Spring Recap: Tight ends
Reviewing each of Georgia's position groups following G-Day
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers (19) during the G-Day scrimmage on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Now that Georgia’s spring practice has ended, it’s time to do a wrap of the position groups before they start summer workouts in June,
Today, we will review the tight ends.
Ahead of time…
Going into G-Day, we all presumed that Georgia is pretty loaded at the tight ends position, even before the addition of freshman Brock Bowers. The return of redshirt junior John FitzPatrick and sophomore Darnell Washington was huge for the program, but for the Bulldogs to land a stud like Bowers in the 2021 recruiting cycle was a plus. Despite Georgia’s tight ends’ low numbers last season, the hype around the position heading into spring was elevated when quarterback JT Daniels announced he was coming back for another season in January.
FitzPatrick has the most game experience at the position, but Washington played a lot of downs, too. In fact, Washington started seven of 10 games last season. The duo also got to build a rapport with Daniels in the offseason during player-led drills. Plus, Bowers, who didn’t play his senior season of high school football due to COVID-19, enrolled early. It’s assumed that he also got some work in with the other tight ends and Daniels.
Besides that trio of tight ends, redshirt sophomore Ryland Goede is also in the mix. Goede didn’t play last season due to injuries and only has participated in two games throughout his collegiate career, which occurred in 2019 against Arkansas State and Murray State. But the former four-star has potential, although he just needs to just get healthy.
Brett Seither also remains on the roster.
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has plenty of options to use next season, especially with the emergence of Washington.
Last season, Washington started seven games for the Bulldogs, but only recorded seven catches for 166 yards. The 6-foot-7 sophomore hauled in four receptions for 88 yards and a score. It seems like Monken has installed some schemes that play to Washington’s strengths.
He looked very much in shape when running down the field, especially on his first-quarter scamper that went for 53 yards. It looks like Washington has channeled all of that raw talent and has developed his game after his first full year of playing against SEC opponents. Plus, it looks like Washington has added some weight, despite looking slimmed down.
Daniels said that he’s seen a progression in Washington.
“Last year, when you’re obviously coming from high school football to college in a real NFL-type system with coach (Todd) Monken, there’s a shock that hits you right away,” Daniels said. “You know because there’s so much to it. You see a development this year. He gets the signal right away and he knows what he’s doing, not thinking twice about it this year.”
Bowers had a very productive day as well. This was the first time Georgia fans got to see Bowers, and hopefully, it was a good impression. The California native hauled in three passes for 37 yards while showing some strength and flashes of speed. Bowers’ longest pass of the day came on a 25-yard catch from backup quarterback Carson Beck. Even though Bowers had a solid performance, he still has a long way to go as he learns the playbook. However, he did present a lot of upside at the annual spring scrimmage.
It really helps that Bowers enrolled early because it will give him time to get accustomed to the routine at the college level. Standing at 6-foot-4, he isn’t towering over defensive backs like Washington, but for what he lacks in height he makes up for in speed. Bowers displayed his quickness throughout G-Day as he was seen bursting off the line of scrimmage. The UGA Athletic Association has him listed as weighing 230-pounds, so expect that to change by the time fall camp rolls around.
FitzPatrick was the only other tight end to record a stat during the scrimmage. He caught one pass for seven yards for the black team, which was the first-team offense. FitzPatrick split time with Washington, which is what happened all of last season at the position. Bowers could make a move up the depth chart during summer workouts, so expect FitzPatrick to work hard and get better alongside his teammates. He’s been with the program for a couple of years now and is a leader in the position. FitzPatrick is someone that Bowers can look up to.
Last season, the overall production from Georgia’s tight ends wasn’t great, but it did increase when Daniels took over at quarterback.
G-Day was a hopeful sign that the tight ends are on the rise in Georgia’s offense, but nothing is promised. Tight ends coach Todd Hartley finally has the depth, although it’s a matter of his players staying healthy.
Goede and Seither have battled injuries throughout their collegiate careers, but the pair could make a comeback in 2021. So, don’t count those two out.
It’s expected that Daniels will give his tight ends some more looks next season, so watch out for the trio of Washington, FitzPatrick and Bowers to help make Georgia’s offense more diverse.
Check out the previous two spring recaps of Georgia’s position groups: