Jared Southers’ pre-draft challenge? Finding weightlifting equipment

Georgia Tech tackle Jared Southers (70) sets a block against North Carolina State Thursday night. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia Tech tackle Jared Southers (70) sets a block against North Carolina State Thursday night. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Maintaining strength has been a challenge for former Georgia Tech offensive lineman Jared Southers, one that began before the actual process of hoisting up barbells.

With nowhere to work out at since the spread of the coronavirus shut down his workout options, Southers made do with what he had at his parents’ Smyrna home and looked online for weights. With people quarantined at home, he had a lot of competition.

Items were out of stock, discontinued or on back order. Persistence won the day for Southers.

“It’s been pretty tough because the demand is crazy,” Southers told the AJC. “But I was able to find some things on Amazon.”

Despite that, Southers said he has maintained the weight he had at Tech’s pro day March 11 – around 307 pounds – and, with little else to do but work out, has added muscle.

Southers, one of four draft-eligible former Jackets along with safety Christian Campbell, running back/wide receiver Nathan Cottrell and tight end Tyler Davis, will be hoping to get either drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent as the NFL draft continues. Rounds 2-3 will take place Friday, with rounds 4-7 Saturday. The undrafted free-agent market opens up as the draft ends.

“I feel real good, a little anxious to see what happens this week, but I know we all are,” Southers said. “It’s just been weird in this limbo, in this state of uncertainty. Control what I can control and continue work hard.”

Southers said that he has been in touch with a handful of teams, naming the Falcons, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants. He said that teams have spoken well of his adversity.

At Tech last season, Southers played right guard and right tackle. Over his career – including his first three seasons at Vanderbilt before he came to Tech as a grad transfer – Southers played both guard and tackle spots and practiced at center. He even lined up for a few snaps at tight end, albeit he was essentially a sixth offensive lineman.

“Versatility is the name of the game,” he said.