Georgia came into Signing Day 2017 needing several things, but two stood out above all others: 1) the need to gain depth and size in the defensive secondary, and 2) the need to do the same on the offensive line. Players like Ameer Speed, Deangelo Gibbs, and Tray Bishop helped the red and Black fulfill that objective in the secondary.
And literally the biggest haul in Georgia football history means that the mission was accomplished up front as well.
Consider these numbers: the average size of Georgia’s most common 2016 starting five of Catalina, Wynn, Kublanow, Galliard, and Pyke: 6’3.75 and 303 pounds. Florida’s 2016 line by comparison averaged 324 pounds.
The average of the published heights and weights of the 2017 offensive line signees? 6’5, 337 pounds. And that’s assuming Isaiah Wilson is “only” 350 pounds, not the titanic 373 pounds at which Georgia actually lists him. Several of those guys, including Wilson and 356 pound guard signee Justin Shaffer, will need some conditioning work and will likely lose some weight. But not enough to prevent this from being a much larger group than those signed in the past.
The Bulldog offensive line has a long way to go to become a force to be reckoned with. And this class doesn't fix that just yet. The offensive line is a notoriously difficult place for freshmen to succeed. It’s not guaranteed that any of the six signees will start in 2017, though D’Marcus Hayes, Netori Johnson, and Isaiah Wilson are a strong bet to see some snaps.
But this offensive line class addresses in number and size the greatest need Georgia had in the cycle. For the long term success of the program, this group of big uglies is quite a pretty sight.