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Georgia sophomore OT Amarius Mims (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)

Amarius Mims on his time in the transfer portal: ‘Georgia was the best place for me’

ATHENS — On the third series of every Georgia game so far, Amarius Mims has entered the game at right tackle. The reps have been well-earned for Mims and he’s clearly a key part of the present and future of the Georgia offensive lne.

But just months ago, there was the thought he might not even be a member of the Georgia team at all.

Mims entered his name into the transfer portal in April, prior to Georgia’s spring game. He played in six games as a true freshman, yet the former 5-star prospect wasn’t in a position to unseat either Broderick Jones or Warren McClendon for a starting spot at either tackle.

So, as many fellow college players have done, Mims put his name into the transfer portal. He took a visit to Florida State and tried to unplug from all the noise surrounding his potential move.

While offline he gained clarity on his future and what he wanted.

“I would say I’ve matured mentally from freshman to sophomore year, and I realized, going into the portal wasn’t the best for me,” Mims said. “So coming back my sophomore year, Georgia was the best place for me, developing me.”

Mims didn’t end up playing in Georgia’s spring game, but he quickly got back to work once he rejoined the fold.

While pondering his future, the Georgia coaches and teammates gave him time to ponder his decision, something the Cochran, Ga., native deeply appreciated.

“‘We’re going to give you time. We don’t want to force anything on you, but we want you still.’ That was definitely important,” Mims said on what teammates told him. “I went and experienced the portal, but there’s nothing like Georgia so I came back.”

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Mims still hasn’t cracked the starting lineup, yet he’s undoubtedly made improvements. He’s played in all three games so far for Georgia, making his first appearance on the third drive of each game.

He feels the playing time has only further helped him improve, while also developing great depth on the Georgia offensive line. With Jones and Warren McClendon, who Mims called a big brother, Georgia might have the best collection of offensive tackles in the country.

“I feel like from a mental standpoint I’m out there with the ones,” Mims said. “I feel like once I get in there should be no falloff. I feel like if we keep this rotation going it will be even better.”

Mims might be the most physically impressive player on Georgia’s team, which is really saying something. At 6-foot-8 and 320 pounds, he’s built more like a Terminator than a college sophomore.

As physically developed as Mims is, he’s come a long way mentality. He admitted the transition from 5-star offensive lineman — he was Georgia’s top-rated signee in the 2021 recruiting cycle — to freshman benchwarmer was difficult.

Entering the transfer portal really pushed Mims to focus on what was important to him. Staying at Georgia meant staying home, as Georgia is the only state he had ever lived in.

He really bought in Kirby Smart’s message and believed in his development plan. And he’s seen the fruits of those labors in the early part of the season.

“I think he has more confidence going into the game in more meaningful moments,” Smart said. “You know, he’s extremely athletic and talented and we really stressed to him how much he can improve in terms of his run game and his pass game and his knowledge of the game. The only way you get better at that point is to go play.

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“He’s gotten to play quite a bit in the last three games. So we want him to continue to do that.

Mims very well may not end up starting a game this year. That’s how good Jones and McClendon are. He would likely be a starter on 98 percent of college football teams. That potential opportunity makes it easy to understand why Mims would consider looking elsewhere.

Yet the sophomore offensive line ended up staying the course at Georgia. And he believes right now he’s better for that.

“It was at first but with the help of my teammates, it makes it easier, them talking to me have saying they’ve got my back, it’s going to be good, everything’s going to be alright, you’re going to mess up. With them telling me that, I have all the confidence in the world.”

Amarius Mims on his time in the transfer portal

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