Senior guard Kendall Baker is perhaps the walking representation of dogged perseverance. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman played in three games as a redshirt freshman and two games as a sophomore. With a talented group of recruits coming along last fall, it seemed as if Baker would spend his third consecutive season watching from the sidelines.
But he earned a start at left guard in Georgia’s second game of the season – remember that 20-19 victory at Notre Dame? – and remained the starter for the next 14 games.
Baker, who prepped at Marist primarily as a defensive threat, made sure he spent his summer preparing for an active season on the Bulldogs’ offensive line.
“I worked real hard this offseason because I knew what was coming,” Baker said. “I knew I had a lot of stuff to do to make the team better and make myself better. If I wanted to stay out there and do what I had to do for this last season, I had to go ahead and make the most of what I did.
So me and (senior center) Lamont (Gaillard) worked out all summer and didn’t really take a break and came back. We did have a good summer, and we’ve been feeling it on the field.”
His summer of labor didn’t necessarily result in a noticeable weight gain (he is the smallest lineman of Georgia’s returning seasoned players), but Baker definitely feels different.
“I didn’t gain too much weight,” he said. “The weight that I put on was better weight – I’m still at about 305 (pounds). I feel like I transferred my weight from that fat to more muscle.”
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