Kirby Smart reveals progress of mammoth Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims
ATHENS — Kirby Smart has sensed a common theme through two-thirds of the Georgia football spring drills, and it bodes well for the reigning national championship program.
“What I’ve been very pleased with thus far is I don’t feel like we’ve had a poor practice,” Smart said following practice on Tuesday, the 10th of the NCAA-allotted team practices.
“We’ve had really good energy. A lot of really good teaching and learning, which, especially in the positions that we’re young at, that’s what you need.”
Smart said he has been impressed with the improvement of the young players in general, including the Bulldogs’ deep and talented offensive line.
“We look at the offensive line, and I’m like, ‘Man! Look how far Amarius Mims has come,” Smart said. “Man! Look how far this guy’s grown and gotten better, Devin Willock.’ I want to see the players improve and not just gel, improve your fundamentals and get better so our team can be better.”
Mims and Willock are two of the talented young linemen competing to get into the rotation.
Mims is the more notable of the two in the public eye on account of his 5-star recruiting stature and Top 10 national rank per 247Sports.
RELATED: Mims leaves behind giant mark in Georgia prep ranks
The top-ranked prospect in Georgia in the 2021 class, some thought the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Mims could find immediate playing time coming out of Bleckley County High School.
Rob Stockton, father of UGA early enrollee Gunner Stockton, sang the praises of Mims in the high school ranks.
“He is definitely the most dominant lineman we’ve ever seen on video or tape these days,” Rob Stockton said. “He is a force to deal with and every team deals with the same things here: How do you deal with him? How can you deal with him? How does anybody deal with him. It is all the athleticism with all the size.”
Playing at the collegiate level, of course, requires great technique and knowledge of the offense.
Especially at Georgia, where the quarterbacks come to the line with the ability to check to several different run plays to put the offensive linemen in a position to have great leverage.
Team leader Sedrick Van Pran had high praise for Mims’ ability earlier this spring, and indication the redshirt freshman could be finding his way in the future.
Great talent, young guy, he has some game experience so we’re looking forward to him taking the next step,” Van Pran said. “I think he will be fine, honestly, just watching how he practices and watching how he works is a thing of beauty.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how he takes the next step, because he’s a generational talent.”
RELATED: Team leader Sedrick Van Pran previews rising stars, UGA football
Some fans thought Mims could step in at right tackle, but the Bulldogs have a three-year starter and former Freshman All-American in Warren McClendon occupying that spot.
At left tackle, there’s former 5-star Broderick Jones, one year further into the program than Mims.
It has led some to speculate that Mims will give up on playing for his home state school and national championship contender and take an easier path into the transfer portal.
Mims has been mum, but apparently, he’s impressing Smart and new offensive line coach Stacey Searels enough for the head coach to mention him in the press conference after the team’s first scrimmage.
The Bulldogs will hold their second spring scrimmage on Saturday leading up to the annual G-Day Game at 1 p.m. on April 16 in Sanford Stadium.