‘Help on the way,’ Tennessee captain turned grad-transfer attends Georgia practice
ATHENS — Some of the help on the way was at Georgia’s Practice No. 6 on Saturday afternoon.
Eli Wolf can only observe for now, as he does’t graduate from Tennessee until May.
But the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Wolf is staying ready, and he’s expected to have an immediate impact in the Bulldogs’ tight ends room.
Isaac Nauta, a junior, left early for the upcoming NFL draft. Freshman Luke Ford transferred to Illinois.
Wolf, hand-picked by Jeremy Pruitt to represent Tennessee at SEC Media Days last summer, served as a Vols’ game captain last fall. He currently works with a personal trainer five days a week.
Smart describes the UGA tight end position as “thin” with senior Charlie Woerner (6-5, 245) and redshirt freshman John FitzPatrick (6-6, 230).
Nauta said the same thing when asked about aiding in the recruitment of Wolf.
“The biggest thing with Georgia recruiting Eli is with me leaving and Luke (Ford) transferring, the tight end room is pretty thin,” Nauta told DawgNation. “They need a guy with experience and a guy who can make plays in the passing game, and they see him as that.”
Georgia has traditionally liked to use two tight-end formations under Smart.
“Obviously, we’ve got help on the way,” Smart said of the tight end position last Tuesday, “but if you asked me how it is right now, I’d say thin.”
Georgia has moved walk-on linebacker Kolby Wyatt over to tight end for spring drills, and redshirt freshman Peyton Mercer is also working at the position.
The Bulldogs also have early enrollee Ryland Goede, but he suffered a knee injury last season and may not be cleared until the start of fall drills.
Wolf, who runs a 4.55-second 40-yard dash and can do 18 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, appeared underutilized as a pass catcher at Tennessee last season.
Wolf was named the Vols most improved offensive player last spring and led all receivers in the Orange and White Game with five catches for 63 yards.
A standout receiver at Minster High School in Ohio, Wolf holds all of the schools’ receiving records. He set marks for career receptions (124), receiving yards (2,234) and receiving touchdowns (27) over three varsity seasons (2012-14).
Wolf was primarily used as a blocker at Tennessee last season, catching five of the six passes thrown his way.