ATHENS, Ga. — Ramik Wilson can’t remember getting on the field for a defensive snap in his first two Georgia-Florida games.
“All special teams,” he said.
The Bulldogs’ junior inside linebacker returns to his home state Saturday as the Southeastern Conference’s second leading tackler and may not get off the field until the Gators’ offense does.
He’ll have plenty of family making the drive of about three and a half hours from Tampa, Fla., to Jacksonville, Fla., to watch him play at EverBank Field.
“I’ve got everybody coming – my uncles, aunties, mom, brother,” Wilson said. “Everybody’s coming.”
The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Wilson was a three-star recruit out Jefferson High in Tampa who practiced at both outside and inside linebacker his first two seasons as a reserve when Georgia had Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree making plays at linebacker.
“I’m getting better,” Wilson said. “The game’s slowing down for me. I’m just ready to make a big impact on this team and start making some big plays.”
Wilson’s 69 tackles trails only Kentucky Avery Williamson’s 74 in the SEC. He’s third on the Bulldogs in tackles for loss with 5.5 and fourth in sacks with two.
Wilson “has been pretty consistent, he’s worked hard to be a complete linebacker,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “He’s made some tackles, done well in coverage and he’s tried to be a complete linebacker. He’s a young player and he’s going to continue to get better.”
Wilson can go 3-0 against the Gators, but said the game doesn’t have a special meaning to him just because it’s against a home state school.
He’s taking the game just like any other, he insists.
“I see every game the same,” he said. “We’ve got to win. That’s the only thing on my mind right now. We’ve got to win a ballgame.”