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Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) before the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Monday Jan. 10, 2022. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

What Amarius Mims transfer decision means for Georgia football offensive line

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What Amarius Mims transfer decision means for Georgia football offensive line

When you recruit as well as Georgia has along the offensive line in recent cycles, you’re going to have talented players transfer to play elsewhere. That’s the price of doing business as an elite college football program in this day and age.

Georgia saw two former 5-star prospects enter the transfer portal on Sunday. One of those was Clay Webb, who signed with Georgia in the 2019 signing class. Despite this being his fourth season in the program, he had yet to crack the two-deep depth chart.

The other, much larger transfer was Amarius Mims. He signed with the Bulldogs as a member of the 2021 recruiting cycle. Not only was he the No. 1 prospect in the state of Georgia for that cycle, he is also the highest-rated offensive lineman to sign with Georgia since Kirby Smart became the head coach.

Related: Former 5-star OT Amarius Mims places name into the transfer portal

There simply aren’t very many offensive tackles with the blend of size and athleticism that Mims possess. He’s almost certainly good enough to play at a lot of other really talented schools, something he will now look to do via the transfer portal. Mims will have to find a new school by May 1. It should be noted the deadline for Mims to transfer to another SEC school passed back in February. Of the now 11 players to transfer from Georgia this offseason, five ended up at other SEC schools.

But for all of Mims’ talent and potential, he didn’t have a path to the field at Georgia for this season. Or he very clearly didn’t have one at the offensive tackle position.

At the right tackle position, where Mims played most frequently during his freshman season, Georgia brings back Warren McClendon. He is entering his third year as a starter for the Bulldogs and has developed into a borderline All-SEC player at the position. No matter what your recruiting ranking was, it’s hard to beat out that level of proven production.

Then there is the case of Broderick Jones. Like Mims, he was a 5-star offensive lineman signee. Also like Mims, he didn’t have a straightforward position to take over entering his second year in the program. Georgia had Jamaree Salyer at left tackle last spring, with McClendon at right tackle. It’s worth remembering as well Georgia had a healthy Tate Ratledge at guard, which allowed them to keep Salyer at left tackle.

Jones ended up staying the course at Georgia, and fortunate favored that move. He made four starts at left tackle for Georgia when Salyer got injured. Then he came in at left tackle in the national championship game, playing a key role in Georgia’s offensive turnaround in the game.

“You can’t expect always to just go in and do what you have always been used to doing,” Jones said earlier this spring. “You have to change. Life is about changes. If you are not able to make changes in your life, you will not be able to succeed. I knew when I came in that I would be pushed to work harder and better myself as a player. I just came in with that type of mindset.”

Related: Veteran wave of former 5-star prospects to determine 2022 Georgia football success

This spring has further solidified Jones’ spot on the offensive line. If there’s a silver lining in the departure of Mims, it would be that Georgia seems to be very confident in Jones and McClendon.

As for the guard spots, Smart seemed to make clear Mims wasn’t in consideration to play at that position. The Georgia coach went through a number of names who were competing for the positions. Not mentioned was Mims.

“(Xavier) Truss, for the most part, last year, doubled as a guard tackle. He’s continued to double as a guard tackle with some injuries that we’ve had at the offensive line, so he’s been forced into some tackle reps, but primarily he’s gotten a lot of guard (reps),” Smart said. “(Devin) Willock has gotten a lot of guard reps and Warren Ericson continues to get guard reps there, although we’ve got him a lot of center reps. (Dylan)Fairchild’s gotten quite a few, Micah (Morris) has come on and had some good practices, so it’s a great competition among a great group of guys to see what they can do.”

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