Practice report: A freshman working with Georgia’s No. 1 offensive line

Georgia football-defensive practice observations-A freshman working with No. 1 offensive line-Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia senior wideout Jayson Stanley (2) hauls in a pass during position drills early in the Bulldogs' practice Tuesday at Woodruff Fields.

ATHENS — There was a freshman working with Georgia’s No. 1 offensive line on Tuesday. And it wasn’t the one you’d probably guess.

Cade Mays, an early enrollee out of Knoxville, was working with the first unit at left guard during position drills. You read that right — left guard.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Bulldogs and their exploits on the offensive line this year, you’ll note that Mays primarily had been repping at right tackle behind redshirt freshman Isaiah Wilson. Recently, he also has been getting looks at left tackle. But there he was Tuesday, going first at left guard, where senior Kendall Baker and previously seemed an immovable object.

We can all hear coach Kirby Smart in our heads. Right? He’s not available for interviews today. But surely he would say reporters are making too much of it and that the Bulldogs are just experimenting and mixing and matching to build depth and make sure they have the best first-five combination.

And there certainly was a lot of mixing and matching going on during the 15-minute observation period for media. Freshman Jamaree Salyer — the freshman lineman most fans would tab “most likely to start” — was working behind Ben Cleveland at right guard. He’d been a mainstay behind Baker at left guard. Baker was getting reps at left tackle. Junior D’Marcus Hayes, primary backup at left tackle all year, was getting looks on the right side. Freshman Trey Hill was getting a lot of work at center, and at second-team no less.

And so on and so on. It was that kind of day with the O-line.

Elsewhere on the offensive end of the field:

  • Speaking of offensive line, good to see sophomore Justin Shaffer working full speed with the group on a full-contact day. His surgically-repaired left knee remains in a sleeve and in a metal brace. But he appears to be going without limitations. In keeping with other shakeups Tuesday, he was working with the tackles rather than the guards.
  • Senior wideout Terry Godwin (knee) once again was missing in action. So was fellow receiver Kearis Jackson (hamstring), an early enrollee from Ft. Valley.
  • Even with the absentees, Georgia has a large and healthy looking receiver corps. Including walkons, there were 16 getting put through the paces by coach Cortez Hankton and his assistants. And, yes, new addition Demetris Robertson was present and accounted for.
  • No changes or ill effects of this past Saturday’s scrimmage seen among the running backs. Not that it should come as any surprise, but sophomore D’Andre Swift is no longer repping fourth in line as he was at the beginning of camp. He seems to interchange with junior Elijah Holyfield for that duty.
  • All quarterbacks were present and accounted for. Jake Fromm and Justin Fields were “two-spotting” in the pass-skeleton drills, meaning their was no distinguishing if one was with the 1s or 2s.
  • Cameron Nizalek, last year’s starting punter as a graduate transfer, was working with Georgia’s punters as a coach on Tuesday.
  • Marshall Long was back among that group. He reported with last 19 walkons when classes began because of a lingering knee injury. He did not appear to be showing any physical limitations on Tuesday but none of the punters were actually punting during the observation period.
  • Check back this evening for post-practice reports. Center Lamont Gaillard, wideout Jayson Stanley, safety Richard LeCounte and defensive lineman Michael Barnett are scheduled for interviews.
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