Offensive line held its own this spring for Georgia

Offensive line held its own this spring for Georgia

April 21st, 2017 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia left guard Pat Allen (58), shown during a recent practice, has been a pleasant surprise as the Bulldogs wrap up spring practice. The G-Day Game is Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

Photo by John Paul Van Wert

A Georgia offensive line that was expected to undergo a lot of shuffling this spring really didn't.

Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, left guard Pat Allen, center Lamont Gaillard, right guard Solomon Kindley and right tackle Dyshon Sims have held first-team roles at their positions for most of the 14 spring workouts. The Bulldogs held their 14th practice Thursday afternoon and will conduct their G-Day spring game at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Bulldogs entered the spring having to replace three starters off last year's line that struggled on occasion, and what was supposed to be a makeshift period until five touted freshmen arrive this summer turned out to be productive based on the offense's success in most of the practices.

"I'm never content or happy with where we are, especially across the offensive line," Bulldogs second-year coach Kirby Smart said Thursday night in a news conference, "but I think we improved from day one to day 14 in that area. Pat has gotten better.

"Have we upgraded from what we had? I don't know that, and there is no way to measure that until they get out in a game and do it."

Isaiah Wilson, a five-star tackle signee from New York, attended Thursday's practice.

The offense had the upper hand in the first spring scrimmage, Smart said, while last Saturday's second scrimmage ended in a deadlock. Smart said the second-team line has suffered since right tackle Ben Cleveland suffered an injury that has yet to be disclosed.

"It's a good core group that plays really hard," Smart said. "The biggest difference from last year is that our two guards have a little more girth to them."

Policy defense

Smart defended his new practice policy that does not allow media members to report on injuries that occur while they are in attendance or report on players who are either absent or are in noncontact jerseys. Several Southeastern Conference schools, including Alabama, allow the media to list who is and isn't going through practice.

According to the new policy, Smart must address the injury before it can be reported.

"It's a big disadvantage in the season for us for our opponents to know every kid who is injured, every kid who is out and every kid who is not practicing," Smart said. "When that information gets out to our opponent, it can be a detriment to our team, and I'm trying to protect our team."

Smart said the NFL makes it fair by having every team list an injury report but added that he doesn't necessarily want to take that approach.

Odds and ends

Senior tight end Jeb Blazevich (knee) is not expected to play in the G-Day game, while sophomore tight end Isaac Nauta (shoulder) and freshman safety Deangelo Gibbs (shoulder) are questionable. Sophomore Mecole Hardman, a reserve cornerback last season, will play receiver Saturday.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.


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