ATHENS — Georgia tight end John FitzPatrick is ready to let his talents take over after a beneficial redshirt season.
“Coming into this year I know the playbook,” the 6-foot-6, 230-pound FitzPatrick said, “So I can just go.”
FitzPatrick — nicknamed “FitzMagic,” by tight ends coach Todd Hartley — is the first to admit last season was a grind.
“I’d say redshirt year was a big learning year,” FitzPatrick said on Tuesday. “Just having Jackson (Harris), and Isaac (Nauta) and my best friend Luke (Ford) and Charlie (Woerner) right next to me, they taught me so much.”
Harris, Nauta and Ford have moved on, leaving FitzPatrick in the top three of a rotation led by starter Charlie Woerner and incoming Tennessee transfer Eli Wolf.
FitzPatrick is prepared for the competition.
“I came in not as much ready, not strong enough,” FitzPatrick said of last season. “I took that (2018) year as a big learning step to get bigger, faster stronger.”
Woerner made it clear on Monday that FitzPatrick has impressed.
“If there’s one guy I love to brag on, it’s John, he’s a baller, man,” Woerner said. “He’s improved so much since he first got here last summer to now. He’s gotten so much more tough, he’s gotten more physical, he’s turned into a really good player.
“I’m excited to see what he does this year. He just makes plays when his number is called and he has competitive excellence.”
FitzPatrick, who is wearing an elbow brace this preseason camp, appeared in two games last season, playing against Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee.
A product of the Marist School in Atlanta, FitzPatrick was rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports, the No. 17 tight end in the nation and No. 316 prospect overall.
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