The Georgia Bulldogs won’t lose too many players from the 2013 season. In fact, the Bulldogs should have close to 18 starters coming back, making them one of the deeper teams in the conference.
While the Bulldogs don’t have to replace too much from last season, they will have to find a new tight end, as Arthur Lynch has graduated.
Jay Rome was the backup tight end for Lynch the last two seasons, so 2014 will be his year to shine with new starting quarterback Hutson Mason.
My fellow colleague, Andrew Hall, talked about Rome in a piece he did back in February, and he breaks down how the job is his to lose.
Rome will be the starting tight end for the Bulldogs because he has the most experience and knows the offense better than any other tight end on the roster. But there has to be another tight end to do what Rome did the last two seasons.
And that will more likely go to Jordan Davis, a redshirt freshman from Thomson, Georgia. When Davis signed with the Bulldogs last year, he was one of the 20 best tight end prospects in the country, according to 247 Sports. However, he got the redshirt, and Hugh Williams was used as the No. 3 tight end. So Davis has to be much improved in order to be the No. 2 tight end on the roster.
And even if he does beat out the veteran reserves, like Jared Chapple and Jack Loonam, what about the two true freshmen that will be arriving on campus in the fall?
Jeb Blazevich and Hunter Atkinson are the two signees for the Bulldogs and will arrive on campus this fall. Both players have a chance to play right away for different reasons. Blazevich can compete for the No. 2 spot because he has great hands. Atkinson is college-ready because he can hold his own when it comes to blocking.
That will put more pressure on Davis to perform in spring practice and fall camp to improve his game because the coaches will not hesitate to put the true freshmen ahead of him.
So here’s the gameplan for replacing Lynch. Rome will be the No. 1 target because he has the experience, athleticism and size that makes him the complete package. The key for him is to stay healthy, and he’ll be an All-SEC player.
That said, all eyes will be on Davis. He will have a chance to be the No. 2 tight end, but when Blazevich arrives on campus, he will get a lot of looks also because he could have the best hands on the team.
Losing a player like Lynch will be hard to replace. But based on the talent they have on the roster right now, as well as the new players they have coming on campus, the depth at the position should be better than it has been the last two seasons.