ATHENS — The 2021 Georgia offensive line got an unexpected boost on Friday when senior offensive guard Justin Shaffer announced he’ll be returning for a fifth year with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-4, 330-pound veteran started all 10 games for Georgia, the first nine at left guard before moving to right guard for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
— Justin Shaffer (@ShafferJustin54) January 8, 2021
Shaffer played in six of 14 games as a junior, stepping up in the Notre Dame game when Solomon Kindley went down with a high ankle sprain. Shaffer started the next two games before suffering a season-ending neck injury.
Shaffer is a player who has work to do to raise his NFL draft stock, as he was not among the Bulldogs’ invited to the Senior Bowl.
There’s no question Shaffer has the size and physicality, and he was dominant at times last season.
A healthy offseason — he was recovering form his neck injury at this time last season — and more consistent performances should vault him into the NFL conversation after the 2021 season.
The Bulldogs’ offensive line could continue to shape up nicely provided junior left guard Jamaree Salyer announces he’s returning.
Redshirt sophomore Warren Ericson is the incumbent at center, and redshirt freshman All-American candidate Warren McClendon returns at right tackle.
Georgia’s championship hopes for the 2021 season took a jump on Thursday when junior nose tackle Jordan Davis revealed that he will be back to team up with returning senior teammate Devonte Wyatt on the interior of the defensive line.
The 2021 offense has been buoyed by two other key returners in the form of quarterback JT Daniels and tailback James Cook.
Junior Zamir White has yet to declare, but it will be a crowded backfield regardless, as Georgia has rising freshman Kendall Milton and versatile sophomore Kenny McIntosh also in the mix.