After losing center Ben Jones and left tackle Cordy Glenn to the NFL Draft last year, the Georgia Bulldogs have two key positions to fill on their offensive line this season. Both players anchored the line for years for the Bulldogs and their experience will be missed.
However, the team does possess capable replacements.
Sophomore David Andrews (6-foot-2, 295 pounds) saw time last season in some of Georgia’s blowout victories and will be expected to take over Jones’ spot at center. Andrews is considered to be undersized for the position but so was his predecessor, Jones, and he held his ground in the SEC. The young center models his playing style after that of Jones and has learned to use his size to his advantage.
Many eyes have been on the new Georgia Bulldogs center throughout fall camp to see how he holds up against the team’s pair of behemoth nose tackles, John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers. Both lineman are 350 pound heavyweights that are known to take up multiple blockers while pushing their way to opposing quarterbacks. How has David Andrews held up? The sophomore pancaked Jenkins during the first week of practice and held him off without assistance during a drill last week. Head coach Mark Richt has been pleased with his center’s progress and has given Andrews the nickname “Boss” because of the attitude he has on the line. Andrews may not be Ben Jones but the Georgia Bulldogs seem to have an SEC-caliber replacement.
Glenn was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft and is a talent that will be hard to replace. Junior Kenarious Gates will slide from right tackle to left tackle this season for the Georgia Bulldogs. Gates has served as a capable lineman for the Bulldogs, playing both guard and tackle for the team. The junior has not performed well in practice so far but the Dawgs will hope that he will turn it up a notch once the lights come on.
The decision to move Gates to left tackle was made with offensive tackles Kolton Houston and Watts Dantzler in mind. Georgia signed one of the top offensive tackles last year in John Theus but Richt was not sure how the freshman would progress in his first preseason camp, which is a reason behind his thoughts on Houston and Dantzler.
On the first day of fall camp, Richt named Dantzler the starter and Theus his backup. Houston was taken out of the picture for the Bulldogs due to being deemed ineligible by the NCAA. Though naming Watts the preseason starter at right tackle, his actions gave away his true thoughts. After two days of practicing, Theus found himself working with the first team and Dantzler was demoted to the second team.
While only a freshman, John Theus may be raw but the tackle possesses a great deal of deal and looks to have sewn up the right tackle job for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Chris Lionetti covers the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as a College Football Writer for Rant Sports
Follow him on Twitter at: @ChrisLionetti