|Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press|
|Georgia's Ramik Wilson is among the top inside linebackers in college football.|
Head coaches often will throw out the possibility of a star player not starting a game as a way to motivate them during practice that week.
However, Georgia's Mark Richt appears to be quite serious about the threat when it comes to All-SEC linebacker Ramik Wilson.
After hinting that Wilson might not start for the Bulldogs in the opener against Clemson, the team released a depth chart on Monday slotting Wilson as the backup at middle linebacker.
"It's hard to get better when you're not there," Richt said about Wilson last week. "It's hard to get game ready when you're not practicing. Unfortunately, he was not able to practice and now he's playing catch-up quite frankly, and, hopefully, he can get to the point where the defensive staff feels like he ought to be in there doing it."
The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Wilson led the SEC in tackles last season with an eye-popping 133. He earned a number of All-American honors, but has been limited in preseason practice after suffering a concussion in the first week of camp.
The team's depth chart listed Tim Kimbrough ahead of Wilson as the starting middle linebacker for the Clemson game. The sophomore appeared in 11 games last season as a true freshman and registered five tackles.
Richt has maintained that the competition at the position has been open for weeks, and clearly didn't change his tune with the release of the depth chart.
It's not yet known how much Wilson will play against Clemson, if he plays at all. The Tigers are easily the Bulldogs' biggest non-conference test and Kimbrough's lack of experience has to be concerning for new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Wilson could still find himself playing extensively in the opener, but his situation will be one to keep an eye on as the season gets underway.
You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.