Cast your vote below for the best interior offensive lineman of the past decade for the Bulldogs.
Ben Jones (2008-present). Jones is the prototypical offensive lineman in almost every way. On one hand, he’s a big bruiser checking in at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds. But more than his physique, it’s his attitude that makes Jones intimidating. He’s aggressive, confident, and perhaps a little crazy. The self-proclaimed country boy from Alabama took over the starting center job just four games into his career, earning a freshman All-SEC nod in 2008. His blocking earned him offensive lineman of the week honors in the SEC after Georgia beat Kentucky that year. In 2009, he blossomed into a veteran leader on the line despite being just a sophomore and was named second-team All-SEC.
Chris Davis (2007-present). Never the flashiest of linemen – although, are any of them that flashy? – Davis is every bit the gritty warrior a good line needs. In three seasons of action, Davis has started 36 of a possible 38 games despite playing much of the past two seasons with a nagging hip injury that required surgery after 2008. He was a freshman All-American honorable mention in 2007, started at three different positions on a makeshift line in 2008 and recovered from offseason surgery to become a cornerstone of Georgia’s resurgent line in 2009 at both left and right guard.
Nick Jones (2003-2006). On an offense composed mostly by youth in 2006, Jones was the unquestioned leader. He started every game that season and earned All-SEC honors, was named the team’s permanent captain and its offensive MVP while handling the center position on a unit that started three different quarterbacks. Jones was a key contributor throughout his career at Georgia, starting games in four seasons and ending his career with a string of 32 consecutive starts.
Alex Jackson (2001-2002). Under Jim Donnan, Jackson was the Bulldogs’ top reserve lineman, but when Mark Richt arrived in 2001, Jackson quickly emerged as a starter. He started 10 games his junior season, including a strong performance at right tackle subbing for Jon Stichcomb against Georgia Tech that season. Jackson’s biggest success came at guard, however, where the 335-pound behemoth helped open holes up the middle and thwart defensive pressure on the Bulldogs’ 2002 SEC title team as the starting left guard.
Russ Tanner (2003-2005). A backup center on Mark Richt’s first SEC title team in 2002, Tanner progressed in every year of his career. He started throughout his final three seasons in Athens, culminating with another conference championship in 2005. As a sophomore in 2003, he started 14 games for the SEC East champs. He was named to the Remmington Trophy Watch List his final two seasons and a member of the Academic All-SEC team. He graduated as part of the winningest class in Georgia history.
Kevin Breedlove (1999-2002). The burly, 315-pound lineman was a beast in the interior of Georgia’s offensive line during the early part of the decade. As a freshman in 1999, he earned freshman All-America honors, and his career took off from there. He earned All-SEC honors in both 2000 and 2002, helping Georgia to its first SEC championship win in ’02 in 20 years. He set the Georgia school record for non-kickers by making 47 straight starts to end his career.
Max Jean-Gilles (2003-2005). Jean-Gilles (last name hyphenated despite Mark Richt’s usual moniker of “Max-Jean”) was part of Georgia’s 2002 freshman class, earning an SEC title that year as a backup. As a sophomore, he blossomed, dominating opposing defenders with ease. One of the largest linemen ever to play at Georgia checking in at close to 350 pounds, Jean-Gilles was a three-year starter who paved the way for some of Georgia’s most successful offensive seasons. He earned All-SEC honors in each of his three seasons as a starter and was named a Walter Camp All-American as a senior in 2005 when he won his second SEC title.
Fernando Velasco (2006-2007). Velasco didn’t have a typical career path at Georgia, earning minimal time off the bench in 2003 and 2004 before redshirting the 2005 season. But when he emerged as a starter in 2006, he blossomed. He started 25 games in his final two seasons in Athens, a period in which the Bulldogs went 20-6. As a senior in 2007, he won the SEC’s offensive lineman of the week award twice and helped the Bulldogs to a Sugar Bowl victory and a No. 2 overall ranking with one of the most potent offensive attacks in the conference. He earned a second-team All-SEC nod in 2007.