Orson Charles‚Äô departure for the NFL draft after his junior season wasn‚Äôt unexpected, but that doesn‚Äôt mean it‚Äôs not a blow to Georgia‚Äôs tight end position.
Charles and senior tight end Aron White combined to catch 128 passes for 1,882 yards and 20 touchdown passes in their careers.
‚ÄúThat will be a big hit,‚Äù offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said in late November about the prospect of Charles‚Äô leaving with White. ‚ÄúThe last three years those have been the main guys playing the tight end position.‚Äù
It‚Äôs now time for redshirt junior Arthur Lynch and redshirt freshman Jay Rome to show what they‚Äôve got.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve been pleased with Arthur Lynch‚Äôs progress and obviously Jay Rome has a bright future, but obviously is green playing out there,‚Äù Bobo said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs an area of concern for us. ‚Ä¶I think their talent set is good enough to play in this league.‚Äù
Bobo said Georgia would have to get the two ‚Äúgame ready in spring and in (preseason) camp.‚Äù
I asked White during bowl practices if there would be a big drop-off at tight end without himself and Charles.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think so,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúI think Artie Lynch is a tremendous tight end. He‚Äôs a guy that hasn‚Äôt gotten a tremendous amount of playing time, hasn‚Äôt been featured here, but was a highly-recruited guy. If you look at him, he‚Äôs got an NFL-type body already. Maybe he‚Äôs a different type of player than Orson and myself, but definitely a guy that has a lot of talent and can be used in a lot of ways.‚Äù
Lynch, from Dartmouth, Mass.,¬† was rated as the No. 2 tight end prospect nationally by Rivals.com in 2009 and No. 5 by Scout.com. Rome was rated as the No. 1 tight end in the class of 2011 by ESPN.com and No. 4 by Scout.com and Rivals.com
The 6-foot-5 Lynch said back in November that his weight was down to about 258, even though he‚Äôs listed at 272.
White called the 6-6, 254-pound Rome from Valdosta ‚Äúour young thundercat.‚Äù He‚Äôs also playing on Mark Fox‚Äôs basketball team, getting into the first half the other night at Florida.
‚ÄúGeorgia‚Äôs always going to have a tight end,” White said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs something you can count on. That‚Äôs one of the reasons why I came here. ‚Ä¶I can‚Äôt see that changing in the near future.‚Äù
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer