Pruitt will elevate UGA's defense, in time

With new DC Jeremy Pruitt on board, is this the year Mark Richt and the Bulldogs break through? AP Photo/David Tulis

As we count down 50 days until the start of the 2014 college football season, ESPN Insider Travis Haney is answering at least one big question a day until South Carolina and Texas A&M’s kickoff on Aug. 28.

Heisman contenders, breakout freshmen, conference winners –- it will all be covered as part of Insider’s Ultimate Season Preview.

Today’s question: What kind of impact will new Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt have on the Bulldogs’ young and depleted defense?

In time, Pruitt should stabilize and elevate the defense -- which, most coaches agree, ought to have been better the past few years. It hasn't been bad (23rd in yards per play against since 2010), but the personnel suggests it could have been elite.

There’s nearly a consensus that UGA upgraded at DC in the offseason. Put it this way: One disappointed SEC assistant texted me when he learned former Georgia DC Todd Grantham was heading to Louisville. That coach didn’t exactly approve of the Pruitt hire, because it made his job more difficult. There’s respect there.

Keep this in mind, however: I’ve been told by those close to the UGA program not to expect 2013 Florida State-like magic in Pruitt’s first season in Athens.