Redshirt junior Austin Long is emerging as a top backup on the offensive line.
After practicing as a backup left tackle, the Memphis native started to get snaps at right guard.
Georgia’s starting five seemed settled early this preseason and tackle/guard Watts Dantzler was the sixth man.
“Austin Long has had a good couple of weeks at practice,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. “We moved him around and got him some reps at guard and tackle so he can be a versatile guy. I’d throw him in that mix as well.”
The 6-foot-5, 324-pound Long, who underwent back surgery early in his career, appeared in two games last season
“He started playing better,” coach Mark Richt said of this preseason. “He started getting after it a little bit better.”
Practice time at guard has benefited Long, Richt said.
“I think that helped him a little bit, a little tighter space was good to him, but I think he still improved as a tackle as well,” Richt said. “Maybe he saw the ship leaving without him and he’s like `Man, if I’m going to make it, I better get it done every day in practice.’”
Said center David Andrews: “Austin’s really excelled at guard. It’s a new position obviously and he’s been here for three years playing tackle so there’s still some things he’s got to iron out, but he’s doing a lot better things at guard and I look for him to do big things there.”