackle totals, however, haven’t translated into Georgia stopping the run so far. The Bulldogs are giving up 211.5 yards per game rushing, 13th in the SEC.

The 6-foot-1, 229-pound Carter is still getting comfortable in the system. “He can play,” Herrera said of Wilson. “They’ve just got to put him in.”

Richt doesn’t have an issue with how Herrera and Wilson are playing, but wants them to have a little rest and build depth at the position.“The goal is... is to keep guys fresher in the second half, fresher at the end of a game, at the end of a season and it builds morale,” Richt said. “I’m just hoping we can get a little bit more confidence in some guys to let them play.”


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