When Georgia opens spring football practice in six days, some familiar faces will be working at different places.
Alec Ogletree will deliver hits for Georgia at inside linebacker after moving from safety.
Cordy Glenn is shifting from offensive guard to offensive tackle.
Justin Anderson returns to the offensive line, where he will line up at guard after a stint at nose guard last year.
The changes will be on display for the first time when the Bulldogs, coming off a 6-7 season, open spring practice Thursday.
The most notable move revealed was Ogletree.
The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Newnan native started four games at safety last year as the Bulldogs’ highest-profile true freshman.
“He’s a tall guy, he’s got good size, he can run, he can hit, he’s physical,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Thursday when the move was announced. “I feel like moving him closer to the ball is going to allow him to make more plays and be productive for us.”
Ogletree tied for 10th in the team in tackles with 34 last season, including 10 against Auburn, but he was also beaten twice in coverage for touchdowns in that game.
“Just watching the way he runs, he closes on people,” Grantham said, “the way he can blitz, I think he can be a unique player at that position.”
Ogletree’s switch comes after Georgia lost inside linebackers Akeem Dent and Marcus Dowtin, who ranked first and fourth, respectively, on the team last season in tackles.
Even before arriving at Georgia last year, some pegged Ogletree’s future better suited at linebacker. He said then that he could envision moving to linebacker after his freshman season.
“It was really a little bit of a work in progress because I wanted him to buy into it,” Grantham said. “He’s excited about it and showed some things we can do with him.”
Grantham says he’s also excited about the move because it allows Jarvis Jones to play outside linebacker. Jones worked at inside linebacker during bowl practices, but which linebacker spot he would man was uncertain.
The moves get Ogletree and Jones “around the action a little bit more,” Grantham said.
Jones sat out last season after transferring from Southern California.
“I think it will free up Jarvis to really be aggressive,” Grantham said. “It’s going to allow him to be really productive. It gives us flexibility because he can cover tight ends, he can cover backs. That will be something we can add to what we do.”
Christian Robinson becomes the “mike” linebacker, where he will be in charge of the defensive huddle and make the calls.
The Ogletree move leaves Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams and Marc Deas to battle this spring for the starting safety spot opposite Bacarri Rambo.
Cornelius Washington will play the weakside linebacker position where Justin Houston thrived. Incoming freshman Ray Drew will compete for the job in the preseason.
DeAngelo Tyson, who started at nose last year, is now at defensive end, a move that Grantham thinks will provide better pass-rushing at the position. Junior college transfer John Jenkins is expected to start at nose upon arrival.
New offensive line coach Will Friend is taking over a group that will now have Glenn and Trinton Sturdivant at the tackles, with Justin Anderson joining Kenarious Gates at guard and Ben Jones remaining at center.
Glenn, a three-year starter, said after he decided not to enter the NFL draft that he would “play a little tackle,” this year, but coach Mark Richt said that would be his primary spot.
The 6-foot-5, 326-pound Anderson missed last season with a turf toe injury. He had moved from offense, where he said he previously had some trouble with the playbook.
“The guard spots are really up for grabs right now,” Richt said.