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Blog: What will Houston’s impact be on the offensive line?

The online headline for a story I filed Wednesday night that ran on this web site and in Thursday’s Athens Banner-Herald: “UGA offensive line still taking shape entering preseason practice.”

Yep. That’s more true now than ever after the NCAA reinstated offensive tackle Kolton Houston on Thursday. The news came out in the evening.

So Houston, who worked as the starter at right tackle in the spring of 2012, now gives offensive line coach Will Friend another viable option on the line and perhaps a candidate to start sooner or later.

“He works out every day with the offensive line and with us so he’s a guy that will continue to work hard,” tight end Arthur Lynch said last week at SEC Media Days. “His day will come. I have no doubt he’ll suit up for Georgia one of these days and when he does, he’ll play a big part of our offense because he was set to play a big part a couple of years ago and he will.”

Houston, listed in the latest roster at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, practiced on and off last season while he was ineligible and didn’t practice this spring while he was waiting to get cleared.

Georgia has returning starters John Theus and Kenarious Gates already at tackle. Xzavier Ward was listed at first-team right tackle on the preaseason depth chart and was expected to share first-team work with Theus next week.

Back in the spring of 2012, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called Houston’s spring “outstanding.” He worked at left guard before playing right tackle.

Former Georgia All-American defensive end David Pollack, now an ESPN analyst, tweeted Thursday night after the Houston news came out: “Huge help for UGA Oline!!!”

Coach Mark Richt lowered the bar for Houston in his statement on Thursday.

“We don’t want to put any pressure on him now like he’s got to be a star,” Richt said. “The bottom line is, we’re happy he’ll be able to participate for Georgia.”

–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer