Center Of Attention On The Offensive Line

Joshua L. Jones

We are a little over a week away from the start of fall camp for the 2015 edition of the Georgia Bulldogs football program. There are only a couple of position battles that will be looked upon on a daily basis and one of them is on the offensive line.

That position of scrutiny in that position group is at the center spot. Georgia has been fortunate over the last three seasons to have one of the SEC’s best at the position in David Andrews and Ben Jones before him.

Now the Bulldogs must decide between the junior Brandon Kublanow or senior Hunter Long. The first unofficial depth chart was released two weeks ago and it had Kublanow as the first team center heading into next Tuesday.

Sophomore Isaiah Wynn worked a good amount of time during the spring at center. But in this first depth chart is only listed as the first team left guard.

This might be true for right now, but according to head coach Mark Richt the position battle will be a competition.

“We’re not settled,” Richt said. “Kublanow is a guy that has played for us a bunch and you want some experience at that position, as far as playing time. You know, his body type works there. Guards and centers are very similar in stature. It makes good sense. We’re not 100 percent sure that’s how it’s going to end up, but that’s how we’re going to start camp.”

Kublanow started getting reps at the position during the spring and was going up against the other two players. During that practice period, Isaiah Wynn got the majority of the snaps with the first team offense.

Even before he was named the unofficial first team center, Kublanow spoke about the chance to play center during the spring. He says whoever the starter is, the returning players will help bring them along.

“We definitely have a lot of chemistry in the room,” Kublanow said. “It’s not only on the first line, but the whole room. I think that’s a big thing in college, is everyone being good friends and everyone being close.”

Kublanow had a chance to play alongside David Andrews last season, when he started all 13 games last season as a guard. If Kublanow starts at center this season, that likely means that Wynn would play the left guard spot.

Senior left tackle John Theus is being looked to as a leader this season, with Andrews now graduated. The Jacksonville-native is a media preseason first team All-SEC selection.

He believes that even though Andrews isn’t around anymore at the center spot, the starter will be prepared to lead.

“It doesn’t affect me personally,” Theus said. “Because no matter who the coaches put there, they’ve been able to do the job. It’s up to coach (Rob) Sale and what he wants to do. It hasn’t affected me. I’ve been able to execute with whoever’s been there.”

Even though Andrews isn’t around anymore, Kublanow says his presence is still felt. That’s because he feels he soaked up a lot of his knowledge from playing alongside him in 2014.

“David taught us a lot of things and we knew always what to do with David,” Kublanow said. “I know the first thing at center is knowing what to do and how to do it. If you know what to do, then you can tell everyone else what to do and they’ll be good.”

The Bulldogs will have one month to decide on who their starting center will be heading into that first game against ULM on September 5. It could be much like the quarterback position, where we could even see the competition going into the season.

My prediction is that Kublanow will be named the starting center. This allows for more experience to return to that position group for not only this season, but also 2016.

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