ATHENS, Ga. – It has been just a week since Georgia started spring practice, but sophomore Andrew Thomas already looks to be comfortable at left tackle. That should make everyone associated with the offense comfortable.
Thomas started every game last season at right tackle. And with Isaiah Wynn – a potential first-round pick in this year’s NFL draft – moving on, Thomas has made the move to the left side this spring.
Coach Kirby Smart said Thomas hasn’t necessarily stood out, which often is a positive with offensive linemen.
“If you don’t notice him, that’s probably a good thing,” Smart said. “It’s not like there’s popping up sacks and things. It’s very quiet.”
Thomas’ “quiet” transition to the most important position along the line has been a fitting accompaniment to his personality. Tight end Charlie Woerner said Thomas is “a reserved, quiet dude.” Thomas described himself and the way he prepares in much the same way.
“I just come in and I work,” he said. “Don’t say much.”
His work to make the position switch to left tackle goes back further than spring practice. He said he’s been taking reps at left tackle for the second and third teams since he first arrived in Athens, adding that Wynn was a mentor from early on.
Toward the end of last season, Thomas began to practice with the second team at left tackle in addition to working with the first team at right tackle, sometimes taking as much as half the second-team left tackle snaps.
With the knowledge of his responsibilities already there, Thomas said he’s now just focusing on getting his body used to playing on the left side.
“I’m just breaking down, and then trying to build muscle memory on the left side,” he said.
The ease with which he has made the move has drawn the attention of his teammates.
“Andrew’s a fantastic player,” Woerner said. “I think he’ll be a first-round draft pick one day. He’s very intelligent, knows what he’s doing, very humble kid, too, and very smart.
“I just think he’s one of our best offensive lineman and I think he’s just going to keep getting better.”
(You can follow Nathan Berg on Twitter @NathanxBerg)
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