ATHENS — If there’s any uncertainty about it, nobody has apparently told Isaiah Wynn. If this is all just a spring experiment, then Wynn may be out of the loop.
“I’m the left tackle,” Wynn said after Saturday’s spring practice, adding a “yes sir” for emphasis.
So he fully expects that against Appalachian State on Sept. 2 he’s going to line up there?
“Yes sir,” Wynn replied again.
Wynn only hesitated and hedged when asked if the coaches have definitely said that, and whether there is any question about it.
“Yeah, you’re probably going to have to ask (offensive line) coach (Sam) Pittman about that, but yeah I’m the left tackle right now,” he said.
The one certainty is Wynn being happy about that. After three years of being shuttled around, mainly because of his own abilities, he said he’d like being able to “focus more” on one spot. And after three years of hearing he’s too small to play tackle in the SEC, he’s itching to play there.
Wynn actually already has, starting at left tackle in Georgia’s bowl win over TCU last year, and starting the final five games of the 2015 season there. He started at left guard in 12 games last year and eight games in 2015.
Georgia is 6-0 in games that Wynn has started at left tackle.
“I love the position,” he said. “Anywhere on the offensive line I love. But I just think I play a lot better there because I have a chip on my shoulder, just to prove that I can play tackle. Like you say, a lot of people (say) I’m too small to play tackle in the SEC and all that type of stuff.”
To that end, Wynn has put on weight, saying he now checks in at 305 pounds. He was listed at 269 coming out of high school, and has gradually put on weight every year. The most recent push Wynn credited to workouts and the new nutrition lounge in the indoor facility — a “Grab N Go” station of the type that’s existed for a few years at various stops around campus for athletes.
“It’s a lot different,” Wynn said of his physique. “Of course I’m stronger. I’m more stable. I’m not really getting pushed around as much. So it feels good.”
Georgia’s offensive line was a weak link on last year’s team, and it lost three senior starters. The two holdovers are now at new positions, with Lamont Gaillard switching from right guard to center.
There also will be an influx of new recruits, one of whom is already on the team: D’Marcus Hayes, a junior college transfer, has been getting right tackle reps with the second team. Then this fall five more arrive, headlined by 5-star Isaiah Wilson.
Does Wynn expect to be pushed then?
“It’ll be good competition,” he said. “I’m excited about the new guys coming in, because like I always said, it’s always good to have the guys behind you also pushing to be a better offensive line.”
There still could be a move made. Two years ago, Wynn looked poised to be the team’s center, before ending up at guard as spring practice ended. There was talk about left tackle last year too.
The one certainty is Wynn will be among the starting five, out there blocking for star tailback Nick Chubb and others. Chubb was asked what it was about a supposedly undersized Wynn that makes him stand out.
“Man I think it’s just heart. He plays hard. He plays hard on every down,” Chubb said. “He’s been doubted because of his size but I think he got over 300 pounds. So he’s looking good weight-wise. I’d go to war with him any day.”