August 2, 2013

Competition welcomed

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John Theus talks about his summer workout from UGASports on Vimeo.

As a freshman, John Theus started all 14 games for Georgia at right tackle.

So what did he think when the post-spring depth chart came out and saw that redshirt sophomore Xzavier Ward was listed as the starter heading into fall camp?

"It doesn't affect me. I'm still going to work the way I work," Theus said Friday. "I know what I'm capable of. I know what I can do. I know my work ethic and I know how I'm going to handle things."

Apparently, he's handling the situation quite well.

Through the first two days of preseason drills, Theus was seen working back in his customary position as the No. 1 right tackle, although the Jacksonville native.

Head coach Mark Richt said the competition has been good, not only for Theus but for all the members of the offensive line.

Ward has been impressive.

"I think Theus knows he's there, there's no doubt about it. He's coming along," Richt said. "As I watch it, one play he (Ward) looks very good and another play he may look off-balance or he may get lifted out of his shoes a little bit here and there, but he's definitely competing. Theus is so far ahead of a year ago, but he's still got a ways to go, too."

Theus agrees with that.

"I worked out hard all summer with Coach T (strength coach Joe Tereshinski) and his platform, I definitely feel I've gotten a lot stronger, from the time I got cleared from my injury until where I'm at now," he said. "I've made good strides with my strength but I've still got a long ways to go."

But strides are being made.

He can definitely tell a difference between now and this time a season ago.

"You notice it more when you're going against guys like Garrison Smith. Last year when I was coming out here the first day I was coming out here a lot more tentative but now I know how to use the stuff we learn in the weight room," he said. "There's a reason behind that stuff and I see it now. I seem to be able to hold my own a lot more. I won't say it's easier, but it's definitely not as hard as it was last year."

So, what does the immediate future hold this fall?

According to Theus, he has yet to get any work at left tackle after getting some looks there last spring. But his time may still come.

"The one thing I'm excited about and I know the other linemen are excited about is that we've got a lot of depth," he said. "We've got numerous guys who can line up and start at multiple spots. That's a great thing because it pushes us. I know I can't take this play off because the guy behind me is pretty good. It's a helpful thing for us and something that's going to push us to the end."

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