ATHENS — Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is the closest thing to a sure thing the Bulldogs have in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Thomas is expected to be the first UGA player selected when the 2020 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday and will be one of the 58 players featured in the “virtual draft.”
Thomas, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound three-year starter at Georgia with 36 1/8 long arms, has all the measurables on and off the field that NFL teams are looking for. The All-American could go among the top 10 picks.
Offensive tackle is a need position, and Thomas has played on the right side as well as the left side, and he also has the power to play inside at offensive guard if needed.
“I think I’m all-around the best,” Thomas said at the NFL combine, asked to measure himself against other offensive tackles in the draft class.
“I can run block, I can pass block, I’m coachable, I’m a technician, and I think that makes me the best.”
Thomas’ character is such that he was chosen one of four permanent captains last season, and before that, selected to represent the program at the ribbon-cutting for the West End Zone project.
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Thomas said he was looking at Clemson, Alabama and Notre Dame before Smart and his staff were hired.
“When the staff changed, they started recruiting me really hard,” Thomas said. “And then I got a really good look at Georgia and that was cool for me.”
Even cooler, Smart offered a scholarship to Thomas’ high school teammate, Trey Blount. Blount, in turn, helped recruit Thomas to Georgia after make his verbal commitment.
There might not be another UGA offensive lineman that matches Thomas’ impactful — and brilliant — career.
Thomas started all 15 games as a true freshman, including the SEC Championship Game, the Rose Bowl and the College Football Playoff Championship Game.
“Andrew was very unique to be able to do that,” Kirby Smart said. “But that’s very rare to be able to do that at that position.”
Georgia Tech snafu
Thomas was a highly recruited prospect out of Pace Academy in Atlanta, but nearby Georgia Tech never really gave itself a chance to recruit him.
“When I was in high school one of my teammates he was a senior, he plays at Richmond right now, Timothy (Coleman), and the previous Georgia Tech coach came and thought I was him,” Thomas recalled. “So he called me Timothy, and that just like turned me off from going to look at that school.”
The cumulative score of the past three meetings between Georgia and Georgia Tech has been 135-35.
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