Since the start of the beginning of the as the Bulldogs started to prepare for their 2019 college football season, Georgia redshirt freshman tight end John Fitzpatrick (86) has been trying to make a name for himself. In the spring, Bulldogs’ head coach Kirby Smart made the comment that Isaac Nauta’s spot was going to have to be taken and that is was going to be a battle.
Throughout the offseason in practice, players and coaches have commented positively on Fitzpatrick’s development. His teammates and coaches have given him the nickname “Fitzmagic.”
“The Fitzmagic nickname started with Coach (Todd) Hartley,” said Fitzpatrick. “Obviously, we have Ryan Fitzpatrick, who I claim is my uncle sometimes and some people believe me. But, Coach Hartley started it and Coach (James) Coley carried it on.“
And since the start of fall camp back on August 2nd, Fitzpatrick has been running with the second team. He has also gotten some reps with the first team. Coach Hartley has had the tight ends working on blocking techniques and also catching passes and ball security.
“During a practice one day I made a grab or something when I stuck out my hand and just prayed that the ball would stick and it stuck. So, from then he’s been calling me Fitzmagic. Coach Hartley really wanted to make that name known.“
From spring to summer and into fall camp to the start of the season, Fitzpatrick had some positive things to say about the offensive production.
“I think there are a bunch of positive takeaways. I saw us running the ball very well. I saw each position group leader stepping up. We did what we were supposed to do. We came out strong. We could have continued throughout the second half. We got stuck on a few third and fourth downs. But, there was a lot of takeaways. We just have to keep on improving.”
Fitzpatrick and quarterback Jake Fromm (11) both seem to have a great relationship. When asked about how challenging Vanderbilt’s defensive front was, Fitzpatrick had nothing but great things to say about his teammate.
“I say for Jake (Fromm) that was easy because Jake is a genius at that stuff. For me, this being my first time it was a little more challenging. Just spending more time in the film room just watching extra film as much as I can.”
Fitzpatrick seems like he is only going to get better with the attitude he displays, and it shouldn’t be too long until we start seeing his name on the stat sheet.
Georgia hosts Murray State this afternoon on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 4 p.m.