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Georgia Coach Kirby Smart "Can't Wait" For The World To See Jared Wilson

March 20, 2024
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ATHENS - It won’t be easy to replace arguably the great Georgia Bulldog center of all time, but that’s exactly what Jared Wilson will try to do this year.

Sedrick Van Pran was a multi-year starter who helped lead the Bulldogs to two consecutive national championships. Those are massive shoes to fill, but if you ask Kirby Smart, Wilson is more than capable of getting the job done.

"I’m excited for the rest of the world to get to see Jared Wilson”, Smart told reporters this week. “He has a lot to do to be the best player he can be. When you talk about athleticism at the center position, this guy runs faster than a lot of our defensive backs, believe it or not, our tight ends, our quarterbacks. His numbers are extremely athletic for someone over 300 pounds and he can get to the second level as quick as anybody. He’s really athletic. He’s had the great fortune of learning from (Sedrick Van Pran). Unfortunately, that is not a position that you rotate at a ton. He didn't get a lot of opportunity to play, like maybe (Amrius) Mims or Dylan Fairchild. They got to go in the game and play. He didn't get an opportunity to do a lot of those things. He’s a really good athlete and even better person. We enjoyed his leadership. I am looking forward to the center being the leader of the group like (Sedrick Van Pran) was. He has taken on a new role and doing it his way."

Let’s not get it twisted. Jared Wilson isn’t some young pup. He’s not some highly-ranked freshman or sophomore still learning how to play at a major program. He’s been in Athens for three years now with the 2024 season being his fourth. He’s patiently waited and has developed more and more over the last three years.

After learning from the best, Wilson is ready to make his mark on the Bulldog program. It’s his time to lead, and he’s been working hard behind the scenes to take advantage of this big opportunity.

“With Sed (Van-Pran), everybody knows about his leadership”, Wilson told reporters this week. “It's world renowned. I can't even put into words how great of a leader he is. I wouldn't even have to go ask him a question, he would lead so much that he would say things that would answer other people's questions. It’s probably one of the easiest transitions I've ever had just because I've had a great leader in him."

What is Wilson working on the most this spring?

"One thing for sure is leadership. I would say that I'm a guy that tries and leads by example, but I know that at the center position the vocal part of it really needs to come about. Also, finishing at the second level. I feel like I can handle the first level, get the calls right, and I feel like I'm pretty good at pass protection. But I feel like getting to the linebacker and finishing, running through them, finishing running through my feet, that’s what I’m working on."

If Wilson can come even remotely close to what Van-Pran was, Georgia’s offensive line could be hands down the best in college football.

The Dawgs are bringing back Tate Ratledge, arguably the best right guard in football. LEft tackle Earnest Greene is a returning starter who could be getting 1st-round NFL talk this time next year. The left guard battle between Micah Morris and Dylan Fairchild is a win-win. And at right tackle, you’ve got Xavier Truss, going on his 100th year in the program, and a promising sophomore in Monro Freeling.

So if Jared Wilson is as good as sources say he is, good luck finding a better starting five in college football.


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