ATHENS — Days now from the season opener, a starting spot on Georgia’s offensive line may be up for grabs again. Or it may just be a case of the team hedging its bets.
Solomon Kindley, the redshirt freshman who has been working first-team right guard, was sitting out at least one drill during Tuesday’s practice. Kindley was in uniform, but could have just been dealing with a minor injury. Either way, Kendall Baker was working with the first team at right guard.
Afterwards, head coach Kirby Smart chided the media for looking too much into that, but did acknowledge that competition still exists at both spots.
“Y’all are incredible. I’m getting reports during practice and everybody is telling me that Kendall Baker is the starting right guard,” Smart said. “It amazes me where some of this come from. Kendall Baker is in competition with Dyshon Sims, he’s in competition with Solomon Kindley, he’s in competition with Pat Allen, and to be honest with you, those four at guard are really about dead even.
“That’s just where it is. I know you all want to know who the starters are but there’s not a starter right now.”
Baker has been working his way up in the pecking order for some time now, and has consistently been the second-team right guard. He was running first team during Tuesday’s media viewing period, with Sims, a senior, running second team.
Kindley has been the first-team right guard since at least midway through spring practice, and that had not changed until Tuesday. That could have just been in preparation for subbing in Baker. But Smart again stated: “A starter has not been named at right guard.”
Allen has been working at first-team left guard for most of preseason, including the past couple weeks.
The tackle spots (Isaiah Wynn and Andrew Thomas) and center (Lamont Gaillard) have seemed set for awhile, though redshirt freshman Ben Cleveland could still be pushing Thomas, a freshman.
Georgia could end up playing a number of linemen on Saturday, Smart acknowledged, depending on the weather, conditioning of players and how the game is going. The guard spots are where that most likely would happen, he added.
While cohesion on the line does matter, Smart said he was mainly concerned with whether players on each side of the line have worked together well and long enough.
“Those right tackles have worked with the right guards a ton, and the left tackles have worked with the left guards a lot. That part’s good,” Smart said. “I don’t know that cohesion across the five is as important as left and right. Because they obviously don’t talk across the center. They only talk to their side, which is where they play.”