2006 Georgia Spring Football Review: Centers

Nick Jones

ATHENS - Here is a look at Georgia's situation at center after the conclusion of Georgia's 2006 spring football practices.

2005 Starters: Russ Tanner (35 career starts) and Ryan Schnetzer (6 career starts)

Nick Jones (29 career starts) is Georgia's best overall lineman, but the knock on him is that he's undersized. Still, Jones will provide the foundation for the interior of an offensive line that will have two new starters and three new starters at their position. Jones made 19 consecutive starts at strong guard opposite Max Jean-Gilles – now it's up to him to be the protecting force for whichever quarterback wins the starting spot in the fall.

It looked like Michael Turner would get his shot at center this fall, but there is too much need at tackle for him to provide depth in the middle of the line. Ian Smith, who redshirted in the fall and was forced to sit out this spring with an injury, will be the most likely candidate for backup at center. Smith missed some time last fall with a concussion as well, and spent most of his work on the scout team. However, the newest addition to the offensive line, Miami-native Kevin Perez, got to work with the second team the entire spring.

Offensive line coach Neil Callaway has indicated that the newcomer, who enrolled in January, impressed him this spring. There is no telling if Perez, who needs to add some weight before this fall, will be able to hold off Smith. If Perez can't, a redshirt should be expected for him.

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