The Georgia Bulldogs are returning much more offensive line experience in 2021 than they did in 2020. Georgia has recruited along the offensive front at a high level in recent seasons.
Georgia has stacked talent at the offensive tackle and center positions. The Dawgs don’t have as many highly ranked offensive guard recruits, but that’s okay because veteran offensive guard Justin Shaffer decided to return for a fifth season in Athens.
Here’s who we project to start along the interior of Georgia’s offensive line:
Left guard No. 2: Clay Webb
Oxford coach Ryan Herring accepts the Class 6A lineman of the year on behalf of Clay Webb. Jake Crandall/ Montgomery Advertiser
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Clay Webb has played in five career games for the Bulldogs. Webb is more of a center and could serve as Georgia's third center. Clay Webb came to the University of Georgia as a member of the class of 2019. He ranked as a five-star recruit and the top center in the country. He has the talent to make a push to start as Georgia's center, but it is looking like he will have to wait. Webb is a quality depth piece along Georgia's offensive line.
Left guard No. 1: Justin Shaffer
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Justin Shaffer has experience playing multiple positions along the offensive line. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Shaffer is very experienced and was named to the PFF All-America team ahead of the 2021 college football season. Shaffer gave Georgia a big boost when he elected to forgo the 2021 NFL draft. The biggest question for Shaffer is what position will he play? Shaffer started the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at right guard, but has more experience as a left guard. For that reason, we project him to start at left guard. Shaffer could shift positions to fill in if another offensive lineman suffers an injury.
Center No. 2: Sedrick Van Pran
Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck gets ready to take the snap from center Sedrick Van Pran. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Sedrick Van Pran is another former elite recruit. We give his the nod over Clay Webb as UGA's backup center. Van Pran is another candidate to play at offensive guard if Georgia has to rearrange the offensive front. Van Pran was ranked as the No. 1 center prospect in the class of 2020. He could easily start the season opener against Clemson as Warren Ericson is dealing with an injury to his snapping hand.
Center No. 1: Warren Ericson
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Warren Ericson (50) celebrates after a touchdown.Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Warren Ericson's role as starting center may be up for grabs due to his hand injury. If healthy, then we project Ericson to start, but he if he has to wear a cast around his hand, then it is unlikely he can hold on to a starting role. Georgia has some very capable depth at the center position. Ericson additionally has experience playing offensive guard for the Dawgs.
Right guard No. 2: Chad Lindberg
Team Pressure offensive lineman Chad Lindberg, committed to Georgia, (78) in the Under Armor All-America Game in 2020. Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser
Chad Lindberg came to the University of Georgia as a four-star offensive line recruit. He did not play as a true freshman, but showed impressive tape in high school. Lindberg is not favored to win a starting role. He could become valuable as the season goes on.
Right guard No. 1: Tate Ratledge
Tate Ratledge (51) blocks defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt (95) during the Georgia G-Day spring football game. (Photo/Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald)
Tate Ratledge is expected to start at right guard for the Bulldogs. Ratledge is a new starter for Georgia, but has impressed coaches this offseason. Ratledge played against Auburn in 2020 and started in the spring game.
More interior offensive line depth
Team Pressure offensive tackle Broderick Jones, committed to Georgia, (59) is introduced at the Under Armor All-America Game in 2020. Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser
Georgia has lots of talent along the offensive line and the five players that gel together and play the best will earn the lion's share of snaps. It is tough for an offensive line to stay healthy all season, so fans should expect offensive line coach Matt Luke to have to shuffle the starters a few times. Georgia's Broderick Jones and Amarius Mims are extremely talented and could play interior offensive line if there's an injury. Additionally, Georgia has Austin Blaske, Devin Willock, Owen Condon, Jared Wilson, and Dylan Fairchild are interior offensive line names to know.