Defensive co-coordinator Glenn Schumann faces a huge challenge and opportunity entering the 2022 season

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Glenn Schumann faces a tough task entering the 2022 season

Glenn Schumann is Kirby Smart’s longest-serving assistant coach. Although he is only 32 years old, he is the only defensive assistant on Smart’s first staff in Georgia. He’s come a long way from the unheralded inside linebackers coach until 2016.

It was a steady climb for Schumann after arriving from Alabama where he served as an analyst. He coached two Butkus Award winners and had three of his linebackers selected in the top 100 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now, he’s starting to step into the 2022 season again. Not just at inside linebacker, but also in his new role as the Bulldogs’ defensive co-coordinator.

Smart has been tight-lipped on how Schumann and Will Muschamp will work together this season, aside from the two receiving title and salary increases.

In the past, Smart has always been quick to point out that it was a collaborative effort when working with defensive personnel. This is partly why Schumann has received so much praise from former players and from Smart.

“He is always trying to grow and improve. He’s never satisfied,” Smart said earlier this spring. “I think a lot of times you can get complacent, it settles on all of us, that’s what we do. We don’t want to be complacent. It’s just not what I believe in

“We are always trying to find a different way to do better. I think Glenn embodies that.

Related: From Alabama to Georgia: The Glenn Schumann Experience

Georgia’s defense will have to be different this season. Not just because of who is racing, but also because of personnel changes.

Never before has anyone had to coordinate a defense that had five defenders taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. That doesn’t include Nakobe Dean or All-SEC cornerback Derion Kendrick.

This is what Schumann inherits. Now Georgia is not without talent, with Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo both returning with a number of promising players.

One of them is inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson. He impressed in limited playing time last season and had a good spring.

Dumas-Johnson has huge shoes to fill, however. It’s not just Dean he has to replace. Quay Walker and Channing Tindall also left. And while Maryland second Smael Mondon, Jalon Walker and Trezmen Marshall may be able to replicate some of the athletic ability of the three former Georgia linebackers, there’s no way to replace the years of experience of the football that the trio brought to the table. .

This is where Schumann’s best work will be needed. Through every defensive coordinator to work with Smart, Georgia inside linebackers have always been the best playmakers. From Roquan Smith to Monty Rice to Dean, Georgia has always asked its inside linebackers to stand out at the times in terms of coverage and running support.

Related: Jamon Dumas-Johnson becomes Georgia football’s next great linebacker: ‘I think Pop is going to be special’

Eventually, Dumas-Johnson, Marshall and others could come to this. But expecting them to do it the opening month against Oregon and South Carolina would be a huge ask. This is where Georgia will rely on more proven players to make plays, like Carter and outside linebacker Nolan Smith.

Schumann will have a say in how these players rack up the tackles for loss and sacks that Georgia so desperately needs to replace. He will work with Muschamp to design a defense that covers some of the shortcomings resulting from replacing so many talented players and prospects.

Smart will also have a say in the matter. And chances are Georgia can overcome the departures of Lanning and talented players at some point. Consider that Lanning himself was an inside promotion before taking the role of defensive coordinator and rate it even beyond where Mel Tucker took over defense.

It will be nearly impossible for Schumann to do that given the quality of Georgia’s defense a season ago. Georgia ranked in the top 5 in goalscoring defense, total defense, rush defense, and sacks. As good as Lanning and the Georgia staff are from a coaching standpoint, the players have a lot to do with that success. Most of those top players are now gone.

But that doesn’t mean the inside linebackers coach won’t be up to the task of replicating the work Lanning and Tucker have done in the past.