Filling David Andrews's shoes

Georgia's newest No. 61 talks new center and strengths of 2015 team

Sage Hardin, out of Marist High School, will be the newest Bulldog donning the No. 61 jersey. The 6-foot-6, 260 pound, lacrosse-playing lineman chats with Dawg Post about the future of Georgia O line, Coach Sale, and his goals for the summer.

Q: So, how does it feel to be wearing David Andrews’s number?

Sage Hardin: It’s an honor. David was a three-year starter at Georgia. I hope I can continue that trend and give it my best shot to wear 61 with pride. I think David’s a great guy and I think he defines all that Georgia stands for. I got the chance to work out with him and I think he’s a great guy.

Q: What do you think Georgia is looking for in next year’s center?

SH: I think they’re looking for a smart guy at center. You’re kind of like the captain of the offensive line. There are a lot of responsibilities, whether it be declaring the formation or announcing all the shifts and protections. So I think they’re looking for a guy who can pick up the offense quickly, a guy that’s quick on his feet. Obviously he has to be able to play. It’s a very important position. A physical guy, a hard-nosed guy. You’re playing against 300-pound defensive linemen in the SEC, so someone who isn’t afraid to hit people and very physical.

Q: Once you get on campus, what is the first thing you are going to work on?

SH: The thing I’m going to work on most is just keeping my mouth shut and listening as much as possible. With Marist being a triple-option school and Georgia being a single back, pro-style offense, I’m a little bit of a disadvantage just knowing simple concepts or knowing technique or what to do. So I’m going to soak up as much as possible because if you don’t know where to go or how or why you’re doing it, you are kind of no use. You have to know where to go on the field and how to perform your technique in order to do something.

Q: Who are you looking forward to playing with the most?

SH: I think our recruiting class is an exciting class. It’s fantastic. I’ve got to know a couple guys very well. Patrick Allen is a great guy. I’ve talked to Sam Madden a lot. Jackson Harris, my roommate Nick Robinson — he’s a walk-on quarterback. Just getting to know about their offensive linemen a bit. I know Brandon Kublanow pretty well. And obviously being teammates with Kendall Baker for three or four years, can’t wait to play with him once again. I’m just looking forward to meeting everyone. I know a good amount of people, but I haven’t met everyone yet and I’m looking forward to that.

Q: What do you see being the biggest strength of the 2015 Georgia team?

SH: Honestly, I don’t think there are too many weaknesses. So it’s a little hard to pinpoint what would be a weakness. Everything is very strong, but I definitely think it would be the offensive line with us returning four or five starting offensive linemen. That’s definitely helpful. Overall, I think the run game is going to be fantastic. When you have an All-American running back in Nick Chubb and running backs like Keith Marshall and Sony Michel right behind him, I think it’s very difficult to chose anything above that.

Q: How would you describe Rob Sale to someone who has never met him?

SH: I think he’s very energetic. I think he’s just a younger Coach Friend. He’s very wise, very energetic, not afraid to get up in your face. He’s going to Dawg test you if he has to but at the same time, he’s going to use the proper technique. And he loves you. He’s going to take great care of you and he’s a great coach. I think he’s acclimated to the offensive line group so far.

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