NFL bound Georgia OTs tab freshman Earnest Greene as next man up: ‘He’s going to be good’

The Georgia offensive line will have to replace both starting tackles from the 2022 national title season with Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon’s departure to the NFL.

The Bulldogs have recruited consistently well along the offensive line and one of those young lineman garnered high praise from Jones and McClendon when they spoke to the media at the NFL combine last week.

According to Jones and McClendon, freshman Earnest Greene is the next man up.

“Probably Earnest,’ Jones said. “I felt like coming in, Earnest was ready. He was very physical, heavy hands, good pass sets, good run blocker, good finisher. He showed all the attributes it takes to play in the SEC.”

Greene enrolled early in Athens in January of last year as the No. 2 interior offensive lineman, the No. 3 player in the state of California and the No. 45 prospect overall in the 2022 class, per 247Sports rankings.

I feel like he came in on a higher level than I did, just because he had the experience with his dad and trainers. Coming out of high school, I wasn’t training with a lot of people.”

Greene’s father, Earnest II, played college football at Savannah State before a nine-year career in the NFL.

Greene didn’t take a snap last season due to a hamstring injury and back injury, which required surgery. Even still, Greene did enough to impress Jones and McClendon in practice.

“You know when freshmen come in, and early enrollees at that, they have a lot to learn,” McClendon said. “But he picked up on everything quick. In his pass pro, you come in and you have to learn how to kick-slide and stuff like that. He had it down pat Day One when he first came in. Just seeing stuff like that, just little things like that, you’re like, okay, he’s going to be good.”

Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels spoke about Greene to 247Sports on Jan. 7.

“Really when I first got here, the kid was way ahead of his time anyway. It’s just unfortunate he did get hurt and wasn’t able to play. I think he’s got a serious mindset of wanting to be good. He’s a very talented young man that’s got tremendous feet. He’s also a strong kid that has some punch and power and will compete.”

Greene will compete for starting role with rising redshirt sophomore Micah Morris, rising redshirt junior Austin Blaske and incoming five-star tackle Monroe Freeling.

We will get to see the group in action at Georgia’s annual G-Day spring game on April 15 in Sanford Stadium.

Story originally appeared on UGA Wire