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Why Charlie Woerner is the most interesting player to watch for the Georgia offense
The Georgia offense is stocked with talent heading into the 2019 season. There’s running back D’Andre Swift, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. And quarterback Jake Fromm threw for 30 touchdowns compared to just 6 interceptions.
The offensive line is loaded with multiple players who could go on to be All-SEC players. And the wide receiver group has a number of intriguing options, highlighted by freshmen Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens.
All of those players will attract a ton of attention from opposing defenses, and rightfully so. Georgia has led the SEC in rushing in each of the past two seasons and Fromm has turned into one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
But there’s one guy we didn’t mention who will be a key cog in 2019 as well as a possible blueprint for the future of the Georgia football offense. We’re talking about Charlie Woerner.
Woerner will be Georgia’s No. 1 tight end this upcoming season. He will be tasked with replacing Isaac Nauta, who finished last season with 30 catches and 430 receiving yards.
The senior tight end will also be playing for a new tight ends coach in Todd Hartley and offensive coordinator in James Coley. When Coley served as the offensive coordinator and play caller at Miami, the tight ends where a more involved part of the offense than they were when Jim Chaney was directing the Georgia offense
In Coley’s time at Miami, the tight ends averaged 49 catches per season. Under Chaney, Georgia’s tight ends ended up with 35 catches per season. Last year, Woerner caught just 11 passes for 148 yards.
Woerner has also hinted that Georgia will throw the ball more under Coley than it did with Chaney
“His first instinct would be to throw,” Woerner said in March. “Just knowing him, every G-Day game (Coley) is the offensive coordinator on one team, and Chaney is on the other, and you look at the stats and it’s a lot more pass-heavy on Coach Coley’s team than Chaney’s.
Under Chaney, Georgia was one of the most run-heavy teams in the country, as the Bulldogs ran the ball on more than 60 percent of their plays in each of the last two seasons. While the Georgia offense won’t likely resemble something from the mind of Mike Leach, it should contain a few more passing plays per game.
But Woerner’s involvement in the offense won’t just be something to watch for the team in 2019. Some of Georgia’s top recruiting targets will be interested to see how well Woerner does this year in his role.
Georgia’s biggest need in the 2020 recruiting class might actually be tight end. Woerner is set to graduate after this season as is graduate transfer Eli Wolf. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, tight end figures to be one of the stronger positions in the 2020 recruiting cycle and Georgia has done an excellent job with some of its top targets at the position.
Georgia made the cut for the likes of Cam Large and Jalin Conyers. The Bulldogs are also in good standing for Theo Johnson and 5-star prospect Darnell Washington.
Of course, the top target for the Bulldogs is 5-star athlete Arik Gilbert. He plays for Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., and is the top uncommitted player in the state of Georgia. Georgia has made him a clear priority and he’s recently had Georgia on his list of 10 schools he’s still considering.
Gilbert was at Georgia for G-Day, and he did take notice that both Woerner and fellow tight end John Fitzpatrick both hauled in a team-high 5 passes.
Related: 5-star priority target Arik Gilbert did notice the TE use at G-Day
Woerner might not single-handedly win you a game. Or lead Georgia in receptions next season. But if he can have whatever quantifies as a strong season for the Bulldogs, it should make their 2019 offense more complex. And he would also make a big impression on some of Georgia’s most important recruiting targets for the season.
A total of 8 Georgia baseball players drafted in 2019 MLB Draft
Through the first two days of the MLB Draft, a total of four Bulldogs had already heard their names called. Aaron Schunk was taken in the second round by the Colorado Rockies. Tony Locey went in the third round to St. Louis Cardinals.
Another junior pitcher — Tim Elliott — went in the fourth round to the Seattle Mariners. Senior LJ Talley was taken in the seventh round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
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