At the end of the 2020 season, UGA lost their top two tight ends in Charlie Woerner and Tennessee graduate transfer Eli Wolf. So, Kirby Smart and tight ends coach Todd Hartley went out and signed Florida State graduate transfer Tre’ McKitty.
McKitty announced his plans to transfer to UGA in January and reported to campus in early June. Thus far, McKitty has done nothing but impress the coaching staff, according to his new head coach.
“I’ve been really pleased with Tre’ McKitty,” Smart said via Zoom after Saturday’s second preseason scrimmage. “He’s tough, he’s physical, he works, he blocks, he catches, he does a good job. He got a little bit of a ding today and ended up having to leave the scrimmage about halfway through. I think he’ll be fine. To be honest with you I’m not sure if it’s his ankle or his knee, but we felt like he’d be good. Ron was checking on him.”
McKitty was a three-star coming out of high school, but he was heavily pursued by the Bulldogs and Miami, where Hartley was the tight ends coach at the time. As a Seminole, he appeared in 35 games where he hauled in 50 passes for 520 yards and two touchdowns. He majored in Criminology at FSU and graduated in just three years, plus he also obtained his pilots license while there.
The Bulldogs have five scholarship tight ends, including McKitty, John FitzPatrick, Ryland Goede, Brett Seither and Darnell Washington. McKitty has the most experience at the position and is slated to be the starter, but one of those other players might fight for playing time. Washington was a five-star prospect who signed as apart of the 2020 recruiting class and was the nation’s No. 23 overall prospect and No. 2 athlete.
Washington stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs over 260 pounds. Smart has said that he has dropped weight since getting here and is looking great on the field. In fact, his teammates gave him the nickname “Big O” because he wears the number zero. Expect him to get a good amount of snaps at tight end as well.
“Darnell has been working his way into shape,” Smart said. “He was at one time 273. We felt like he needed to get done to about 263 to be effective. He’s a big man. And then we’ve got Goede and Brett back and those guys took some reps. They’ve done some good job as well, and then Fitz has been around. We’ve got good depth there at tight end. We’re trying to figure out what each one’s skill set is as we endeavor in this offense and try to figure out the best way to use those guys.”