If you’ve been reading practice reports — you have, haven’t you? — you may have noticed there’s plenty of shuffling going on with regard to the offensive line. That shouldn’t come as any great surprise, given last year’s results and this year’s stellar recruiting class.
The situation has led to an interesting analogy from Smart.
Head coach Kirby Smart, when asked about the upcoming decisions, acknowledged it could be “very similar to Jacob and Greyson last year.” Greyson Lambrt, the fifth-year senior, started the opener but gave way to freshman Jacob Eason the second week.
So this year with the offensive line, you could see a scenario where one of the rookies either starts or plays early over a veteran, with the thinking that experience will make them better.
“It’s a critical decision,” Smart said. “We’ve always said we want to play the guys who give us the best opportunity to win. Well in game one that may not be the same as game 2,3, 4, 5. So when we make those decisions we make them based on own the road, who’s going to be the best guy down the road. That doesn’t mean that that guy might start. …
“Very similar to Jacob and Greyson last year. We’re trying to decide who’s going to be the best guy down the road. It doesn’t mean that guy’s going to start right away. It just means that guy’s going to be ready to play and going to be developed.”
I wouldn’t call that throwaway season thinking, but it seems pretty clear that Smart expects to be playing different linemen by the time, say, the Cocktail Party rolls around than the ones he sends out to block Appalachian State.
Just another issue for Coach Pittman to deal with on the fly. And Jacob Eason.