Jamaree Salyer talks working with Andrew Thomas and First Start at LT
After the 2019 season, Georgia lost a number of talented guys on the offensive line to the NFL draft. One of those being Andrew Thomas. In the 2021 NFL draft, Thomas was selected with the fourth overall pick by the New York Giants. Replacing a guy like Thomas is no easy task, but as some saw Thomas leaving as a need to fill, Jamaree Salyer saw Thomas' departure as an opportunity.
When quarantine hit, team football workouts and spring practices were canceled and players had to find their own ways to continue to get better in preparation for the upcoming season. For Salyer, he figured if he wanted to start at tackle, why not go to the guy who was one of the best left tackles in all of college football at the time? Salyer said that he and Thomas, both former Pace Academy Knights turned Georgia Bulldogs, worked out a lot during quarantine and that watching Thomas play in the NFL these last two weeks has gotten Salyer excited knowing he was able to learn under Thomas.
Salyer and Thomas' relationship goes way back and the two still keep in touch to this day. "I’ve seen him go from middle school to high school, high school to college, and college to the NFL—the highest level. It’s fun to watch him compete. We talk all the time—probably once or twice a week. We just check in on each other. As far as advice, he pretty much gave me everything he had as far as over quarantine and working out. I am excited to see where he goes.”
You don't exactly just replace a guy like Andrew Thomas at left tackle, but what you can do, if you're Georgia, is replace him with the guy who studied under him for a significant period of time. Salyer is looking to make his first start at left tackle on Saturday and he is ready to go out there and compete. "I know they have good edge rushers, and I am excited to see what they got. I worked really hard for this moment. I worked every day during quarantine to keep my weight down and working on my technique. I am really excited to go out there and compete—just to be able to compete against somebody else instead of having our defense every day—it’s exciting.”
Between working out with former teammate Andrew Thomas and going up against Georgia's defense every day at practice, a player could not ask for any better preparation for their first start at left tackle. The junior offensive linemen got some significant playing time last season but he will be playing an even bigger role this year in solidifying the edge and protecting the quarterback's blindside this season.
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