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Oscar Delp could be a key piece of the 2022 Georgia football offense
Todd Monken knows the risks of running a truly tight end heavy offense. In his press conference, the Georgia offensive coordinator was asked about possibly running four tight end sets.
“Well, if you run it too often, you get every wideout in the portal,” Monken said. “We do have great players at that position. You do have to utilize their skillset, but you also have to balance that because there is a cost to that.”
The freshman arrived in the spring and had a productive spring game as he caught seven passes for 91 yards. It’s worth pointing out that neither Bowers nor Washington practiced in the spring, as both were dealing with injuries. That in turn gave Delp a chance to soak up some valuable reps he otherwise may not have gotten.
It also gave head coach Kirby Smart a chance to harp on the one area Delp clearly needed to work on.
“We didn’t ask him to block and do some things, and those are things that he’s going to have to continue to work on to play in the SEC,” Smart said. “You’ve got to be able to do both. You can’t just be a receiving tight end.”
You don’t block, you don’t get the rock, things of that nature from Smart. And to an extent he has a point. If Bowers were only a threat as a pass-catching tight end, he doesn’t have the same impact he did last season. Teammate Broderick Jones referred to Bowers as a “full package” in context to his ability as a blocker.
Delp is no slouch from a physical standpoint, given he’s actually bigger than Bowers. Playing for West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga., Delp was asked to do a lot more from a pass-catching standpoint than a run-blocking standpoint.
The freshman is still yet to play his first game, as he took part in his first fall scrimmage this past Saturday.
“Oscar, he’s been playing really hard,” Bowers said of the freshman. “He’s been learning the playbook really well. We’re all just supporting him. He’s getting a lot better day by day. It’s good to see.”
Related: Mild-mannered Georgia tight end Brock Bowers takes Superman performances in stride
Once again in Sanford Stadium, Delp had a productive day for the Bulldogs as he hauled in two touchdown passes, according to those who saw the action. Another encouraging sign for a young player.
Delp might have a tough time overcoming the older players in Georgia’s tight end room — we haven’t even mentioned Brett Seither or Ryland Goede yet — and make an impact in year one at the position. But his skills as a receiver have opened the door to a role for Delp.
The Bulldogs have already lost wide receiver Arian Smith for the foreseeable future due to an ankle injury. Freshman wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette has been limited as well due to a knee injury. Georgia was thin at wide receiver for much of last season due to injury. That allowed AD Mitchell to emerge in a way few considered he would when he started spring practice.
Delp may have that same opportunity it seems.
“I thought Dillon Bell stepped up and made some plays,” Smart said on Saturday. “I thought Oscar (Delp) made some plays at tight end. We have him as a receiving weapon. Those guys continue to do a good job. We just don’t have the depth at receiver.
“We are going to have to be really good at the perimeter to be explosive. We have our tight ends, but we have to be good outside to compliment the tight ends.”