Jamaree Salyer — a former 5-star offensive lineman entering his second year at Georgia — earned quite a compliment from UGA coach Kirby Smart Tuesday night.
That’s the subject of today’s DN90.
Salyer was briefly battling with Trey Hill — another heralded recruit from the 2018 class — for the center position according to remarks from Smart last week. However, this week Salyer has apparently been getting work at both right guard and tackle — including some snaps alongside the starters.
Cracking the lineup along the Bulldogs’ offensive line is a difficult task. The expected starters at tackle — Andrew Thomas on the left side and Isaiah Wilson on the right — are both former top recruits, and Thomas is potentially projected as a first-round pick if he leaves school as a junior after the 2019 season.
The expected starters at guard are no slouches either. Solomon Kindley was a rock for UGA on the left side a year ago, and right guard Ben Cleveland — assuming he’s fully recovered from a 2018 injury — enters the season with high expectations too.
However, if anyone can push them it would seem to be Salyer — a player DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell has called a historic prospect.
“There’s a clear gap between Jamaree Salyer and everybody else Georgia has recruited at offensive line so far,” Sentell said on DawgNation Daily in 2017. “I really think Jamaree Salyer (who attended Pace Academy in Atlanta) is the best offensive lineman in the state of Georgia in quite some time.”
Tuesday’s remarks aren’t the first time Smart has praised Salyer either. Smart also singled him out after the UMASS game in November — a typical late-season non-conference game where lots of young players get an extra look. Salyer — then a freshman — seemed to use that opportunity to make a good impression.
“The kid that has really gotten better the last two weeks is Jamaree (Salyer),” Smart said. “He’s a heckuva good player at either guard spot.”
Those sentiments from recruiting experts — and from Smart himself — are nice, but it’s probably fair to say some would’ve expected a more significant impact from Salyer in 2018. Salyer played in most of UGA’s games, but was arguably only the Bulldogs third-best freshman offensive lineman — behind Hill and Cade Mays — both of whom earned starts at various points last season.
Hill and Mays had the benefit of being early enrollees. Salyer arrived during the summer.
At the conclusion of last season, Salyer spoke about what he viewed as the most significant challenge with transitioning from high school to college.
“I would say understanding the offense,” Salyer told DawgNation. “It’s not terrible, but — you know — just perfecting it, and understanding it like the older guys do. That’s kind of the way you really want to push for starting time.”
It looks like Salyer may be ready to truly make that push.
For more on what Smart had to say about Salyer, click the video linked above.