ATHENS — To open the 2023 season, Georgia honored teammate Devin Willock on the team’s first play of the year.
Teammate Xavier Truss came out wearing Willock’s No. 77 jersey, with Truss making the change from No. 73.
Willock signed with Georgia as a member of the 2020 class out of New Milford, N.J. He played in all 15 games last season for the Bulldogs, starting in wins over Tennessee and Kentucky.
Willock passed on Jan. 15 as he was involved in a car accident that also saw Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy also perish. Former Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon was a passenger in the car as well.
Georgia honored Willock during the team’s spring game, taking the field with 10 men. The members of the Georgia offensive line kept things tight-lipped this week as far as their plans to honor Willock.
“It’s kind of hard to, I guess, fully commemorate somebody that you feel like you came in with and this is supposed to be their senior season,” senior Sedrick Van Pran said. “When you do it, you want to make sure that you do it right. So we’ve definitely talked about a few things. We haven’t set something in stone yet, but I think with something like that it has to be organic and it has to be natural. I think when it hits you hard and it feels right for everybody — when you get that conviction, then that’s what it is.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart shared his thoughts on the spring tribute to Willock.
“Just thinking about both of them and wishing they were here with us. The players wanted to do something to remember those two, and we felt that was a good to honor them. It was a good way to honor them, love them and that’s what we did.”
Georgia started Earnest Greene at left tackle, Xavier Truss at left guard, Van Pran at center, Tate Ratledge at right guard and Amarius Mims at right tackle. The Bulldogs are expected to have one of the better offensive lines in the country this season due to their returning experience and depth.