Protecting the quarterback is the job of the entire offensive line. It's the job of most of the offense when it's on the field, but there’s no position more important than left tackle, the one who protects a right-handed quarterback's blind-side.
Senior Isaiah Wynn has routinely held that position since the beginning of the 2017 season. Before then, he jumped around at guard and tackle.
“He’s just been a leader on that offensive line, demanding more from his guys,” senior wide receiver Javon Wims said. “And demanding more from himself. And it’s been showing.”
He’s protected plenty of quarterbacks while on the offensive line since he arrived at Georgia in 2014, including former quarterbacks Hutson Mason and Faton Bauta. And he’s been there for current sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason and now freshman quarterback Jake Fromm.
The current Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week was protecting quarterbacks on the offensive line since before he got to Georgia, though. He was at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where his brother, Aram, played as well.
“He’s the main person and reason why I played football my ninth grade year,” Wynn said. “Because I never really thought about it.”
He was used to just playing around the neighborhood with other kids and going to the tennis court with his family. It wasn’t until he was in the eighth grade and his brother was a senior at Lakewood that he started to become interested in football.
“He used to drag me out to the high school practices and those early morning runs and all that type of stuff,” Wynn said. “So he actually got me on the field and I thank him for it.”
Now, he’s a 6-foot-2, 302-pound offensive lineman, protecting a quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.
“I mean, dude’s a beast,” sophomore tight end Isaac Nauta said. “Plain and simple.”
In 2015, Wynn played in 13 games, starting in all of them and won one of the team's Most Improved Player awards at the end of the season. In 2016, he started in 12 of 13 games, only missing one due to a knee injury.
He made the move to left tackle this season and has played there in all six games so far.
He may not be the biggest player on the offensive line -- he’s actually one of the smallest -- but he’s still one of the more experienced linemen on the team and he’s built up the strength over the years to keep his spot at left tackle, protecting Fromm.
“Pound-for-pound he’s got to be one of the strongest guys on the team,” Nauta said. “I mean he just moves people.”
That strength is helpful after the plays, too. Whenever senior tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel score a touchdown, Wynn lifts them in the air in celebration. It’s “just something to look forward to” as Wynn puts it.
Those touchdowns are only possible when Wynn is on the field, and everyone around him is happy he’s there.
“He’s a force,” Nauta said. “He’s a force and it’s nice when you get to lineup and double-team with him.”