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UGA Offensive Linemen: Competition Drives Everybody

August 6, 2019

ATHENS – No. 3 Georgia conducted two hours of preseason practice Tuesday in helmets and pads at the Woodruff Practice Fields under temperatures as high as 90-degrees with a heat index that made if feel like 97-degrees.
Preseason practice made its 2019 debut on Friday, followed by Fan Day in the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility on Saturday. The first practice in pads and helmets took place on Sunday, before the Bulldogs' fourth outing on Monday.
Representatives of the Georgia offense spoke to the media after practice on Tuesday. Nearly the entire offensive line unit from 2018 will be back, including both junior guards Solomon Kindley, and Ben Cleveland. Georgia’s top returning wide receiver Tyler Simmons, a senior, provides experience in the revamped receiving core.
Kindley, who started every game on the left side in 2018, attributed the competition with the defensive line as a key determinant in readying the offensive line for gamedays. 
“That is just the brain that we have at Georgia – physical, dominant offensive and defensive line,” Kindley said. "If you have that you can win championships. Apparently we are called ‘The Great Wall’, but we don’t pay any attention to that. The defensive line feels like they are going against the best offensive line, so they come out with a chip [on their shoulders] out there.”
Cleveland, a four-game starter on the right side in 2018, highlighted the competition within the talented offensive line that features returners and newcomers to the group that helped pave over 6,000 total yards last season.
"It is phenomenal," Cleveland said. "Competition drives everybody, not only to get better, but also to perfect what we are trying to do. It is a good thing for everybody to have that common goal to compete everyday and to push each other. The guy coming up behind you is trying to push you out of your spot, which makes you progress and keep moving.”
Simmons, of Powder Springs, Ga., understands the role he has as one of the most tenured receivers on the roster and the job of passing on knowledge to the group.

"It means a lot that my quarterback trusts me and trusts me to be one of his main guys," Simmons said. "In being in that position, I have to take a bigger leadership role in getting the young guys ready and prepared. We [Jake Fromm] talk a lot. We meet a lot, watching film and trying to figure out ways we can better ourselves as a quarterback-receiver duo. I just pass what he teaches me down to the younger guys, so everybody can be ready to step up and be ready to play.”
The Bulldogs enjoy an off day on Wednesday, before returning to the field on Thursday for the sixth day of preseason camp. Georgia's first game of the 2019 campaign is slotted for August 31 at Vanderbilt.

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