Scott Woerner is one of UGA’s all-time greats in football, earning a spot in the College Hall of Fame. He’s also a mesmerizing storytelling, often steadily holding a crowd’s attention while sharing memories of his glory days as a Bulldog and offering insightful opinions about his Georgia’s current football teams.
Woerner, who was Georgia’s star defensive back and kick returner on the 1980 national championship team, has a nephew who plays for the Bulldogs – tight end Charlie Woerner.
If you’ve been following UGA football closely over the last couple of years, one of the biggest complaints from fans about (now former) offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was how he basically ignored the team’s tight ends in the game plan.
When the elder Woerner was asked for his opinion on if UGA will use the tight ends differently this season under new offensive coordinator James Coley, he politely and respectfully answered the question.
“Who knows? Who knows what any offensive coordinator will do?” Scott Woerner told DawgNation. “I try not to get into that mindset. I did at one time when I was on the other side of the ball (as a safety). But now I just sit and watch. We’ll see.”
Overcoming obstacle of ‘not playing more’
This is a big year for Charlie Woerner. The senior from Tiger, Ga., is the unquestioned starter at tight end after the departures of Isaac Nauta and Jackson Harris. Georgia has some depth at the position, led by Tennessee transfer Eli Wolf and John Fitzpatrick, among others. But Woerner projects to get a lion’s share of playing time for the Bulldogs.
“Not getting to play or not getting to play more – that has been his biggest obstacle for Charlie to overcome (in college),” said Scott Woerner. “He played both ways in high school. And yeah, I understand the feeling. When you’re a ballplayer, you want to be in the game. And I think he’s going to get his taste of it this year — all he wants.
“With that being said, (sharing time in the past few years at UGA) has also kept him healthy. Short of breaking his leg in the Rose Bowl, he hasn’t suffered any injuries that have hampered his career or his development. He’s only getting bigger, stronger and smarter.”
What the folks at the next level notice
The elder Woerner, who played in both the NFL and now-defunct USFL, knew his nephew was a special talent since he coached him in elementary school. He still feels that way about Charlie, as he plays against some of the nation’s best football players in the SEC.
“His blocking has been tremendous,” Scott Woerner said. “He’s had several knockdowns that everyone has seen on TV. The people at the next level (NFL) notice that — that’s what they are looking for. And he has great hands. He’s 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, and he’s an unbelievable athlete. He was a high-hurdler in high school.
“I was a good athlete, but (not like that). Charlie can fly at 250 pounds. Are you kidding me? That makes for a long day (for a safety). I am glad I didn’t have to tackle guys like that on a regular basis. Charlie is a ballplayer. He played about every position on the field during high school, so he has a good understanding of the game.”
Football and fishing
What has Charlie been doing this summer? He’s obviously been an active participant in the team’s offseason workouts. According to his uncle, in his rare moments of free time, he likes to go fishing with one of his roommates, quarterback Jake Fromm, around Athens.
“He, Jake Fromm and I were talking the other day about that ‘there’s probably not too many ponds we can’t fish in the state of Georgia,’” Scott Woerner joked. “Those UGA connections last a lifetime. That’s one of things I told him when he was making his college decision: ‘If you’re going to stay in Georgia (after your football career), you need to go to Georgia. You’ll understand one day.’”
One final note about UGA’s use of the tight ends in the future. The Bulldogs are chasing after a couple of elite ones this year, including 5-star Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Ga. Obviously, competing schools for those top recruits are using Chaney’s tight end stats heavily against the Bulldogs as negative recruiting. The Bulldogs will have a new offensive coordinator this season, and UGA tight ends coach Todd Hartley is already trying to change the narrative, tweeting this out on Tuesday night with the hopes that it will catch the attention of recruits: