041622 Athens: Georgia tight end Oscar Delp (4) runs against Georgia defensive back JaCorey Thomas (20) and linebacker Jalon Walker (11) during the G - Day game at Sanford Stadium Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Multiple freshman Georgia football pass catchers earning early praise

Oscar Delp and Dillon Bell haven’t been around the Georgia program for long. Delp arrived in January while Bell was a summer enrollee. The two both signed with Georgia as members of the 2022 recruiting cycle.

But both have quickly earned praise during their time in Athens. A positive sign given how important two freshmen pass catchers were on the 2021 National Championship team.

Delp earned some recognition from Kirby Smart in a recent interview with Crain & Company. Delp signed out of West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. While the comparisons to Brock Bowers figure to be frequent given their similar recruiting pedigrees and talents, Delp is making sure to carve out his own name in a loaded Georgia tight end room.

After the spring game though Smart did point out that Delp must improve as a block. He can’t just be a pass catcher if he is going to contribute to the Georgia offense this year.

“We didn’t ask him to block and do some things, and those are things that he’s got to continue to work on,” Smart said after the spring game. “To play in the SEC you’ve got to be able to do both. You can’t just be a receiving tight end. That’s what we saw last year with Brock and Darnell. They’re so versatile they can do both.”

As for Bell, former Georgia wide receiver Terrence Edwards offered some praise for the wide receiver. Bell signed with Georgia out of the Houston after playing for The Kincaid School.

The hope though for the Bulldogs is that they do not need to rely on freshmen as much as they did in the passing game in 2021. Injuries were a big reason Bowers and Mitchell were able to see the field so often, as Georgia was banged up at both tight end and wide receiver.

Improved injury luck would mean more targets for the likes of Kearis Jackson, Dominick Blaylock, Darnell Washington and others who missed time last season. Georgia’s tight end might be the best position group in the country, while the wide receiver room has some promising upside. Players like Delp and Bell only add to that.

Georgia will open the 2022 season against the Oregon Ducks. The Bulldogs will have 29 practices in the month-plus before the opener to help get players like Delp and Bell in a position where they can help Georgia in the marquee non-conference game.

Georgia and Oregon play at 3:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta on Sept. 3. ABC will broadcast the game.

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