Experience as freshman puts Bulldogs LB Herrera ahead of curve

Injuries helped open the door for Amarlo Herrera to break through with major playing time as a freshman last year.

That experience might come in handy again this year as some temporary player attrition might hit the inside linebackers early in the season.

“Last year helped a lot,” Herrera said. “I know better what to expect now. I know how the game is played and how to play on the college level. I know what’s expected of me.”

Georgia could be without starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree because of a suspension at the beginning of the season for violating team rules. Herrera stands first in line to potentially take up the slack.

As a freshman last year Herrera filled the void when both starting inside linebackers, Ogletree and Christian Robinson went down with injury. Robinson and Ogletree eventually returned but they had to fight past Herrera to get their spots back.

“It surprised me at first, getting to play in front of some of the other guys,” Herrera said. “But as the season went on, I worked hard and I prepared. When you work hard, that’s what you get.”

Herrera played in all 14 games last year and made eight starts. He made 37 total tackles with a forced fumble, two pass breakups and three quarterback pressures as Georgia went 10-4 and made the Southeastern Conference championship game.

“It feels a lot different from last year,” Herrera said. “We want to be better than what we were last year. Last year our goal was to just get to the Georgia Dome. This year we’re actually talking about winning it all when we get there. When we get there, that also would allow us to go to Miami (to the BCS title game) and we want to win there too.”

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