Editor’s note: Each day between now and Georgia’s Capital One Bowl date with Nebraska, DawgNation will review the season for a key Bulldogs player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at cornerback Damian Swann.
No. 5 Damian Swann
47 tackles, 2 INTs, 3.5 TFLs
Role in 2012: Swann stepped into a starting role as a sophomore and immediately became one of the Bulldogs’ top playmakers in the secondary.
The good: Not only did he have a solid season as a cover corner, Swann also contributed in other ways. His sack and forced fumble early in the Florida game set up Georgia’s first touchdown. And he made two fumble recoveries against Ole Miss that helped the Bulldogs take control in that win. Overall he had an outstanding first season as a starter.
The bad: Unfortunately for Swann, the enduring image from his 2012 season will probably be Alabama’s Amari Cooper streaking behind him for the game-winning, 45-yard touchdown catch in the SEC championship game. It was one of the few times that an opponent got behind him and made a big play, but the stakes in that moment could not have been greater.
Crystal ball: Swann will be the only returning starter in Georgia’s secondary next season, so he will play a crucial leadership role as a junior. He started every game this season and played a key role in coverage and in blitzing and could help generate turnovers (as evidenced by his two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries). The Bulldogs have numerous holes to fill on defense next season, but Swann will be a stabilizing force.