How Broderick Jones went from ‘raw’ to one of the best left tackles in college football
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Georgia football left tackle Broderick Jones became one of college football’s top left tackles
ATHENS — Broderick Jones knew he had some growing to do when he first arrived at Georgia in the summer of 2020. Both physically but mentally as well.
He grew up envisioning he’d a basketball star and didn’t really begin to consider a football career until his junior year of high school. He played for Lithonia High School in Lithonia, Ga., and continued to play both sports even after being bestowed a 5-star prospect in the 2020 cycle.
His gifts on the basketball court did help translate to playing left tackle. But Jones recognizes now how it also slowed his development.
“With my weight during basketball season, I was always light. When I first got here, I had to gain a lot of weight,” Jones said. “That’s the biggest thing in the SEC is being able to hold weight and hold your quickness as well. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on.”
Now at 310 pounds, Jones has become one of the best offensive tackles in the country. He’s likely to earn All-SEC and All-American honors, even while still battling his weight.
Like most 5-star prospects, Jones thought he would come in and play immediately. He was always the best player on the field in high school and former teammates noted just how confident Jones was in his athleticism.
“I think my first impressions were he was very confident in his ability as an athlete,” former teammate Jamaree Salyer said. “You could watch him move for 10 minutes and you would know that he was a very gifted athlete. He could run and he could move very well and obviously, he already knew that.”
Football was rarely the most important thing to Jones prior to his time at Georgia. In addition to playing basketball, he also had a love for motorbikes. That proved costly when he injured himself prior to his freshman season on one. That setback prevented him from getting on the field in 2020 and Jones recognized it right away.
Jones has long since given up both the love of basketball and motorbikes, though he contends his jumper is still “wet.” Instead, Jones pours all he has into being the best football player he can be for the Bulldogs.
For Jones to get on the field, he was going to need to show more that he was more than a great athlete.
Much like trying to balance football and basketball as he did in high school, for Jones to become an impact player at Georgia he had to be great at both pass and run blocking.