Editor’s note: Each day between now and Georgia’s Capital One Bowl date with Nebraska, we will review the season for a key Bulldogs player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at right tackle John Theus.
No. 71 John Theus
Role in 2012: Theus came to campus as one of the highest-rated offensive linemen to sign with Georgia in years, jumped into the starting lineup in Week 1 and held onto the job all season.
The good: You can count on one hand the number of true freshman offensive linemen who have started Georgia’s season opener through the last few decades -- and Theus is one of them. He was an enormous get on the recruiting trail and immediately fit in well on Georgia’s offensive line. He mostly lived up to the advanced billing, becoming one of two Bulldogs (along with one of his roommates, tailback Todd Gurley) to earn SEC All-Freshman honors from the league’s coaches.
The bad: Without question, there were moments when Theus looked lost out there. Then again, true freshmen don’t expect to come into the SEC -- with its trademark fearsome talent along the defensive lines -- without experiencing a few hiccups. Nonetheless, he started all 13 games after initially battling with Watts Dantzler for a starting spot during preseason practice.
Crystal ball: Make no mistake, it’s a major accomplishment for a true freshman to start every single game in his first season of SEC football. Georgia’s coaches clearly have huge expectations for Theus as his career progresses. Who knows what the future holds, but it appears as though he will remain at right tackle for now. Wherever he lines up, Theus must take several steps forward to fulfill his potential, but his ceiling is unquestionably sky-high.