Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Curtis Compton / AJC
New Georgia offensive line coach Matt Luke is working to get the Bulldogs reshuffled offensive line dialed in.

Georgia football offensive line shaping up, but still has ‘musical chairs’

ATHENS — The progress being made by the Georgia offensive line might have been the most surprising element of Scrimmage One on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

Kirby Smart made it clear he likes what UGA has to work with, and he’s confident offensive line coach Matt Luke can get it dialed in by the Sept. 26 opening game at Arkansas.

“We have a good quality depth there, (but) we don’t have the elite players we had last year,” said Smart, who’s replacing four starters including first-round offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson.

“We have a little bit of musical chairs going on at this point. Matt [Luke] is handling it well …. those guys are competing.”

Smart said junior Jamaree Salyer is playing left tackle, and preseason All-SEC junior Trey Hill is at center.

After that, the guard positions and right tackle spot are being hotly contested.

“The right tackle spot has been the one that is probably the most competitive deal,” Smart said. “Owen Condon has really stepped up and done some good things. Owen hasn’t been healthy since he’s been here. He’s been a pleasant surprise in terms of competitiveness, intelligence, toughness.

“We’d like for him to play with a little more power and be able to move people.”

Condon, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound redshirt sophomore from Oklahoma City, played in games in 2018 and appeared in just one game last season on account of what was described as a lower-body injury.

Smart said redshirt freshman Warren McClendon (6-4, 320) and Condon “are probably getting the most reps there” at right tackle.

“Then Tate [Ratledge] has come along since the pads came on … . has come on and played well,” Smart said.

The guard positions are also up for grabs, though it sounds like seniors Justin Shaffer and Ben Cleveland have the inside track at left and right guard.

“Shaffer has done a lot of work with the ones at left guard, Ben at right guard, but I wouldn’t say that’s a done deal because we’ve got Warren Ericson (and) Clay Webb,” Smart said.

“Netori [Johnson] has shown some promise there working. So, those guys are really competing at the guard spot.”

Here’s a look at the depth chart based on Smart’s press conference.

Left tackle

Jamaree Salyer

Left guard 

Justin Shaffer

Clay Webb

Netori Johnson

Center

Trey Hill

Warren Ericson

Right guard

Ben Cleveland

Warren Ericson

Netori Johnson

Right tackle 

Owen Condon

Warren McClendon

The obvious question is where are Sedrick Van Pran, Xavier Truss, and Broderick Jones?

Jones was shown in a Georgia highlight video featuring one-on-one hitting drills, so it’s a safe bet the freshman is working his way into shape.

The Bulldogs will scrimmage again next Saturday.

 

 

Georgia football Scrimmage One

• Georgia quarterback race has sense of urgency

• New offense holds own vs. defense in Scrimmage One

• LOOK: Zamir White and backs had explosive plays in new offense

• Justin Fields present at Georgia football Scrimmage One

• Kirby Smart says many Georgia players are hurting emotionally

 

 

We have a new way to comment on our DawgNation stories. To do so, you must be a registered user on the DawgNation forum. If you haven’t registered, please go to the Forum homepage on DawgNation and look for “register” on the right side.