Twelve days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 1. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.
12. Damian Swann
5-foot-11, 189 pounds
Fall forecast: Swann is poised to play a role with much more impact at cornerback this fall after the Bulldogs lost Brandon Boykin to the NFL and Sanders Commings for the first two games following a suspension. Swann appears to be the No. 1 contender to take over Boykin’s spot as Georgia’s nickelback and he will play plenty in other cornerback spots, as well.
Career highlight: After playing a limited role as a freshman, Swann took a big step forward during spring practice. The coaching staff named the sophomore as the team’s most improved player on defense at the end of the spring.
Experience thus far: Swann appeared in 11 games as a freshman -- including a start against Coastal Carolina -- and recorded five tackles and one tackle for a loss.
Possible career impact: Georgia has a number of young defensive players who possess “future star” potential, and one of them is most certainly Swann. He will play more on scrimmage downs this fall and is an odds-on favorite to become a full-time starter once seniors Commings and Branden Smith depart after this season. He added weight in the offseason to become a more physical player, which should help him defend receivers in the slot, and has the ability to become a solid cover corner. Swann also can play as a punt and kickoff returner, although he has not handled a kick yet in college.