ATHENS — Georgia junior Jamaree Salyer spent the majority of the quarantine period looking to measure up in workouts alongside Andrew Thomas, the top offensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The result of Salyer’s hard work is impressive, to say the least.
It’s to the extent the former 5-star prospect from the Pace Academy has himself in good enough shape to play anywhere on the Bulldogs’ reshuffled offensive line at 312 pounds.
“I knew for me, one of the things I had to work on this offseason was my weight,” said Salyer, who once weighed as much as 345 pounds at UGA. “I never knew what position I was going to play. We have a lot of freshmen coming in, and we have a lot of guys that left.
“I had to be ready for any position, any spot on the field, so I could compete.”
Many projected Salyer the frontrunner for the left tackle duties after his admirable performance at right tackle in the Sugar Bowl.
New offensive line coach Matt Luke is obviously taking a wide-open approach to competition in camp.
But Salyer is looking better than ever. In fact, he found himself in position needing to add some weight.
“My ideal weight went I started quarantine was 318, but as the quarantine kept going, my weight kept going down,” Salyer said. “At one point I was 309, but I didn’t want to go too far down because this is the SEC.
“I feel pretty good. I feel in shape.”
No doubt, new Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman identified Salyer as a Georgia player who impressed him with athleticism.
“There are a couple guys, starting with Jamaree,” Newman told former UGA quarterback D.J. Shockley, who was narrating the video. “He’s a big guy, but he can move on his feet.
“The second or third week of workouts, I think me, Rich (LeCounte) and Jamaree were in the same group of workouts, and I saw him come out of those first 10 (yards). Seeing big guys like that can move is exciting.”
Especially for Newman, who figures to hurt defenses as much with his ability to extend plays and run the football effectively, as well as his ability to throw the deep ball.
The Georgia offense is in need of new offensive leaders with the departure of permanent captains Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift.
The fact Smart sent Newman and Salyer out to talk on the video could be a sign they are in leadership positions. Salyer indicated he and Newman are also involved in the team’s leadership council, as well.
Salyer said that Thomas, another of the four permanent captains last season, provided him with some tips on his way out the door.
“We trained together a lot of quarantine,” Salyer said, “and he taught me a lot of little tricks, and a lot of things about my pass sets.”
Isaiah Wilson, like Thomas a first-round NFL draft pick at offensive tackle, worked with Salyer last season, as well.
“Isaiah was the starter and I was his backup, so me and him, we pushed each other every day,” Salyer said. “Whether it was taking a rep against each other, or taking a rep against the defense, we knew exactly what the other person was going through at all times.
“I learned a lot from Zay (Wilson); how to come to work every day and how to be enthusiastic every day.”
Suffice it to say, Smart has been impressed to the extent of re-tweeting a post showing Salyer get on the scale at 312 pounds.
It was a weighty issue, for sure.
— BIG DAWGS CLUB, LLC (@CoachKev79) May 20, 2020