Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday morning. Today, we prepare for potential hurricane conditions in Columbia, S.C., this weekend and look at the possibility of a mammoth-sized offensive line in Athens in the near future.
PSA: Weather warning
Hurricane Matthew has all the signs of being a big one. Just look at the size of this thing.
Pictured are offensive line recruits Andrew Thomas (far left), Jamaree Salyer (second from left), Johnson (middle), Justin Shaffer (second from right) and D’Antne Demery (far right), along with offensive line coach Sam Pittman. Thomas, Johnson, Shaffer and Demery are all committed to UGA, while Salyer — a 5-star who plays for Atlanta’s Pace Academy — is undecided.
Pittman was known for his beefy lines at Arkansas, and it was clear when he was hired by Georgia that getting more size on the line was a priority. With the four already committed plus Salyer, Pittman would be on his way to one of the biggest offensive lines in America.
Offensive line recruiting is an area of emphasis for the Dawgs this year, and it’s easy to see why when you watch a game. Georgia is frequently bullied up front and unable to get push on run plays that could spring Nick Chubb or Sony Michel into the open field. One reason for that could be a lack of size.
Shehan Jeyarajah averaged the heights and weights of each SEC team’s starting linemen for SEC Country a few months before the season began. Georgia’s is the smallest, weighing in at an average of 295 pounds. By comparison, Alabama and Arkansas top the list with 316-pound averages each, while Florida pulls in at third with 315. Considering UGA wants to run a power offense similar to Alabama, Arkansas and Florida, it needs an offensive line whose size is on par with those guys, instead of being at the bottom with Ole Miss, Missouri and Auburn, all teams that run the spread.
The average weight of the potential Georgia offensive line you see above — based on the weights listed on each player’s 247Sports profile — is 332 pounds, 16 pounds more than the current leaders.
It’s worth remembering two things, though. One, we don’t know if the weights listed on 247 are totally accurate. And two, those weights should come down significantly when the players are introduced to UGA’s weight program. But one thing is out of doubt: Those are some big boys. Georgia’s offensive line isn’t what it needs to be for the type of offense it’s running right now. But that photo should give you hope that reinforcements are right around the corner.
Less important PSA: Major baggage