UGA Football

Mass appeal: Why Georgia's size up front continues to increase in recruiting

Trey Hill holds his new hat after signing a commitment to attend Georgia starting this winter. Hill's brother, Derrick, played football at Valdosta State where he was coached by Kirby Smart.
Trey Hill holds his new hat after signing a commitment to attend Georgia starting this winter. Hill's brother, Derrick, played football at Valdosta State where he was coached by Kirby Smart. The Telegraph

Two years ago, in the final season of Mark Richt’s tenure as Georgia’s head coach, Georgia had one of the lightest teams in the SEC. That year, Georgia had 10 players on its roster listed over 300 pounds.

The Bulldogs just signed seven players who weigh over 300 pounds in its top-ranked recruiting class of 2018.

One, defensive lineman Jordan Davis, signed on Wednesday. The rest put pen to paper during December’s early signing period.

“We were able to get some guys we think are really big, and in our league, the best teams you play are the teams that got size and stature and (are) able to win the line of scrimmage,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “We've made no bones about it that you've got to win the line of scrimmage in this conference, and that's an area we've tried to target.”

Based on Georgia’s roster in the national championship, Georgia will start spring practice with 23 players who pass the 300-pound threshold. For comparison, 19 of Alabama’s players weighed over 300 pounds when it won the national championship in January.

Georgia started seven players who weighed at least 300 pounds on either side of the line of scrimmage last season. Only one offensive lineman, left guard Kendall Baker, weighed less than 300.

Of course, these heavy players have to be able to move well at their size. They can’t just weigh a lot in order to be productive, and size doesn’t equal success. Georgia saw this first-hand last season. Isaiah Wynn started at left tackle and weighed 302 pounds. He arrived to college at 269 pounds. Now, in two months, he could be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Smart said he and his staff do not target recruits based on weight. Still, each year since Smart arrived at Georgia, he has signed more and more players who weigh over 300 pounds.

There were four such players in his first class. Five in last year’s group. Now, seven: Devonte Wyatt, Cade Mays, Trey Hill, Jamaree Salyer, Owen Condon, Warren Ericson and Davis. Make that 16 players who weigh over 300 pounds to sign with Georgia since Smart became head coach.

They all play offensive or defensive line.

“I wouldn't say it's a priority to get them over 300 pounds,” Smart said. “It's a priority to get really good football players.”

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