(Big) youth will be served.

Even if, like me, you’re feeling giddy over the prospects of Georgia’s offensive line this season, Seth Emerson ($$) does point out one area of potential concern worth noting.

Where this year’s offensive line doesn’t match up well historically is experience. That’s been a pretty key factor for past Georgia teams.

Mark Richt’s first SEC championship team in 2002 started five seniors. Three years later Georgia again started five upperclassmen — three seniors and two juniors — and won Richt’s second and final SEC championship. Even two years ago, when Isaiah Wynn was the only senior starter and Thomas was a true freshman at right tackle, in between them were two juniors and a redshirt sophomore.

This year there will likely be no seniors in the starting lineup.

True, there is some returning experience, as six different players have made at least four starts.  But the inside part of the line, where the surest thing in April is Trey Hill taking over as the new center, is pretty up in the air.

Of course, a lot of this is driven by a surge in talent with the last two recruiting class in particular.  Five-star kids making a leap in year two, like Jamaree Salyer, are naturally going to supplant others with more experience, but if you’re Sam Pittman, you’re going to play your best five, regardless.  I don’t know how it will shake out, obviously, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect there to be a few kinks, at least early on, regardless of how big and talented the starting five is.


Filed under Georgia Football

25 responses to “(Big) youth will be served.

  1. Derek

    I just hope Zeus is ready to go come August.

    I’d hate to waste all that beef and not have a big game breaking back.

    7 hiding behind all those behemoths is great for 15 to 20 totes, but then you need to start hitting them in the mouth with 15 to 20 more.

    If we can regularly keep Fromm’s pitch count to 20 or less, we’ll be celebrating in NOLA. And I think that all comes down to Zeus.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gurkha Dawg

    First world problems.


  3. UFTimmy

    It goes against common wisdom but experience on the offensive line is less important than experience at QB and WR, at least according to BillC’s stats.


  4. Bigshot

    The thing that bothers me is the loss of Galliard.


  5. willypmd

    Not sure we are going to have many seniors on the OL going forward. Going to have a lot more first round OL that aren’t going to exhaust eligibility because they are getting drafted.

    I’d be interested to see how many returning starts we have compared to others, this OL isn’t old, but I think it’s a stretch to say they aren’t experienced…


    • Salty Dawg

      willypmd, you bring up a very valid point, one that I’d rather not think about! You’re right about us not having many seniors from this point on. They will be declaring and rightfully so! After I watched a good bit of the AAF, I thought many players in the SEC were a lot better than those guys (no offense to anyone). So, I can see us in the future maybe having a couple of them staying, but not like in the olden days! I wished they would stay, but I understand. Get while the gettin is good!


  6. willypmd


    and just for S&G this one shows a negative correlation between returning offensive line starts and wins (I recognize the statistical validity is likely not robust, but hey it’s data!)


  7. UGA '97

    Sorry Seth, no concern. This is the Best Oline weve ever had in terms of athleticism, technique, fundamentals, talent, skill and size, and regardless of age, stars or experience.


  8. He has 7 starters for 5 positions – I would take Mays and Salyer – pair them together and rotate these two in at different times of the game, moving Mays out at Tackle. Or even positioning Salyer at Center and Mays at Guard. If they are all as gifted as advertised, you could rotate them almost the way UGA likes to rotate backs. Wearing down a D-Line that is out talented – out weighed and now not near as fresh.


  9. 81Dog

    talk about first world problems. Oh no, we have a pile of 4 and 5 star offensive linemen with experience, whatever shall we do? Beats the hell out of playing musical chairs with the 2 or 3 healthy OL we have and hoping we can find a couple more we can wheel out to take up space. I’ve been to that other, darker place. I’m good with the current dilemma, just pay Pittman lifetime money.


  10. Russ

    While I can’t argue with Seth’s logic, that’s digging pretty deep to find anything wrong with the OL. Sure, we don’t have seniors but we have a lot of talent that have played a lot of meaningful snaps. Bigshot up above mentions the one thing I’d be slightly worried about, and that’s the loss of Galliard. While we have the talent to replace him, center is usually the bell cow of the line, though it could also be a guard I suppose. Having Fromm behind center helps mitigate any of those concerns.


  11. PTC DAWG

    I thought some of y’all said Seth had some sense?


  12. Beave

    Two things are wrong when assessing the 2017 offensive line. For one thing one of the two juniors who started was Kendall Baker who was leaped over by Kindley, Cleveland, and Mayes last year. He didn’t start in 2018 until the Kentucky game when injuries piled up.

    Also Solomon Kindley was replaced by Ben Cleveland late in the 2017 season which he does not take into account.

    There are currently six players who have started multiple games plus Salyer who seems to be putting everything together this spring. Having someone on the line who is a senior does not matter much if they sat behind someone for three years and only played in garbage time.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dave

    I can’t get behind the pay wall, so maybe it’s mentioned, but calling Gaillard a junior 2 years ago is, to me, flawed from an experience standpoint. He didn’t come in as an O-Lineman. I believe he was switched after his 2nd year which included a redshirt. That’s from memory, so it may be slightly off, but there is still some validity in that.

    Who knows how Hill will do as a full-timer, but I’d say he’s every bit as experienced overall as Gaillard was when he took the reins. And, he’s a helluva lot bigger and just as athletic.


  14. CB

    Hill’s high snaps from last season are the only concern I have. If he can get that under control with Wilson and Thomas as bookends we’ll be fine with any combination of Kindley, Cleveland, Mays, or Salyer.


    • Dawg1

      I think he really only had 2 of those in the beginning of the KY game. He was hyped for sure. But not an “issue” after that.


      • CB

        I’m not exactly stressing over it, but in the small sample size we’ve seen of Hill it’s a valid criticism. Add in the fact that he didn’t play center in high school (unless he did so his senior year) and I find it noteworthy.

        That said, it’s not like we don’t have Salyer, Webb, and Ericson waiting in the wings to take over so either way we’ll be fine.


  15. The Dawg abides

    It may not be senior-laden, but I see a line featuring two 3rd year guys in Thomas and Wilson – with three seasons worth of starts between them, two 4th year juniors in Kindley and Cleveland, and three sophomores (Hill, Mays, and Salyer) that got broken in pretty good last year. My main concern with experience is Hill. The center usually calls the protections, and sometimes experience trumps talent there. I also hope he does a better job with the snap than at times last year.


  16. W Cobb Dawg

    Rather than CMR’s OLs, I think a more appropriate comparison would be to the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Or Hannibal’s war elephants. Or the gargantuans from the Jack & The Bean Stalk story. Or the giant planets of our outer solar system. Comparing this OL to CMR’s is an insult Seth!

    I mean really, how much fricken ‘experience’ does a bulldozer need?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. stoopnagle

    Whew boy we’re a long way from Tyler Catalina, ain’t we?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. CMR didn’t prioritize recruiting the line. Would his line recruits overall even maximizing their talent in their senior year be as good as this younger line this season? Nothing to worry about here IMO.