Big Xavier Truss takes advantage of his opportunity

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Big Xavier Truss takes advantage of his opportunity

Two straight offensive plays got absolutely blown up by the Tennessee defensive line in the first quarter of Saturday’s game and both exposed Georgia’s guards. Justin Shaffer allowed a sack on first and 10, while Warren Ericson got handled on a second and long run play.

With Ericson battling the flu, Georgia decided to substitute 6-foot-7 redshirt sophomore Xavier Truss in Ericson’s place at right guard. He has mainly played tackle in his time with Georgia but Truss certainly made the most of his opportunity on Saturday. After he came in, Georgia’s offense started mauling Tennessee on the ground on their way to 274 rushing yards.

“Obviously I always have to be ready to play, that’s why we travel, always gotta be ready when your name is called,” said Truss on Wednesday. “I think I have a lot of things I need to improve on and work on in my game but I think my teammates around me helped me stay in the game, helped keep me confident and cool and collected.”





Tate Ratledge was going to be Georgia’s starting right guard this season but went down early in the Clemson game with a season-ending foot injury. Ericson then replaced him at right guard and has filled in nicely there this year.

However, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is always looking to get his best five linemen on the field together, and even though Truss has limited experience at guard, he could be the solution to Georgia’s offensive line reaching its potential.

“Truss has done a good job,” said Smart on Tuesday. “Xavier has a lot of ability. Xavier’s biggest thing is can he carry over and focus and concentrate to do the things he has to do and really play with a lot of intensity? So that’s one of the biggest things with Xavier is his dependability, his snap count and assignments.”





It is not common to see a guard as big as Truss, but Truss did point out that he and Ben Cleveland were about the same size, and Cleveland had a very successful career between the hedges. The tackle positions seem to be set for the rest of this season.

It also looks like Broderick Jones will be the favorite at left tackle next season with the way that he has filled in for Jamaree Salyer during the last two weeks. So Truss’ best bet might just be to play as well as he can at guard. The Rhode Island native knows the level of talent around him.

“I think a lot of people back home don’t understand how competitive it is down here and how much talent there is,” said Truss. ” I know a lot of people wondered why I went to the SEC and it’s really because this is the best place to grow as a player. I understand that I wasn’t a starter at first but as long as I’m becoming the best player that I can be…I’m gonna play when my time is ready and I think Saturday my time was ready.”





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