ATHENS — Georgia’s utilization of Solomon Kindley has been a mystery so far, and it will continue to be going forward.
The gargantuan freshman guard continues to be a big part of the Bulldogs’ plans on the offensive line and is a regular part of the rotation every week in practice. Yet he has literally participated in just one play all year in a game, which technically eliminates the prospect of him redshirting this season — but not entirely, apparently.
Head coach Kirby Smart was asked for some clarification during his post-practice briefing Tuesday evening.
“He’s probably not going to be eligible for a redshirt, but that was never in the plans,” Smart said. “The plan was he was going to be the next-best guard, so you have to rep those guys as if they’re going to play. You hope that there are going be able to play him in. We haven’t had any games like that.”
The only action so far for the 6-foot-4, 336-pound Kindley was one play at right guard in the Missouri game. He was hustled into the game when starter Lamont Gaillard went out with an injury, but then was sent right back out on the next play.
That was the third game of the season, and Kindley hasn’t played since. In fact, Kindley did not make the trip to his hometown of Jacksonville last week for the Florida game.
“He’s still in the rotation,” Smart said. “That came down to a numbers game. We’re only allowed to travel 70 and we felt like we needed more help on special teams and he obviously doesn’t help on special teams. That was the situation there.”
Instead, Georgia “traveled” redshirt freshman Pat Allen, who also plays at right guard. In the meantime, Gaillard and junior Dyshon Sims continue to alternate at right guard. Sims also backs up Isaiah Wynn at left guard.
Smart said Allen and Kindley have continued to battle for be the fourth guard in Georgia’s rotation. At this point, with Allen having already exhausted his redshirt year, it would make sense that he would be pressed into service if the Bulldogs have any hope of preserving a redshirt year for Kindley.
“That’s been the frustrating part because, in retrospect, you can look back and say, ‘why did you play him?'” Smart said. “But at that point in time … it was a situation we thought surely he would play more throughout the year. If you lose a guy, now you’ve got a guy that’s got playing experience.”
Smart indicated redshirting could still be a possibility for Kindley.
“There’s a couple of things you can do where if you have an injury — and Solomon has had a couple of things — and if you play in the first four games you can sometimes get a year back,” Smart said. “We’re basically looking into all those with him to hopefully get him back. To be honest with you, if he’s a really good player like we think he will be, then he may not play that next year anyway.”