Georgia redshirt freshman Earnest Greene tabbed next up by departing OTs, brings ‘punch and power’
ATHENS — The Georgia offense has plenty of questions to answer entering into next season, and redshirt freshman Earnest Greene lll is one of them.
Greene, a redshirt freshman from the elite high school ranks of Southern California’s Trinity League via St. John Bosco, is penciled in to fill the sizable shoes projected first-round left tackle Broderick Jones left behind.
WATCH: Earnest Greene, then a poised high schooler, shares 2021 thoughts on college issues
It’s safe to assume that whoever wins the QB job won’t have the luxury of bulletproof pass protection like Stetson Bennett was afforded -- the Bulldogs allowed just 9 sacks all season (15 games), and none were given up by the offensive tackles in the perimeter.
There will be plenty of competition at the position, of course, as Greene didn’t take so much as one snap last season on account of injuries; first his hamstring, and by October, a back injury that required surgery.
Yet and still, Greene’s name is the first to come up when discussing the left tackle position with Jones himself at the NFL Combine last week in Indianapolis.
“Probably Earnest,” Jones said, asked who would be taking is place next season. “I felt like coming in, Earnest was ready. He was very physical, heavy hands, good pass sets, good run blocker, good finisher. He showed all the attributes it takes to play in the SEC.
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“I feel like he came in on a higher level than I did, just because he had the experience with his dad and trainers. Coming out of high school, I wasn’t training with a lot of people.”
To Jones’ point, Greene’s father, Earnest ll, played college football at Savannah State before a nine-year professional football career that included a stint with the 1994 Super Bowl San Diego Chargers.
Georgia’s other departing offensive tackle, Warren McClendon, agreed with Jones that Greene is likely up next at the spot.
“You know when freshmen come in, and early enrollees at that, they have a lot to learn,” McClendon said, asked how Greene surprised him in workouts last spring. “But he picked up on everything quick. In his pass pro, you come in and you have to learn how to kick-slide and stuff like that. He had it down pat Day One when he first came in.
“Just seeing stuff like that, just little things like that, you’re like, okay, he’s going to be good.”
McClendon said there will be plenty of competition, too, adding that “Austin Blaske, Micah Morris, there’s a bunch of talent there.”
Georgia begins spring practice drills next Tuesday leading up to the annual G-Day Game, which will be held on April 15 at Sanford Stadium this season.
Offensive line coach Stacy Searels, who saw star talent Amarius Mims emerge at right tackle last season, shared his early take on Greene with 247Sports last January.
“Really when I first got here, the kid was way ahead of his time anyway. It’s just unfortunate he did get hurt and wasn’t able to play,” Searels told 247Sports on Jan. 7.
“I think he’s got a serious mindset of wanting to be good. He’s a very talented young man that’s got tremendous feet. He’s also a strong kid that has some punch and power and will compete.”