Andrew Thomas is making the most of an opportunity being presented to him.
With left tackle Isaiah Wynn missing practice on Monday and Tuesday, Georgia was forced to shift its offensive line around. One of those moves was to place Thomas with the first team at left guard.
While the coaching staff is getting a good look at what Thomas can bring, head coach Kirby Smart said the Pace Academy product still needs time to develop before being named a starter.
“He’s not ready to help out right now,” Smart said. “He’s extremely mature kid. He studies hard, he’s serious, he’s very business-like. He’s got a great approach to the game. We don’t have a guy ready, it’s practice eight. It’s hard to say we have the older linemen exactly ready. The five guys who started out there, because they had 15 practices in the spring, they’re still ahead of those other guys. But some of the other guys are catching up quick. I would definitely say Andrew is a guy that’s catching up quick. He has the athletic ability to play multiple positions, meaning inside and outside.”
Thomas began the preseason practicing at tackle, with head coach Kirby Smart previously saying that is the position Thomas would likely play. In fact, Smart said he envisions Thomas as a future left tackle for the Georgia offense.
Thomas was not only taking first-team reps at left guard Tuesday, but also second-team reps at the position. This could signal Georgia's eagerness to get Thomas up to speed in the event he is asked to step in at left guard.
But with Wynn providing Georgia's best option at left tackle, Thomas is getting a good look at left guard for the time being. After all, it is every team's goal is to play the five best linemen, regardless of position.
“We have to play our best players,” Smart said. “He's got a little more size to him ... We didn’t get a whole lot of movement (last year) ... so we felt Andrew could help us out at guard. But Andrew’s got to be a left tackle as well. He may even have to be a right tackle.”