Georgia fans knew coming into the offseason that one of the biggest questions the Dawgs had to answer was what they would do along the offensive line.
UGA lost two starters to the draft along the offensive line, the most of any position group on the offensive side of the ball. Center Trey Hill and guard Ben Cleveland were experienced veterans for this group, and replacing them was offensive line coach Matt Luke’s first priority. The Dawgs don’t lack talent in their offensive line room, but choosing the right players to replace Cleveland and Hill won’t be easy. Georgia fans need not worry because Luke is the right man for the job.
When Georgia’s former offensive line coach, Sam Pittman, took the Arkansas head coaching job, many fans didn’t know if there was another coach who would meet the high expectations that he had set.
Pittman was widely known as one the best offensive line coaches in the country. He was a significant part of the recruiting success on Georgia's offense, and he was as popular inside the locker room as he was with fans. Luckily for the Dawgs, a coach with almost the same profile had become available just one week prior, former Ole Miss head coach Luke. Hiring Matt Luke just two days after Pittman was named the head coach at Arkansas was a masterful move by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. It solidified the Dawgs' 2020 recruiting class shortly before early signing day began.
Since he was hired at Georgia, Luke has proven he is more than capable of recuiting at the same level Georgia fans expected. Still, this season his coaching talent will be just as, if not more important than his recruiting ability. With a crop of talented but inexperienced players, Luke will have to demonstrate that his coaching ability matches his skills on the recruiting trail. Fortunately for Georgia fans, Luke is already well on his way to doing so. Amarius Mims and Broderick Jones were highly-rated prospects coming to Georgia, but both have plenty to improve on if they want to see the field this season. During G-Day, both players showed considerable progress.
Jones’s performance was particularly noteworthy. Jones was a high-level prospect primarily based on his size and raw athleticism. He played defense for most of his life and changed positions to left tackle late in his high-school career. While inexperience showed in spots, Jones had an excellent performance at right tackle during G-Day. That further highlights the coaching job that Luke did with him considering Jones had never played right tackle before coming to Georgia.
While there is still a way to go for both prospects, what fans saw from the young offensive linemen at G-Day should give them confidence heading into the season. This year will be a test for Luke’s coaching abilities, and early indications are that he will pass with flying colors.
You May Also Like
Join the community
Follow Brooks Austin on Twitter: @BrooksAustinSI
Follow Kyle Funderburk on Twitter: @DKFunderburk
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top right-hand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook @BulldogMaven & follow us on Twitter at @BulldogsSI.