Nov. 9, 2012
ATHENS -- With his bloody nose that never seems to heal, John Theus is showing the scars of a bruising freshman season in the Southeastern Conference.
The 6' 6 tackle from Jacksonville, Fla., said that while he has taken his lumps during his first season of college football it is an experience he is enjoying. He also said that it has been different to the expectations he had coming into Georgia.
"I didn't expect the mental part when it comes to the plays and the playbook, it's a lot more complicated than what I ran in high school," Theus said. "I never had to do any of that stuff. I expected it to be a faster more physical game and it definitely hasn't let me down on that. I'll say another thing, the guy across from me regardless who it is he's a good player. There are no plays off or anything like that."
Theus has been a fixture on the Bulldogs offensive line throughout the season, starting all nine games. The ability to play every game is one Theus values, especially because of the improvements he sees in himself and his teammates.
"I'm getting better each week. I know I have a long way to go and I'm working every day to get better and improve myself," Theus said. "It's only my freshman year so I've got a long, long way to go but, I think I can speak for us as a group, we're getting better every day. Our goal is to keep doing that because, if we want to reach our ultimate goal, then we're going to have to keep getting better."
Despite its relative youth and inexperience the offensive line has proved effective for Georgia so far this season. They have helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to gain an average of 189.8 rushing yards per game but they have also allowed 17 sacks.
His first year of college football has been a learning experience for the younger of the Bulldogs' Theus brothers, one that he has enjoyed.
"I feel like I definitely have learned a lot. Now it's the point where I have to try and master it so I'm not getting any help and I know what the guy next to me is going to do without saying anything," Theus said. "Coach Friend and the guys on the line have really helped me out along the way and helped me learn this offense."
Theus credited offensive line coach Will Friend with assisting him in the transition from The Bolles School in Jacksonville to playing every week in the SEC.
"He's everything I expected. He's a hard-nosed guy on the field but he's also a great teacher, especially in the film room," Theus said. "He instructs you and he helps me fix what I need to fix and if he's sees something I'm doing wrong he'll tell me. We have a great relationship and he's really helped me come along and I think that's shown. He's a great guy off the field too, he's really helped and he's a great coach."
In the tenth game of his young career, Theus has the opportunity to help the Bulldogs clinch the SEC East. Georgia looks to book it's second consecutive trip to the Georgia Dome and the SEC Championship game when it plays at Auburn on Saturday. Kick off is as 7:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.