Teenage Tight Ends: Recruiting Gone Creepy
Talking about 18 year-old male tight ends can be especially Sandusky-ish if not handled with the utmost of class. Fortunately for you the reader, before jumpstarting DudeYouCrazy I ran an etiquette blog - DudeYouClassy. This will be done tastefully.
As it stands the Bulldogs have two talented tight ends back for 2013. Arthur Lynch will be back for his senior season after having a breakout year (relatively speaking) with 24 catches for 431 yards (both fourth on the team) and three TDs. Lynch did a nice job of getting open and when he brought the ball in and held it (he had some drops and a fumble or two) he could really rumble. Case in point: 11 Bulldogs caught 10 or more passes in 2012, Lynch’s 18.0 yards per catch ranked second behind only Tavarres King (for what it’s worth: 347 players in America had 30 or more catches in 2012, none had a higher YPC average than TK).
Redshirt Freshman Jay Rome also proved to be a weapon and developed into a nice mid-route, possession tight end hauling in 11 passes (several acrobatic hauls) for 152 yards and two TDs. Rome will again share time (and possibly be behind) with Lynch in 2013, which means he’ll almost certainly be back in 2014 (and maybe even 2015). So, I’d expect him to be the future of this position moving forward.
Also expected to contribute this season (but much more so in the future) is Ty Flournoy-Smith, the nation’s 12th best tight end of the 2012 recruiting class.
Thus far, nobody. And seeing as the yet undefined “athletes” already in the fold weigh 186 and 190 lbs., I wouldn’t expect to see any of these folks lining up at TE.
6’4”, 225 pound Jordan Davis from Thomason, GA is committed to Georgia as the nation’s 19th best tight end prospect. He committed this summer but is getting the full court press from Florida, Louisville and South Carolina still. And, Alabama has apparently taken an “interest” recently but no offer has been made. Davis is a big body with good hands and surprisingly polished blocking skills as the video below shows.
Who does Georgia need?
Initially “need” seems like a strong word. But, Lynch will be gone in 2014 leaving just Rome and Flournoy-Smith. And if Rome leaves after his redshirt junior year, just TF-S remains. Thus a whole lot of pressure is being place on Georgia’s evaluation of TF-S and Jordan Davis. In other words, if the coaching staff was wrong about either one of them, there will be zero tight end depth and if the staff was wrong on both the team will be in trouble.
Now, that is a lot of if’s, but the consequences could be severe. Very few true freshmen have come in and contributed at tight end for Mark Richt’s staff. It takes at least a year for most of them to bulk up and learn to block. Combine that with the trajectory of QBs that you (readers) expect and you have this scenario:
- 2013: Fourth Year Starter Aaron Murray tosses the ball to either of two season tight ends (Lynch, Rome) and one developing TE (Flournoy-Smith).
- 2014: Fifth year QB, first year starter Hutson Mason (or Christian LeMay) tosses the ball to one seasoned tight end (Rome) and one who is just seriously breaking into the rotation (Flournoy-Smith).
- 2015: Redshirt Sophomore Brice Ramsey starts for the first time and throws the ball to TE Flournoy-Smith (who as of right now we know little about) and Jordan Davis (who as of now is not officially “in” and who we know nothing about).
That sequence is not out of the ordinary, but I’d like to have Ramsey (or any first-year starter) playing with a seasoned/elite safety valve (or two) in the form of a tight end. Georgia typically plays two guys in the TE rotation and right now Georgia only has 1.5 (again, Davis isn’t officially in) viable future options at the position. If they both pan out and stay healthy all is well, but that too is a lot of if’s and the case could certainly be made for needing another TE in this year’s class.
The problem: I don’t know that there is a tight end available. The top uncommitted TE is Josh McNeil from New York. He holds offers from everybody in the club but is down to Bama and LSU. The next best available prospect is Travis Johnson from Tampa, FL; Georgia hasn’t offered him. After that you start getting into “would that guy ever see the field at Georgia” territory.
Want a Hail Mary solution to a third-and-10 situation? Hunter Henry. Henry is a 6’6”, 235 lb. tight end out of Little Rock who apparently runs a 4.7 (and he looks more like the captain of the Robotics Team than the Football Team).
Hunter committed to Arkansas back in July of 2012. A lot has happened since July of 2012: Namely, John L. Smith ruined the Razorback program and Bret Bielema was brought in to resurrect it and in the meantime Arkansas won only two SEC games. Henry is from Arkansas, but you have to think there is a possibility that some other team could snatch him out of this turmoil. Why not Georgia?
Any other TE options you can think of?
That’s all I got/