Georgia Football: Poor Recruiting and Lack of Anticipation Killing Dawgs at Vital Positions

Georgia is hurting at fullback and tight end right now.  This is a problem that’s more than 18 months in the making.

In January of 2013, when I was knee deep in a creepy series about high school athletes,  I highlighted a problem at the tight end position thusly:

Who does Georgia need [at tight end]?  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.


That problem has come to fruition in a big way.

  1. Jay Rome, an established threat, can’t stay healthy.
  2. Ty Flournoy-smith is no longer with the team.
  3. Jordan Davis, to date, has not established himself as game-ready.

The band-aid for all the issues above has been (since spring) Quayvon Hicks.  Make no mistake about it, Hicks adds a new dimension, new wrinkle or new whatever-you-want-to-call-it as a tight end and/or H-back position.  But that’s a byproduct and tangential value-add.  He moved to tight end, because Georgia needed a tight end.

But now, with Merritt Hall’s career over, Georgia is in desperate need at fullback.  Why?  For the same reasons that define the tight end depth chart but differing names and circumstances:

  1. Merritt Hall couldn’t stay healthy.
  2. Quayvon Hicks is no longer a fullback (though that may change).
  3. Brendan Douglas (who was initially thought to be a fullback) is playing running back.

I’m not going to go so far as to say the fullback position was under-recruited, because that’s not the case.  Even with Hall’s unfortunately premature retirement, if Hicks didn’t have to move to fill another void and Douglas hadn’t emerged as a viable running back while other backs were hurt last year, this might not be an issue.  In other words, if Hall (the projected starter) was out but still had Hicks and Douglas behind him, I’d feel fine.

But tight end was woefully under-recruited:

  • 2010 (Redshirt seniors in 2014): 0 TEs signed
  • 2011: 1 TE signed
  • 2012: 1 TE signed
  • 2013: 1 TE signed
  • 2014: 2 TE signed, 1 left program

Georgia traditionally uses more than one tight end, though two TE sets are rare.  18 months ago there was a shortage of tight ends.  We’re seeing that now—at two positions.


That’s all I got/



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About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on August 14, 2014, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, Recruiting, SEC. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. A TE was signed for this year but he got scared and left the program. Hard to blame the coaching staff for arrests and homesick boys.More than likely, an unknown guy will emerge as a great FB. Happens over and over again, almost every year.

  2. Rick Flair Wooo

    A quick correction: Brendan Douglas was never recruited as a fullback, neither by GT, nor UGA with their last minute offer as a RB that swung him to the dawgs. The notion that he is a converted FB, came from the fact that several scouting services listed him as “#3 fullback in the country”. Where that came from is anybody’s guess; he was a RB and a direct snap “QB” in the Pistol/Wildcat in HS.
    That said, it actually only reinforces the crystal clear (HINDSIGHT 20/20) point that UGA under-recruited at FB. Of course, even teams that regularly use a FB, rarely recruit more than one scholarship player a year. Final point: UGA actually has a couple of walk-on FB’s in the stable as well. That puts the number at 7 FB’s in 4 years. Circumstances being what they are, you can’t predict a medical DQ, a team departure, a position switch, 2 inexperienced guys and 2 other less than serviceable walk-ons at one position. It seems NOW that they don’t have enough depth, but that doesn’t mean that they under-recruited FB… Now TE, on the other hand…

  3. Wasn’t Merritt Hall originally a walk-on?

    • He was a walk-on the year he redshirted, but went on scholarship prior to 2012 when he started 6 games.

      • Right so it’s a possibility to fill it with a walk on or bing-dukes or Hicks fill in. I don’t think we will look back and say “Wow what a great season it could’ve been if we’d only had a better FB.” Now TE could be an issue if Rome, Davis and Blaze can’t carry the load. But we do have a bunch of athletes so it’d be up to Bobo and Richt to figure out how to get them the ball.

        • Merritt Hall doesn’t “break” the season by any means. I certainly agree with that.

          But Merritt’s the exception to the rule as far as a former walk-on becoming a mainstay starter. I think Bing-Dukes has tons of potential there as well and there may not be a drop off, but Merritt was a known quantity, Bing-Dukes isn’t – at least not yet.

          TE scares me. Rome can’t stay healthy, Davis hasn’t bulked up enough or become an effective blocker. If Blazevich can adjust to the speed, he’ll be competent for sure. And I’m interested to see what Hicks can do there.

          I don’t foresee Hicks coming back to FB, beause I think TE is more of a concern.

          I also think Bobo will find a way to add some wrinkles – maybe a 2-back system, maybe relying more heavily on Hicks in an h-back role.

          There are lots of “answers” so to speak, but many are still speculative at this juncture. But that’s what makes this time of year great in some ways.

          Seriously, thanks for reading and thanks for the thoughtful dialogue. Always nice to get comments from respectful, knowledgeable folks.

          • Rick Flair Woo

            Hey Andrew and Dude you Crazy guys,

            You’re very welcome. I’m a public guy myself and also really appreciate thoughtful insight and response to what I lay out “for the masses.” Love what you guys post; usually quite a bit more quality than most places..
            And truth be told, this is the first time I’ve ever posted anything…anywhere. I don’t keep facebook or Twitter and have a generally low opinion of the average “comment poster”. A lot of homers or trolls. So, glad you liked the post. Big dawgs fan. And actually coached Douglas’ old brother. Who went to Auburn as a FB the year before Malzan came as OC. When Malzan got there he eliminated FB altogether so, the Brendan’s brother transferred to Southern and they converted him to DE where he shined. Long and the short: very close to their family, and get a few “insider” tidbits every once in a while, especially from the RB corps. Go dawgs!

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