Georgia head coach Kirby Smart directs players during spring practice Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Athens.
Photo: UGA Sports
Photo: UGA Sports

Smart says Georgia’s offensive line is a work in progress

Like a work of art, Georgia assistant Sam Pittman continues to shape and mold what looks to be the best offensive line in college football.

Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said the UGA offensive line paved the way for a consistent run game against a hungry Georgia defense in Saturday’s scrimmage two.

“I thought we had a lot more five, six, seven-yard runs,” Smart said. “Not a lot of explosives, but we ran the ball better, and the offense controlled most parts of the scrimmage. I thought that was good.”

The scrimmage portion of the practice was not open to the media, but Smart provided some detail of how the offensive line continues to shape up.

Smart was asked specifically about sophomore offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer, who has worked with the ones at times in spring drills, and went on to mention sophomore Cade Mays along with others.

“It’s trying to find the best tackles, we have guards who are comfortable,” Smart said. “Cade’s playing left tackle, Cade’s playing right guard, Owen Condon has gotten stronger, more physical and is playing with more confidence.

“D’marcus Hayes is playing out there. Warren McClendon got more reps today, so you’re always trying to find tackles and we’re trying to find the best lineup A, best lineup B and best lineup C. You can go all the way to Z with all the combinations and the multiples that can be created by injuries. 

“We don’t want to ever not have a player as good as another guy out there, so Jamaree gives us that luxury on being able to do both.”

Georgia returns six offensive linemen with starting experience — including three former FWAA Freshman All-Americans in Andrew Thomas (2017) along with Mays (2018) and Isaiah Wilson (2018).

The Bulldogs have finished among the three finalists the past two years for the coveted Joe Moore Award, which goes to the best offensive line in college football.

The left side of the UGA line appears set with Thomas returning at left tackle and Solomon Kindley returning at left guard.

Sophomore Trey Hill appears to be counted on to hold the center job, while Ben Cleveland is the favorite to win back his job at right guard with Wilson returning at right tackle.

Mays and Salyer are certainly in the mix to challenge for starting spots with strong finishes to their springs and more great work in the summer.

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