Of all the adjustments Solomon Kindley has made since arriving on campus just over a year ago, one should not come as a huge surprise – his weight.
Kindley was a hefty 365 back in those days.
“I’ve lost about 35 pounds,” Kindley said. “We’ve got a great nutrition program here and they just kept me on the diet plan, they kept me eating right and every time we worked out, I always went out and ran a few extra laps and that’s helped keep my weight down.”
Now a svelte 330 pounds, Kindley admits winning his battle with the scale hasn’t been easy.
“I don’t really pick up anything I know I’m not supposed to eat,” said Kindley, noting that going cold turkey from his favorite snack proved tougher than he thought it would be.
“It had to be the sweets,” Kindley said. “Little Debbie Cakes, all that kind of stuff.”
There were other challenges.
“There was the mental part of my game,” Kindley said. “I didn’t know too much, but spring time and the summer I really grinded hard, stayed in the film room, got my assignments right. That was my biggest thing.”
So far, so good.
KIndley secured the starting right guard spot for Georgia after a strong effort during fall camp, only to be slowed by an ankle injury that limited him to just reps on extra points in Georgia’s season-opening win over Appalachian State.
After coming off the bench against Notre Dame, Kindley made his first career start last week against Samford and figures to do so again Saturday against Mississippi State (7 p.m., ESPN).
“It was frustrating not to be able to play because of the ankle but I just let the coaches do what they do. They've been here a lot longer than I have,” Kindley said. “I just put it to the side and, when it came time for me to go in, I just went and did what I have to do.”
Fullback Christian Payne likes what he’s seen.
“He’s a big boy, I’ll say that,” Payne said. “He does a great job opening up holes and helping me get to the linebackers when I’m in the game. He clears the way for me to get to my guy.”
As a freshman, Kindley saw action for one play during Georgia’s third game at Missouri. But instead of losing a year’s eligibility, Georgia was granted a waiver by the NCAA, allowing the Jacksonville native to redshirt, saving him what would otherwise have been a lost campaign.
Wednesday, Kindley revealed the reason, claiming he had a back injury that limited his play.
“I was hoping and praying that I was going to get it back,” Kindley said. “After that, I just told myself that I was going to work hard and when I do get it back, I was going to prove why I needed to get it back.”
Barnett giving Dawgs a unique scout team look
There aren’t many players who can simulate Mississippi State nose guard Jeffrey Simmons.
But defensive tackle Michael Barnett is giving it his best shot.
“He’s been great,” left tackle Isaiah Wynn said. “I normally don’t get too much of him but seeing him at practice, our centers and guards are constantly going at it. He’s been a constant asset because they’ve been going back and forth at it just battling.”
Fullback Christian Payne said the offense will definitely have to have a plan.
“Jeffrey Simmons is a great player,” Payne said. “We have to be aware where is always. He’s got a lot of moves; he’s quick and he’s a big nose tackle, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”