In Jim Chaney’s first year as Georgia’s offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs saw the most production out of their tight ends since 2013 when Mike Bobo was calling the shots. The Georgia tight end group could build off that solid 2016 performance to put up numbers may be not seen in almost 20 years.
But the perception was and is that Chaney’s Dogs did not get the ball to the tight ends enough in 2016. While Chaney certainly has his critics for the low offensive output in last season, getting the ball to the TEs was not one of the issues. And while I will certainly concede that the production from the tight end group could have possibly been better, keep in mind that there were often times when Chaney had to keep one and sometimes two tight ends in as a sixth or seventh blocker to counter defenses stacking the box with 9+ defenders or just to help the offensive line even when the defense wasn’t cheating up.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Freshman Isaac Nauta’s 29 receptions for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns is the third most receptions for a Bulldog TE since 2007. The 41 receptions for Nauta, Jeb Blazevich, Charlie Woerner, and Jackson Harris were the most for the TE group since Orson Charles and Aaron White combined for 54 in 2011, and it is the second most since 2007 over a ten year period. The 41 receptions ties for third most since 2000 when Randy McMichael and Jevarious Johnson combined for 41.
But I do believe there is the potential for even more production out the TEs in 2017. Could we possibly see something akin to 1999 numbers when a freshman Randy McMichael and sophomore Jevarious Johnson combined to haul in 65 receptions for 835 yards and 5 touchdowns? The potential is certainly there with seniors Jeb Blazevich and Jordan Davis, junior Jackson Harris, and very talented sophomores Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner. The key will be the growth and progression of quarterback Jacob Eason but even mores so, a Bulldog offensive line that will be sporting several new starters.
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