JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first thing you’ll notice about Solomon Kindley, his coach told this reporter, is how much better he looks.
“He’s smaller, but bigger, if that makes sense,” Deran Wiley said.
It did a few moments later when Kindley walked into the lobby at Raines High School, his home for just two more weeks before he heads off to UGA.
Kindley was advertised as a “really big recruit” in the most literal sense when he committed last January to Georgia, one of three offensive linemen who signed. He was listed at 330 pounds, but says now he was probably about 40 pounds heavier. (Georgia’s spring media guide accurately listed him at 370 pounds, making him the heaviest member of the Bulldogs’ signing class.)
He’s spent the ensuing five months trying to take off fat and add muscle. That meant plenty of salads and fruit, drinking a lot of water, and working hard in the weight room.
“It wasn’t that hard, because I knew what I had to do,” Kindley said.
Kindley estimates he’s between 340-345 pounds now, with the goal of taking off about another 10 pounds, but he’s not getting hung up on the number.
“It’s about how you can manage it, and what you can do,” Kindley said.
“A lot of kids take spring of their senior year off, and it’s just a relaxed environment. But he’s been working as if he was preparing to play for us again,” Wiley said. “Plus, your eating habits. That’s the thing that’s going to help him out a lot, is nutrition. It’s very expensive to eat healthy. Once he gets to Georgia and has the resources to do what he wants to do, just by that alone, and the way he work and lift, before August he’ll look like a totally different dude than he is now. He looks good now, but in August, when they report to camp, he’ll be much, much better, probably.”
Kindley said he’s ticketed for guard this season at Georgia. And while plenty may think the three-star recruit will spend the year redshirting, offensive line coach Sam Pittman has told Kindley there will be every opportunity to play his way into playing time.
“He’s told me he’s going to throw me into the fire and see what I can do,” Kindley said.
Look for much more from Kindley in a later story as part of our Next Generation series.