The offensive line was one of the weakest units at UGA last season and was honestly one of the worst lines in Athens in a while. That has been well documented. Improvement on the offensive line is the biggest priority for Georgia both this spring and when the new signees come in for fall practice.
UGA got some good news in that department from Kirby Smart, who shared some praise of the unit (while criticizing his defense) with reporters earlier this week,
“The offense is striking a blow. It’s striking a violent blow and knocking people back. This game is tough, physical, and we’re (defensively) not playing tough, physical football right now. Whereas, they are (on offense). I’m kind of like, either they’re hungrier than us, or those guys aren’t responding to how we’re challenging them.”
While we do not really know the details, obviously the offensive line deserves some credit so far this spring. The fact that so many highly-rated prospects will be coming to try and take the current players’ positions has to play a big role.
Georgia has been rolling with different players this spring to try and find the right starting combination moving forward. Although the unit loses three starters, it is not expected to make a huge impact. The hope is the line will improve. After all, it is hard for that unit to be worse than it was at many times last season.
In my opinion, Wynn will have a starting spot for sure in 2017. Dyshon Simms and Lamont Gaillard should either start themselves or receive a lot of playing time next year. One would also think JUCO transfer and early-enrollee D’Marcus Hayes will see the field a lot next year based on his previous playing experience.
So far, it looks like there is a wholesale improvement across the unit. There better be significant improvement with the aforementioned talent coming into town. After all, O-line coach Sam Pittman and Georgia signed one of the best offensive line classes in the country in the Class of 2017. The Bulldogs signed six players at that position group including 5-star tackle Isaiah Wilson, 4-stars Andrew Thomas, Netori Johnson, D’Antne Demery and Hayes and 3-star Justin Shaffer.
Several of these guys are expected to come in and contribute immediately, so the window is closing for some of the offensive lineman on campus. That is why it is so significant for them to grab Smart’s attention. They will not go down without a fight.