Georgia football linemen expressed admiration, respect for Arkansas coach Sam Pittman
Sam Pittman is forever woven into the fabric of what Georgia football looks like today.
Pittman was the Bulldogs' offensive line coach for four seasons (2016-2019). He ushered in a golden era for Georgia's offensive line seemingly overnight. Recruiting drastically improved and the unit made a huge leap between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Off the field, his familiar "Yes sir!" catchphrase made him a beloved figure among Georgia fans, while his soft and loving demeanor won the hearts of the players he coached.
That's why Saturday will be bittersweet for the Bulldog nation. Pittman is now the head coach for Georgia's week one opponent Arkansas. But there are no hard feelings from the Georgia side. During a recent media availibility, offensive linemen Warren Ericson and Jamaree Salyer expressed their admiration for their former coach and took the opportunity to wish success upon Pittman and the Razorbacks.
"Every player, staff and faculty love Coach Pittman," Ericson said. "I am interested to see how he does and I wish him the best of luck as he goes on. I know he is going to do well.”
Salyer was more personal with his sentiments on Pittman. He recalled the day he committed to Georgia and the origins of Pittman's "Yes Sir!"
“Oh man! It was funny. That was a fun day for me just to see that guy and his face light up," Salyer said. "[Coach Pittman] has a smile you really can’t hate on. He’s got good energy. He has always been that way. It made me really happy. It made my mom really happy. He's good at building relationships—that’s what he was best at. He just made me feel happy—to see him light up and how happy that made him.
Salyer continued by expressing his support for Pittman as a head coach and expressed his desire to see his former coach have success.
"Of course [I support] Coach Pitt[man]," he said. "He has always been great to me. He’s been great to my family. He always treated me with the upmost respect here. I got a lot of love for Coach Pitt—I would tell him that right now if I could talk to him.
"He’s always been special to me—always will have a special place in my heart because he poured a lot into me when he was here. I got better. We had a great relationship. I would love for his team to have success. I am not upset with his decision. He did what was best for him and all I can do is wish him the best. I hope they have a great season. I am excited to compete against him.”
Salyer is entering his first season as starters on Georgia's offensive line, while Ericson is expected to be a key backup at a few positions.
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