Since committing to the Bulldogs in January, grad transfer tight end Tre’ McKitty, got his first chance to speak to the media on Monday afternoon.
One could think that he’d be nervous because of the magnitude of the upcoming game against No. 2 Alabama, but McKitty has been in situations like this before when playing for the Florida State Seminoles. Although, he never pictured that he would actually get a chance to play in such an important SEC matchup.
“I never thought about playing for Georgia in the Alabama game, but I’m just glad to be here,” McKitty said on Monday.
This past Saturday, McKitty recorded his first two receptions as a Bulldog and they were two big ones, too. His two catches for 47 yards against the Volunteers was second-highest on the team behind receiver Kearis Jackson, who led the team with four receptions and 91 yards for a touchdown.
It was his coming-out party in a red uniform as he helped Georgia defeat Tennessee, 44-21. McKitty totaled 50 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns during his career in Tallahassee. After a coaching change occurred, McKitty decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal and broaden his horizons, and that’s when he ended in Athens.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound pass-catcher was projected as Georgia’s starting tight end as soon as he signed. Unfortunately, he sprained a knee in the Bulldogs’ last scrimmage of fall camp, and that caused him to miss the first two games.
“I was just in the middle of camp and fell on my knee,” McKitty said. “I took a somewhat minor knee injury and had to be sidelined for a few weeks.”
McKitty encountered arthroscopic surgery that fixed a problem with his meniscus. Now, it seems like the injury has healed and he’s back to his old self.
“..I just wanted to go out there and play my best game,” McKitty said. “..It was definitely hard to sit on the sidelines and watch my guys out there working, especially for the first two games, but definitely super blessed and exciting to be out there this last week and continue to play the rest of the season with my guys.”
He said this week’s game is no larger than the last, and that the offense will continue to improve as the season goes on.
“As far as this week, I’m really looking forward to it,” McKitty said. “We’re just trying to focus on ourselves. We know it’s a big week but, as an offense, we’re just trying to improve ourselves and bring our best foot forward.”
McKitty is a big, physical tight end that offensive coordinator Todd Monken can use as a deep threat in his offense. The Bulldogs have tossed the ball to the tight ends a lot this year as John FitzPatrick, Darnell Washington and Brett Seither have all been targeted. All three of those guys caught passes in the first two games before McKitty could play. With that much depth at tight end, adding McKitty to the mix makes the position a lot more dangerous.
Last season, Georgia’s tight ends only caught 23 receptions total in 14 games, but this season the position already has eight. That includes defensive tackle Jalen Carter’s touchdown grab when was lined up in the tight end slot against the Volunteers late in the game.
In reality, one of the reasons McKitty chose UGA was because he believed the Bulldogs coaching staff could get more production out of him than anyone else that looked at him.
“I always liked Georgia growing up [and] took an official here coming out of high school. It just wasn’t the time then, but everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I came into the portal at the beginning of this year and had some great conversations with Coach Smart and Coach Hartley, and I knew Coach Monken was coming in with the NFL-style offense, and it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
This upcoming Saturday the team travels to Tuscaloosa, and it won’t be the first time McKitty has faced the Crimson Tide. When he was a freshman, Alabama trounced Florida State 24-7 in the season-opener for both teams in 2017. He didn’t see much action in that game, but fully understands the hype behind this matchup.
“It’s tough. Night game. No. 2 vs. No. 3,” McKitty said. “But you really have to do your best to blur it out and try to take it like any other week. We play in the SEC, so we have a big game every week. We try to focus on ourselves, blur out the outside noise, and get back to work to get ready for another week of football. We try to bring our best every game, so it’s not like we’re trying to up ourselves for this game. We’re just trying to stay playing Georgia football.”
McKitty said he recalls watching the 2018 SEC Championship where Alabama escaped with a win over Georgia.
“I sat on my couch and watched it, actually,” McKitty said. “I never thought about playing for Georgia in the Alabama game, but I’m just glad to be here. I know those [UGA-Alabama] games were extremely competitive and exciting to watch, and I can only imagine what it’s going to be like playing in it.”
As the heavyweight SEC matchup nears, the Wesley Chapel, Fla. native is gracious for the opportunity.
“I know those games were extremely competitive and exciting to watch. I can only imagine what it is going to be like playing in it,” McKitty said.