Today starts to separate the men from the boys for the Georgia Bulldogs. In Saturday’s practice, the Dawgs are going in shells for the first time and putting and end to what Kirby Smart called the, “combine Olympics.” There is no doubt that there will be some interesting battles up front, especially when the Dawgs go good on good, or 1s vs. 1s.
It will be really interesting to see how the tackle position works itself out this year. Getting to see the big guys in pads and going live will certainly help Matt Luke, Todd Monken, and Kirby Smart sort the contenders. Amarius Mims is huge and certainly comes with a ton of hype, but it will be difficult for the true freshman to breakthrough early on. Broderick Jones, Tate Ratledge, Warren McClendon, Xavier Truss, and Jamaree Salyer could all realistically end up at the tackle positions for Georgia.
Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, Clay Webb, and Warren Ericson will also all be competing at Center for UGA. I am very much looking forward to seeing how each handles Georgia’s ridiculously talented interior defensive line. Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Julian Rochester, Jalen Carter, Travon Walker, and Nazir Stackhouse are all going to be the defensive tackles and nose guards that the 3 aspiring centers get to bang up against in practice this season. Needless to say, whoever wins the starting center job for Georgia will have earned it.
Ultimately, Georgia will be looking for cohesion and efficiency up front. With the talent that Georgia has at the wide receiver, tight end, and quarterback position this year, I don’t expect them to be running the ball 30 times a game. However, the Dawgs must get a consistent push when they do line up and run the ball. They cannot afford games like they had against Mississippi State last year with virtually no production on the ground. The idea is balance and it all starts up front. Today in pads will really begin to help that picture come into clearer view.