March 21 marks the first day of spring practice for Georgia’s 2017 football program. The team will begin to prepare for their annual G-day game on April 22 and the upcoming season. We are looking at the various positions for Georgia before the spring practice gets underway in our 2017 UGA Football Spring Preview series. Today we hit on the tight ends.
Georgia’s Tight End Situation:
Tight Ends’ Coach Shane Beamer has seven players he can call upon for Jim Chaney’s offense. However, the top two returning guys are sophomore Isaac Nauta (6-4, 246lbs) and senior Jeb Blazevich (6-5, 242lbs). Blazevich came out at the beginning of the 2016 season as the starter, but Nauta quickly turned heads and the number one TE position into a competition. Nauta became a favorite for quarterback Jacob Eason starting five of the 13 games he played in, as the two combined for 29 catches for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Blazevich started 11 of the 13 games he played in last season and caught six passes for 69 yards.
Competition at its finest:
Last season, Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner came in and took snaps away from Jackson Harris and Jeb Blazevich. Losing snaps forced Harris and Blazevich to take a step back and be that extra blocker Georgia needed. After the two young guns stepped up big last season and as they continue to improve, the depth chart may look a lot different than last season.
The tight end position may end up being a co-starting position with the number one and two TEs being on the field at the same time. I expect Blazevich and Nauta to go head-to-head for the No. 1 spot. Nauta is the biggest receiving threat of the bunch, but Jim Chaney will be looking to add another tight end into the mix. Jackson Harris (6-6 247 lbs, JR) is a player Georgia will likely utilize in this position. Harris started one of the 13 games he played in and caught one pass for five yards. Another name to keep an eye out for is Charlie Woerner (6-5 251 lbs, SO). Last season he started two of the 12 games he played in, catching five passes for 50 yards, but he battled through nagging injuries for much of the season. If Woerner can stay healthy, he could be looking at taking over the number two slot over Blazevich.
The 2017 season should include a lot of playing time for more than one of the tight ends. Both Nauta and Blazevich should see plenty of time, especially if Georgia decides to utilize the tight end position more than they did last season. The SEC seems to be pushing more towards an offense which includes a lot of tight end play with sets utilizing two and sometimes three TEs. With the talent that the Bulldogs possess at tight end, Georgia should input a couple more two-tight end sets and see how successful they can be. It would not surprise me to see Nauta double his stats this season and be a primary target for Eason.
Georgia’s tight end position is one of the most talented groups in the country, who are full of talent and will go head-to-head against each other until the first snap of the season. Spring practice will be a good indicator of who wants to be ‘the man’ more and is willing to work for it. I expect big things from the Bulldog tight ends this upcoming season.
Catch up on the other position groups in the 2017 UGA Football Spring Preview series from Bulldawg Illustrated:
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Defensive Backs – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Defensive Line – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Linebackers – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Offensive Line – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Quarterbacks – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Running Backs – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Special Teams – CLICK HERE
2017 UGA Football Spring Preview: Wide Receivers – CLICK HERE
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