Georgia lineman John Theus tries to secure his job

Georgia's John Theus, who started every game at right tackle last season, may end up at left tackle.



He was just like any other 19-year old amidst the mass of humanity on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.

OK, except for the flowing red locks and his 6-foot-6, 298-pound frame.

“Dude, there were a lot of great shows,” John Theus said.

The Georgia offensive lineman spent four days and three nights in mid-June at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, making him an outlier among the Bulldogs starting offensive lineman.

“I didn’t know he was into that kind of music until he went to that festival,” senior offensive guard Dallas Lee said. “It was pretty surprising to all of us. I didn’t know what it was. “

When Theus wasn’t going to Bonnaroo or even a Beyonce concert last weekend, he worked out this summer while listed as second-team on the depth chart at right tackle.

That’s the position where he started every game as a freshman last season.

Redshirt sophomore Xzavier Ward has emerged as a challenger to the spot – at least on paper – but it was Theus who was back with the first-team early in preseason practices for the most part.

“I think Theus knows (Ward’s) there, there’s no doubt about it,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I think Xzavier is coming along.”

Ward still shows signs of inconsistency, but is competing with Theus, who Richt said has come a long way from a year ago but still has a ways to go.

“That’s not my call when that happens,” Theus said of being listed behind Ward on the preseason depth chart. “It doesn’t affect me. I’m still going to work the way I work. I know what I’m capable of. I know what I can do. I know my work ethic and how I’m going to handle things. I know if I take care of business, coach will put me where I need to be.”

But where will that be? Theus worked some at left tackle in the spring, but said he had not gotten a snap there in the first two preseason practices.

He said in the spring he would like to play left tackle “before it’s all said and done,” at Georgia.

Richt said coaches are looking at possibilities all over the lineup.

“We’ve got numerous guys that can line up and start here,” Theus said. “That’s a great thing because it pushes us. There’s no `I can take this play off because the guy behind me isn’t any good.’”

Theus is stronger after an offseason in the strength program and feels much more comfortable zone blocking after `down blocking’ at Bolles School in Jacksonville.

He’s fully focused on football now in the preseason grind of camp, but he might have another road trip to Tennessee in his future beyond games in Knoxville and Nashville this season.

Bonnaroo could beckon again.

“We might go again next year,” Theus said. “We’ll see.”



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