It’s almost that time. Georgia is scheduled to open spring practice next week.
In previous weeks, we've broken down several players and position groups to watch this spring. As we lead up to the Bulldogs’ first team workout, this week we'll make five predictions related to the upcoming practices.
Today’s prediction: John Theus locks down the left tackle job
Theus is clearly not afraid to be different, frequently tweeting about his love for Beyonce or how he’s watching something lovey dovey like “Grey’s Anatomy” on Netflix. That hardly fits the stereotype of the rough-and-tumble offensive lineman, but Theus has still fared OK thus far at Georgia, even if his entertainment choices might be a bit unique.
This fall, however, the Bulldogs want more from Theus than what he has delivered in his first two seasons, so this spring would be a good time for him to differentiate himself on the field, as well.
The rising junior became one of the highest-rated offensive line prospects that Georgia has signed under Mark Richt when Theus officially joined the Bulldogs in 2012. He became one of the few true freshman offensive linemen to ever start his first game at Georgia and emerged as a fixture at right tackle that fall, even making a couple of Freshman All-America teams.
Kenarious Gates was a nice insurance policy on the left side of the line while Theus learned the ropes, but now Gates is gone. Richt’s staff signed Theus to someday become their starting left tackle, and with no proven option at the position, now will be the time for Theus to take hold of the job.
He temporarily lost his grip on the right tackle spot last season, playing as a reserve in five of the first six games before returning to the starting lineup down the stretch. Kolton Houston, who along with Mark Beard will probably also get some looks at left tackle this spring, experienced his struggles as starting right tackle, as well.
Those three players look like offensive line coach Will Friend’s best options at tackle, though, so the Bulldogs desperately need to get more consistent play from at least two of them starting this spring.
Theus seemed like the safest bet to become an All-SEC performer this time a year ago, and even if his sophomore season wasn’t the overwhelming success he might have liked, he still has the ability to lock down the left tackle spot and perform well there.
He’ll start doing that this spring.