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Sedrick Van Pran-Granger brought immediate stability to the Georgia offensive line when he started the first game of the 2021 season against Clemson. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

If Georgia football offensive line is going to take the next step, it will be led by center Sedrick Van Pran

Georgia’s offensive line has a lot of potential. Sedrick Van Pran knows this, as he practically embodies it. The New Orleans native was a highly coveted offensive line prospect in the 2020 recruiting cycle.

Even after Sam Pittman departed for Arkansas, Van Pran still ended up signing with Georgia. After redshirting as a freshman, he went on to start all 15 games at center for Georgia in their championship season.

Related: Impact of Sam Pittman on Georgia football program still obvious after SEC media days

Now Van Pran returns for his second year as a starter. He notes how much more comfortable he feels entering this season, as well as how strong his rapport is with Stetson Bennett.

But the redshirt sophomore knows he can’t get comfortable at this point. Not when he’s now the obvious leader on Georgia’s offensive line.

“My biggest thing is can I lead my guys if I’m being honest,” Van Pran said. “Just making sure I put everyone in a good position around me to win, to excel in their position. I’m really not focused on myself.”

Van Pran and junior Warren McClendon started every game last season for the Bulldogs. Throw in senior Warren Ericson and you have a very strong base of players with experience.

It’s when you sprinkle in some of the upside with younger players does this offensive line really show potential. Broderick Jones started four games for Georgia last season and played a vital role in the National Championship game. He is poised to man the left tackle spot for the Bulldogs.

Georgia also has two openings at the guard positions. That’s due to Jamaree Salyer and Justin Shaffer both departing for the NFL. Ericson is the most known entity at those positions, but players such as Xavier Truss, Devin Willock and Tate Ratledge are battling to fill those voids at guard.

“Those guys were great players so obviously that’s a loss for us,” Van Pran said of Shaffer and Salyer. “I think our biggest thing is making sure we pick up were we left off. We want to make those guys proud. We want to make sure we’re playing Georgia football and being the offensive line they were. We want to make sure we keep that up.”

Related: ESPN questions Georgia football offensive line

Ratledge started the Clemson game last year for Georgia, only for him to break his foot on the opening drive of the game. His status for fall camp will be one to follow, as arrived at Georgia with similar expectations as Van Pran and Jones.

“It’s going to be an adjustment for him,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Ratledge. “I think people expect him to walk back in there, but that’s not an injury that’s just easy to return from. When you do the study and the history of the injury it’s one of the toughest to recover from, especially for an offensive lineman who’s using his foot on every play.”

The three 2020 signees on the Georgia offensive line perhaps exemplify everything about the position this season. There’s upside, with Jones being the best representation of that. There is also a bit of mystery with the group, with Ratledge being the biggest question mark on the offensive line.

Then there is Van Pran. He’s also been comfortable as a leader and is thankful that Smart tabbed him as one of the player representatives at SEC media days.

Van Pran was voted Preseason Second Team All-SEC at media days, an acknowledgment of what he has already accomplished as a college player.

But if he goes out and helps elevate the Georgia offensive line beyond what it did last season, he knows the group can be one of the best position groups in the country.

“I want to feel like I do a better job of leading guys on the team,” Van Pran said. “Last year I was a lead-by-example kind of guy and I played my part when I needed to. I just want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to lead this team and lead my unit. I think I’ll leave it there.”

Sedrick Van Pran on the outlook of the Georgia offensive line

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