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.
- Jay Rome, an established threat, can’t stay healthy.
- Ty Flournoy-smith is no longer with the team.
- 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:
- Merritt Hall couldn’t stay healthy.
- Quayvon Hicks is no longer a fullback (though that may change).
- 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/