James DeLoach is looking to continue impressng when the Bulldogs begin regular season play.
Aug 22, 2013
ATHENS, Ga.---James DeLoach was patient last year. While appearing in 13 of the Bulldogs 14 games, DeLoach was still watching Jarvis Jones and fellow freshman Jordan Jenkins get the majority of snaps at outside linebacker in 2012.
With Jones leaving for the NFL DeLoach quickly impressed the Georgia coaches in spring football, coming out atop the unofficial depth chart after the G-Day game. In that game the sophomore recorded six tackles included a tackle for loss and a sack.
Despite putting together a string of impressive practices and scrimmages, DeLoach still doesn’t feel that he can rest on his laurels heading into Georgia’s season opener at Clemson.
“I’ve never thought I had a set position or felt like I was starting or anything like that,” DeLoach said. “I just kept pushing myself to play hard every time I’m on the field so I can hold that starting spot.”
The ability to spend his freshmn season getting game experience while also studying the defense is something that DeLoach feels is going to help him as he prepares for his second season as a Bulldog. He said these hours of study have allowed him to feel much more comfortable within the defense.
“I feel very comfortable because if you don’t know the defense or you don’t know the play for sure you won’t play to the best of your ability,” he said. “I feel like knowing the plays means I’m able to 100 percent maximize my ability.”
The Millen, Ga., native said that while being comfortable in the defense has been a big help, he has continued to work on fundamentals and technique of the outside linebacker position.
“I’ve improved at setting the edge, getting to the edge of the defense in pass rush and a lot of the little things in my technique as far as my steps and things like that,” DeLoach said. “I’m improving on those all the time.”
Teammate and fellow sophomore Jenkins said the DeLoach remains one of the most unique players he has played with.
“I have to say DeLoach is the kind of guy who wants to get his name out there. He’s the kind of guy that works hard and does what’s expected of him,” Jenkins said. “I just have to call him a unique and hard working kind of guy. He’s heavier than most of the linebackers and quicker than everybody else at the same time.”
Despite DeLoach majoring in biology, it is the chemistry the linebackers have together that makes this group so special to him.
“I love each and every one of them, we hang out all the time so the chemistry is unbelievable,” DeLoach said. “Most of the time we’ll just be hanging out in front of our dorms because there are benches out there. We’ll just be out there talking and having fun.”
DeLoach and his teammates are now just nine days away from the start of the 2013 season. The Bulldogs open on the road at Clemson on Saturday August 31 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ABC.