Georgia ILB position taking shape

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
2:30
PM ET
ATHENS, Ga. -- As valuable as this spring will be for early enrollees Reggie Carter and Ryne Rankin, it will be just as important for Ramik Wilson.

Ramik Wilson
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comAfter appearing in 10 games in 2012, Ramik Wilson, left, has worked his way into a starting job at inside linebacker this spring.
The rising junior has finally settled at inside linebacker -- after shuffling between inside and outside over the past two seasons -- and believes he is making rapid progress at the Mike position, where he is responsible for making defensive calls.

“It helps me out a lot,” Wilson said after leading the defense with seven tackles in Tuesday’s scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “I can just learn one position and just keep going from there. I haven’t got to keep doing double duty and just focus on my time at mike. It’s coming real good.”

So good, in fact, that he has established himself as an early favorite to start alongside fellow junior Amarlo Herrera this fall.

“I’d be thrilled if Ramik continued to improve like he has,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “He’s playing inside now. He was playing outside before. I think he’s comfortable in there. I think that’s probably more of a natural position for him. Hopefully he’ll keep coming on.”

Wilson, Carter and Rankin all have a valuable opportunity this spring to earn playing time before two more inside linebacker signees, Johnny O’Neal and Tim Kimbrough, arrive this summer. With 2012 regulars Alec Ogletree, Christian Robinson and Michael Gilliard now pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, only Herrera remains from last season’s rotation -- so position coach Kirk Olivadotti knew this spring would involve major turnover.

With little more than a week left until next Saturday’s G-Day game, Olivadotti said the teaching opportunities involved in spring practice have been valuable for the group, and particularly for freshmen Carter and Rankin.

To read more of David Ching’s story, click here.

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