ATHENS – For a second, Brandon Kublanow blanked on the name of one of Georgia’s past two centers.
“You look at David (Andrews) and …” Kublanow said, then grimaced and waved a hand in the air.
“I just watched his commercial yesterday about Fuddruckers,” Kublanow said, shaking his head.
The fact Jones, now with the Houston Texans, has a commercial with a hamburger joint should come as no surprise who knew him. And Kublanow’s mind slip is acceptable, given how full his plate has been lately.
The junior is preparing to replace Andrews as Georgia’s starting center, a job daunting on several fronts. Andrews was a three-year starter and is now in camp with the New England Patriots. Jones was a four-year starter. Both were emotional leaders on Georgia’s offense.
Kublanow, meanwhile, only started playing center a few months ago.
It was supposed to be sophomore Isaiah Wynn until the final week of spring practice, when Georgia coaches decided to flip-flop Wynn and Kublanow, who started every game at left guard last year. Wynn has long been viewed as a future star, but his snapping – including a high one early in the G-Day game – helped lead coaches to their decision.
Since then Kublanow has immersed himself: He’s been at the football facility every day, snapping about a hundred footballs per day. He carried around a binder all summer, learning defensive fronts, defensive coverages, and the job of all five spots on the Georgia offensive line, so he can tell the others where they need to be.
“It takes a lot of work to be the center here,” Kublanow said.
Wynn didn’t take the move as a demotion. In fact it may be a blessing: He was set to be a new starter and replace Andrews at the line’s most visible position. Now he can slide in at left guard and just be the lone new guy among four returning starters.
Asked if that means less pressure than taking over at center, Wynn smiled and answered: “Yeah.”
But ultimately Wynn is happy to get a starting spot, wherever it was.
“Where I’m walking into, with the vets on the line, I’m comfortable at whatever position I’m at, thanks to them,” Wynn said.
Indeed, the Wynn-Kublanow switch may make a smoother transition. As long as Kublanow handles his new duties, both snapping and leading.
“So just seeing Ben and David, they were real emotional leaders, and they led this offensive line, made all the calls,” Kublanow said. “So if I can, I’ll follow in their footsteps.”
Is that him?
“I want to be that,” he said. “Yeah, that’s what I’m working towards.”