Just a reminder of who’s on the roster at offensive line going into spring practice:
Notes: Georgia loses Greg Pyke, Tyler Catalina and Brandon Kublanow from the 2016 season and that leaves three holes to fill. Right tackle, left tackle, and center. Gaillard is the favorite to step in at center although Sims has worked there quite a bit since last season’s bye week before the Florida game. Sims will also battle at left and right guard while Wynn gets looks at left guard and left tackle. All three improved as the year progressed in 2016 and will be light years ahead of others in regards to their knowledge and practice of the scheme.
Contenders: Pat Allen (Soph.), Kendall Baker (Jr.), Chris Barnes (RFr), Michael Barnett (Soph.), Aulden Bynum (Sr.), Ben Cleveland (RFr.), Sage Hardin (Soph.), D’Marcus Hayes (Jr.), Solomon Kindley (RFr.), and Sam Madden (Soph.)
Notes: This will be a big spring for each of these contenders and for difference reasons. It’s probably now or never for guys like Allen, Hardin and Madden. If they don’t make a move in their third year in the program, there’s a good chance those players from the 2016 and 2017 classes will leap over them. For guys like Bynum and Baker, time is running out in general.
Then you have Hayes, who’ll be given every opportunity to win a job at tackle. At 6-foot-6 the raw ability is there. Early word is that he must get in shape in order to win a job. Barnett has been working on the offensive line for just four months now, so he might need some time.
That’s thirteen; that’s also before you get the studs coming in for August. That’s a lot of bodies to sort out between now and Appalachian State.
If you read Rowe’s analysis, things are pretty much in a state of flux, which is to be expected, given the hopes for Hayes to start at left tackle. If he does, that probably cleans up a lot. If he doesn’t, we may be looking at a situation very different from last year’s when the lineup was essentially settled after Catalina arrived. If that’s because of competition — and you have to hope with the quality of the incoming class, it would be to some degree — well and good. If that’s because they don’t have enough kids step up to play at an SEC level, get ready to pull your hair out again over the play calling.