Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at UGA’s most touted commitment so far in the Class of 2018 and rank the best tight ends the Bulldogs will tackle this season.
Two of top 5 TEs that Georgia faces are among best in country
Next up in our position-by-position breakdown of the best players Georgia will face this season are the tight ends. Check the bottom of the list for links to the first three parts of this series looking at the best quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Let’s get to it.
5. Kendall Blanton, Missouri — At 6-foot-6, Blanton is a huge target for QB Drew Lock to throw to in the red zone. He only had 161 yards receiving last season, but his 3 TDs led Missouri tight ends. Sean Culkin was the top tight end for the Tigers last season, but now that he’s gone, that mantle goes to Blanton. This means you can expect to see a few more plays like this:
— Mizzou Sports (@MizzouSports) October 22, 2016
4. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt — Pinkney finished last season with 274 yards and 2 TDs on 22 receptions and had nine games with at least one catch. He came to Nashville as a wide receiver but moved to tight end last season as a freshman. With an entire season and offseason under his belt at the position, he could be ready for a breakout year as a major target for Kyle Shurmur.
3. C.J. Conrad, Kentucky — Jeff Badet transferred to Oklahoma and Ryan Timmons graduated, leaving Conrad as the second-leading receiver returning to Lexington in the fall. Last season, he had 262 yards receiving at 13.8 yards per reception and 4 TDs, tops in the SEC from a tight end. He’ll be a top target for Stephen Johnson in what should be a strong attacking unit for the Wildcats.
2. DeAndre Goolsby, Florida — He may not be an elite blocker, but Goolsby is definitely one of the best pass-catching tight ends in college football. Last season, he had 38 receptions for 342 yards and 3 TDs, and that was with the Gators playing musical chairs at quarterback. With a more steady presence under center, whether that be Malik Zaire or someone else, Goolsby should make some nice strides and position himself among the best tight ends in college football.
1. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina — Hurst is the secret weapon in a really strong Gamecock receiving corps, something that’s strange to say for the team’s second-leading receiver and the most productive tight end returning in the SEC (48 receptions, 616 yards, 12.8 per catch, 1 TD). But with Deebo Samuel running from the slot and Bryan Edwards holding down the perimeter, Hurst can get lost in the mix and make defenses pay for it.
Zeus is loose
By now you’ve seen the news on Tuesday that Georgia secured its most important commitment of the 2018 recruiting class so far. Five-star North Carolina running back Zamir ‘Zeus’ White is regarded as one of, if not the, best running back prospects in America. With his pledge, Georgia continues its trend of signing some of high school football’s most talented tailbacks year after year.
He's the 11th Top-10 RB in ESPN300 era to choose Georgia, T-most of any school
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 27, 2017
White has garnered comparisons to another Tar Heel State native and Georgia Bulldogs alum Todd Gurley, and it’s not difficult to see why. White runs with power, as you might expect from a player who stands 6-1, 220 pounds. But he packs a ton of quickness, and can move around blockers and defenders with a sudden step to get into the open field, where he’s close to unstoppable. Just watch his highlights and you may be fooled into thinking you’re watching a high school-aged Gurley tearing up his competition.
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) June 27, 2017
— Georgia Track&Field (@UGATrack) June 27, 2017
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) June 28, 2017
- On the Beat: Should UGA keep lucrative nonconference games in Georgia? (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Why Zamir White made the choice to play for Georgia (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Georgia’s returners eyeing J.J. Frazier’s playing time, building around Yante Maten (Nicole Saavedra, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Five reasons Zamir White is a perfect fit at UGA (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
- UGA jumps 12 spots with addition of Zamir White (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
- Steve Spurrier: Georgia ‘trendy,’ but Florida will win SEC East (Jordan James, Dawgs247)
- Top 5 Bulldogs who excelled outside of the NFL (Kyle Funderburk, Dawn of the Dawg)
- Can you feel it? (Senator Blutarsky, Get The Picture)
Baseball dogs are the best.
Jake the Diamond Dog is suchhhh a good boy pic.twitter.com/HKoOTz2MYc
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 27, 2017