The nose-guard job

Last season, there were a lot of positions on Georgia’s defense where you could pencil in who would start in every given week. One of those was nose guard, where John Jenkins started 13 consecutive games before missing the bowl game because of academic ineligibility.

That won’t be the case this season. Defensive line coach Chris Wilson, who replaces Rodney Garner, likes to play more players overall.

“We’re going in a new direction,” said junior Mike Thornton, who entered camp as the No. 1 nose guard. “All of us worked hard in the spring and all of us made plays. And that’s the thing, we can all play. I feel like we’re a little more versatile than maybe Kwame (Geathers) and John and Abry (Jones) were. We can all play across the board, and we all will be playing across the board.”

Thornton will try to hold off junior-college transfer Chris Mayes and early-enrollee freshman John Atkins, while redshirt freshman John Taylor and some others are being cross-trained to play there as well.

“I definitely feel I’m fighting for my job,” Thornton said. “Nothing’s written in stone that says I have to be starting against Clemson. So every day I just go out and do the best I can to maintain where I’m out.”