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How recruiting can help improve Georgia's defensive line

A look at Georgia's biggest position need for 2016 and how the Bulldogs are addressing it in recruiting:

Biggest need: Kirby Smart made it very clear during one of his first news conferences as Georgia's new head coach that in order to win in the SEC, the Bulldogs have to develop more talent up front -- on both sides. Though Georgia's defense was pretty efficient in 2015, the defensive line was its weakest asset. Georgia defensive linemen combined for just two sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Not good.

Thanks to graduation, Georgia will lose seven of those TFLs and 1.5 of those sacks. Senior James DeLoach led Georgia defensive linemen with one sack last season. With linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who spent some time with his hand in the ground at end this season, running out of eligibility, the Bulldogs will lose his four sacks, which will put even more pressure on a defensive line that also won't have the luxury of relying on pass-rusher Leonard Floyd (NFL draft).

Georgia loses starting nose tackle Chris Mayes and end Sterling Bailey, and key contributors DeLouch and Josh Dawson. But the Bulldogs will return talented freshman Trenton Thompson and redshirt sophomore John Atkins in the middle. The Dawgs will also get help from youngsters Michael Barnett, Jonathan Ledbetter and Chauncey Rivers. Still, the Dawgs are in desperate need of consistent playmakers up front. -- Edward Aschoff

Recruiting scoop: Under the direction of Smart at Alabama, the Crimson Tide was always known for having a physical defensive line, and that’s exactly what Smart is hoping to bring to Georgia. The defensive front seven is a top priority for the new Georgia head coach, and the Bulldogs have already addressed some need along the defensive front. Massive 6-foot-6, 333-pound defensive tackle Julian Rochester is the 10th-ranked defensive tackle in the country and has already enrolled at Georgia.

The Bulldogs also have a commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Chauncey Manac as well as another four-star defensive tackle Tyler Clark. With only a few weeks remaining until national signing day the Bulldogs are focusing on two other defensive tackles -- Derrick Brown and Michail Carter -- to round out this class. Brown will visit Georgia on Jan. 22, and Carter is to visit Georgia on Jan. 29. The Bulldogs should wind up with a very solid defensive line class. -- Derek Tyson