Georgia’s Houston earns spot in lineup for Clemson game

Kolton Houston might not crack Georgia’s starting lineup right away, but it’s clear that the plan is for the offensive lineman to get a significant amount of snaps in his first college game Aug. 31 at Clemson.

Returning starter John Theus and Houston are both working at right tackle.

Offensive line coach Will Friend said Thursday night that he could play up to eight players.

Houston, a junior eligible now after a three-year fight with the NCAA after testing positive for an anabolic steroid administered in high school, has earned his place with Theus.

“Both of those guys are going to play,” Friend said. “Whether it’s half, whether it’s two-thirds and a third, whatever it may be, they will be both play a lot. They’ve both got to be ready as if they’re going to be a starter, and whoever goes out there, that’s what competition’s is for. Whoever over the next six or seven days is doing the best, that guy will go out there first.”

Georgia’s other expected starters on the line are left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews and right guard Chris Burnette.

Guard Watts Dantzler and tackle Mark Beard are the other players who have worked their way into playing time.

Friend said Burnette, coming off offseason shoulder surgery, “is fine now” and “he’s ready to go.” Theus has also worked at right guard.

Friend said coaches have an idea of who will start on the line, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo wants the competition to continue a bit longer.

“We’ve still got probably another couple of practices before we settle on who those guys are,” Bobo said. “I’m not ready to say who the starters are.”

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