ATLANTA — As hard as it is to believe for someone who is 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds, Amarius Mims believes he’s grown a lot this season for the Bulldogs.

Though he has yet to start a game for the Bulldogs, Mims feels like a much better player now from where he was when he entered the transfer portal back in April.

“I feel like I’ve grown my off the field, mentally,” Mims said. “And then that’s helped me grow a lot on the field.”

The progress made my by Mims will very likely be on display in some way against Ohio State on Saturday. Starting right tackle Warren McClendon is dealing with an MCL injury he suffered in the win over LSU.

McClendon is currently expected to start against the Tigers and he noted he felt good on Thursday when speaking with reporters. But there’s no guarantee how he’ll hold up against Ohio State’s talented group of athletic pass rushers.

Mims would slide right in for an injured McClendon, as he did against LSU and has throughout the season when Georgia rotates its tackles.

If there’s any public worry about McClendon, who has started 37 straight games for Georgia, the veteran tackle is very confident in what Mims can do.

“Amarius he’s a good player. He’s getting there, getting the reps and becoming a smarter player at that,” McClendon said. “I have the confidence in him to go in there and play.”

Related: Ladd McConkey, Warren McClendon comment on their injury status for Ohio State contest

There’s a pride McClendon takes in seeing Mims’ development, as the two have grown close. He’s seen Mims take on a more serious attitude when it has come to his work ethic and it has paid off.

Mims, a top 1 percent athlete on a team full of them, picks things up faster and processes what other teams are throwing at him in real-time.

Left tackle Broderick Jones perhaps understands better than anyone what Mims has had to go through. The two were both 5-star prospects coming out of high school, with Jones being a year older than Mims.

Neither played as a freshman and both played sparingly in their second season. Jones backed up Jamaree Salyer, only entering the starting lineup after Salyer went down with a late-season injury.

This season, Jones has become one of the best left tackles in the country, thanks to his own growth in his time at the Georgia program. Mims has the potential to do the same next season, assuming he continues to make the correct strides.

“I can see him in me just because of how he had to come up and grow up and learn more about the football scheme and the way they play,” Jones dais. And learn how to play big-boy football. He’s already huge so there wasn’t no downfall that came with him. He already had the size, he already had the athleticism.

“He just had to learn more about football and learn more of how to play the game without all of the emotion.”

Mims know his teammates are counting him, even in the event McClendon plays every snap for Georgia at right tackle on Saturday.

He understands he has a role to play, whether it be big or small. And because of the connection developed with McClendon, Jones and the rest of the 2022 Georgia team, he wants to put his best foot forward in what will undoubtedly be the biggest game of his career.

And possibly his first career start.

“It’s not hard to stay ready, just the fact of my teammates counting on me when I go in,” Mims said. “I don’t want to let them down. Everybody who is not in should be ready.”

Amarius Mims shares his thoughts on possibly starting against LSU

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