Jamaree Salyer shares his thought on left tackle position, early impressions of Amarius Mims, Broderick Jones
Where Jamaree Salyer ends up playing for Georgia on the offensive line is one of the bigger offseason questions for this team.
He started nine games at left tackle in 2020, playing well especially given it was his first time manning the spot at an SEC level. Salyer’s long-term future is at guard and he started at left guard in Georgia’s Peach Bowl win.
Salyer spoke with reporters on Tuesday night and was asked point-blank which spot he preferred to play.
“I can do whatever the team needs me to do to win. I don’t care,” Salyer said. “I’ll go snap, punt the ball. I just want to win and go out there and be the best teammate that I can be so we can get the end result we want to get, a championship.”
That’s about what you would expect from someone who is clearly a leader on the Georgia team. Salyer is entering his fourth season in the Georgia program. HE didn’t play much in his first two seasons at Georgia, as he didn’t earn his first start until the final game of his sophomore year.
Since then, Salyer has demonstrated why he was a 5-star prospect and the second-highest ranked offensive line prospect Kirby Smart has signed since he took over the program.
He excelled in the nine starts at left tackle last season, even calling the experience fun while making it clear he can handle perhaps the toughest position on the offensive line.
“Just being able to be out there for my first full season I was very excited about it,” Salyer said. “Playing left tackle in the SEC, you have to be a grown man. Just being able to lead from that position, it changed the way I looked at football.”
Salyer acknowledged that all eyes will be on Georgia’s opening game against the Clemson Tigers on Sept. 4. The Tigers might be the only team in the country that has a defensive line that rivals Georgia’s.
But Salyer isn’t worried about Bryan Breese, Myles Murphy or Dabo Swinney this spring. His focus, as is the team’s, is on getting better with every rep and practice.
“If coach goes out there and says I’m playing left tackle against Clemson, I’m going out there to play,” Salyer said. “If I’m playing center, I’m playing center. If he says I’m playing left guard, I’m putting my hand down and playing it.”
Salyer figures to be the key that unlocks the rest of the Georgia offensive line. Should he stay at left tackle, it means Justin Shaffer will be the likely left guard, with Warren Ericson, Tate Ratledge and Clay Webb competing at right guard.
If one of Georgia’s young yet unproven tackles, such as Amarius Mims, play up the standard, Georgia will be able to move Salyer down to guard.
“He competes really hard. He’s got to learn how to practice. He’s one of those guys that’s got that god-given (talent),” Salyer said of Mims. “He’s got to build on it and get in the weight room with coach (Scott) Sinclair and coach Luke.
“I’m excited for him. He’s got potential out of this world. A lot of guys do.”
Mims, the only offensive line signee with a higher recruiting ranking than Salyer, wasn’t the only young offensive tackle Salyer spoke about. He also provided some insight on Broderick Jones as well.
Jones arrived as a 5-star signee in the 2020 class. Now with a season under his belt at Georgia, Salyer provided an update on the talented tackle.
“He can pass protector really good,” Salyer said. “He’s got some small things he can work on. Staying in the weight room, keep grinding and get the playbook down. That’s something all young players struggle with.”
When speaking with reporters earlier in March, offensive line coach Matt Luke praised Salyer’s versatility. It’s an asset that will allow Georgia to get the most out of Salyer and the offensive line.
“He has the ability to play guard, he’s proven he can play tackle in the SEC at a high level,” Luke said. “If we need him to do that, he can do it. If we need him to play inside, he’ll be able to do that.”
The senior offensive lineman compared himself to a Swiss Army Knife on Tuesday. It makes sense given he can excel at either guard or tackle spot.
It will just be up to Georgia and the rest of its offensive linemen to figure out which is the best way to maximize Salyer’s talents.
“I can go out there and play with the best of them and I did for 10-12 games,” Salyer said. “I can play everything so I have to be ready to play anything. I just want to play ball. And win.”
Jamaree Salyer talks left tackle spot, Amarius Mims and Broderick Jones
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