ATHENS — Amarius Mims may not come out and say it, but when you’re 6-foot-8 and 335 pounds, you don’t have to say much of anything.
Especially when teammates like Warren Brinson rave about you as the senior defensive lineman did on Tuesday.
“Best tackle in the country,” Brinson said. “You don’t see people him clean at all. His length, his strength, everything that he has. He has all the intangibles to be a hall of fame offensive lineman. Amarius, he’s a guy. I see him every day when I line up against him in 4i. When he touches you, you feel it, honestly.”
That’s high praise for someone who has made just two starts. Granted, those starts came at right tackle in the College Football Playoff last season. Mims stepped in for an injured Warren McClendon.
Now with a full offseason of first-team reps at right tackle under his belt, Mims is ready to back up Brinson’s lofty praise.
“In high school I felt like just like being the better guy — the best guy, it might work,” Mims said. “But in college, like, you’ve got to know tendencies, you’ve got to know what the person across the ball is going to do to you before they do it. Just watching film with those guys, like I said, just getting extra work after practice with those guys, it helps a lot. L
“They know what it takes because they’ve been here longer for me and they’ve done more reps than me. So just like getting with them every day, it was extremely helpful for me.”
Georgia lost both starting offensive tackles from last year’s team. But bringing back Mims is a big reason there’s confidence that this Georgia offensive line can be as good or even better than previous iterations.
Mims is the biggest physical reason that may be the case this season. But one man cannot carry an offensive line. Tate Ratledge and Xavier Truss return as starters. So too does center Sedrick Van Pran, who will be starting for a third season.
Earnest Greene and Austin Blaske continue to battle it out for the left tackle spot, while Jared Wilson, Dylan Fairchild and Micah Morris provide quality depth on the second team.
It’s perhaps Georgia’s deepest offensive line since Smart became Georgia’s head coach. Maybe it’s one that finally wins the elusive Joe Moore Award.
“This line this year is very special. We’ve got a two-deep that I feel like is real good,” Mims said. “Like, all five positions up front, the ones group and the twos are just a good group of guys. We just accept Coach Searels’ challenge every day of just coming in with the right mindset, playing with effort, having the right attitude. When we’re like that, it’s just watch out. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
Brinson didn’t just limit his praise to Mims. He made his thoughts on Georgia’s entire offensive line perfectly clear.
“I don’t think I’m going to play against a better offensive line then them,” Brinson said. “That’s my honest opinion. They’ve been snubbed the last two years for that award but I think they’re going to win it this year. That’s the best offensive line in the country. The best two offensive lines in the country. Our ones and twos, they give it to us every day in practice.”
Michigan has won the Joe Moore Award in each of the last two seasons. The Bulldogs and Mims aren’t specifically motivated by that, though they don’t shy away from feeling like they should’ve won it. The Bulldogs were a finalist last season, finishing runner-up to the Wolverines.
Joe Moore Award or not, the offensive line has been a key reason Georgia has won back-to-back national championships. Mims hopes to do it a third straight time.
Ever since arriving at Georgia as the top signee in Georgia’s 2021 ranked class, Mims has put a lot of pressure on himself to succeed. This upcoming season will be no different.
“At times when I came in, I was like, ‘Man, I’m never going to see the field here,’” Mims said. “Just taking those reps at practice serious and then I waited my turn. Now, the tables have turned a lot.”
In 2023, he’s poised to do that. And not just as a rotational piece or bit player. But as one of the stars of the Georgia offensive line.
“When you’re a starter, you’re expected to hold up the standard that we have here,” Mims said. “So I feel like that’s important.”