Georgia offensive lineman Warren Ericson got his first start back on Jan. 1 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Baylor to close out the 2019 season. Now, as Ericson enters his redshirt sophomore season, he’s adjusting to becoming one of the veteran guys on the line.
He met with reporters on Wednesday evening to discuss what he took away from his opportunity to compete in the Sugar Bowl, and his expectations heading into the 2020 season.
“I honestly took it as a learning experience,” Ericson said in a Zoom call. “It was a great opportunity and I loved every single second of it. It was definitely a learning experience.”
Ericson admitted that hopefully the things that he can improve on can be translated on the field this upcoming fall.
“I want to play fast and I want to continue to just get my fits right. Playing low, leverage, getting my feet right,” he said. “I just want to get my technique as crisp as possible.”
Warren played every offensive snap against Baylor at right guard in Georgia’s 26-14 win. His effort was meaningful to the team, because going into that game the Bulldogs had to replace three starters.
“Some say I played well and I thank them for that, but I want to focus on the things I did not do well and I want to improve on those,” Ericson said.
Even with the loss of two first round picks, another draft pick and the departure of Cade Mays last year, Georgia still returns a ton of depth. It will be interesting to see where the pieces fall together in the coming weeks as Georgia preps to take on Arkansas on Sept. 26.
Junior Trey Hill is a lock for the starting center position, but other than that there’s competition at every other spot on the line. Jamaree Salyer will be the projected starter at left tackle, but will have to fend off a couple of redshirt freshmen in Xavier Truss and Warren McClendon. Senior Justin Shaffer will be the projected starter at left guard, but Ericson will be battling for snaps there as well. Redshirt senior Ben Cleveland will be the favor to start at right guard, but that’s another place where Ericson could see the field. Freshman Broderick Jones seems to be the clear favorite at right tackle.
Ericson, who’s more of an interior lineman, said he’s not opposed to playing an exterior spot on the line as well.
“I want to be someone that can benefit the offense wherever the coaches need me,” he said. “I want to be someone they can count on and who they can look to as a person who they can see going in and benefitting the team. So, whatever that is, I will play that position.”
Ericson did admit that he hasn’t practiced at the tackle position yet but still wants to perfect his craft any way he can.
“I just want to be ready for the season and if moving out to tackle happens, then i’ll gladly do it,” Ericson said.
Another big-time question he was asked about was the the quarterback competition, especially between transfers Jamie Newman and J.T. Daniels.
“We have a lot of talent. All of our quarterbacks are great leaders and they’re all stepping up to the plate,” he said. “…Personally, I haven’t had time to evaluate each of their skillsets.. But like I said before, i’m just trying to keep them off their back and to play my game the best I can.”
Ericson also commented on if anything had changed for him with the hiring of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
“I wouldn’t say that it’s too much different for me,” he said. “Football is football in my view. As far as pass blocking and the techniques, we’ve been able to adjust to them and his offense and he’s done a great job of coming in and teaching his offense and getting in our brains. We just have to go out there and execute.”
Here is the video of Ericson’s interview: