Hoover, Ala. – There’s an emerging question about one of Georgia’s best players: Is Leonard Floyd an inside or outside linebacker?
Mark Richt couldn’t say for sure on Thursday, and it may stay a mystery for awhile.
“You see him at two spots on the depth chart for a reason,” Richt said. “Because he’s very versaile
Richt was alluding to Georgia’s preseason depth chart, which listed Floyd as the potential starter at one outside linebacker spot (along with Lorenzo Carter) and one inside linebacker spot (along with Reggie Carter.)
It was already known that Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was going to find ways to get Floyd, Lorenzo Carter and Jordan Jenkins on the field together. All three are difference-making edge rushers.
But actually listing Floyd at inside linebacker, literally putting it on paper as a possibility, is something new.
“What coach Pruitt is probably thinking is having that option for Leonard to play in that position is just maybe to open up some things so offenses can’t key on one of us,” Jenkins said. “Because having him back there it changes the whole thing up.”
Floyd’s body type and athleticism make the most likely of the three to move inside. In fact he did so in certain packages last year, especially the Auburn game. Floyd has also played the star position at times, despite Pruitt’s preference to use a defensive back there.
“He’s played out in space a little bit before,” Richt said. “ (He’s) just a guy that can run. And a guy that can run like that, have the length that he has, and still have the physical nature to play in the box, there’s just not that many guys like that.”
So does Floyd’s position depend on what the other inside linebackers do this preseason? Not really, indicated his coach.
“A lot of it will have to do with who we’re playing, what scheme it is, where can he help us the most that given week,” Richt said.
Jenkins sounds eager to put the plan in place this season.
“With what coach Pruitt has planned there’s multiple different lineups that we have together where we can get all of us on the same field, whether it’s me moving down to a D-linemen position, Lorenzo moving down to a D-linemen position, or somebody moving up a level, something like that,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting watching what all coach Pruitt has planned out.”