Todd Hartley-Georgia football-success
Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley before the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Todd Hartley shares how Georgia’s tight end room became one of the best position groups in college football

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Todd Hartley shares how Georgia’s tight end room became one of the best position groups in college football

It’s rare to see a talent drain like the Georgia tight end position has this offseason. Four players from last season’s team will be playing elsewhere in 2023. Darnell Washington could be a first-round pick, while Ryland Goede, Brett Seither and Arik Gilbert are all headed to other Power 5 programs, with Goede announcing his transfer to Mississippi State on Monday night.

Related: Former Georgia tight end Ryland Goede announces he is transferring within the SEC

But what is perhaps more extraordinary about the Georgia tight end position is that despite those losses, the position will be more than fine. And while he might publicly downplay his hand in that, Todd Hartley is a big reason why.

Despite the losses, Georgia brings back Brock Bowers. He won the Mackey Award this past season and will likely be the best tight end in college football for a third-straight year. Were he to stay at Georgia for four seasons, he’d probably own every pass-catching record in school history.

Hartley was able to overcome a pandemic to land Bowers as a prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Despite limited contact and restrictions by the NCAA, Hartley impressed Bowers and his family enough to where Georgia was the place for him to further develop his skills.

“He’s such a worker. He’s in the office non-stop,” Bowers said of Hartley. “Every time he’s there and you need something, he’ll go out of his way to help us out. He’s just a good dude.”

Related: ESPN says Georgia could have the best offensive and defensive player in college football for 2023 season

As impressive as a recruiting win as that was for Hartley, what he is doing in the 2023 recruiting cycle tops that. He’s already landed the No. 2 and No. 8 tight ends in the class, as Pearce Spurlin and Lawson Luckie are practicing with the team and going through offseason workouts.

“I think the way we use them at Georgia certainly helps,” Hartley told DawgNation prior to the national championship win over TCU. “Coach Monken has done an unbelievable job to be unique and creative with how we use our tight ends and the personnel we use. The kids see that and appreciate that.

“Second thing is, the University of Georgia is the best school in the country. From academics to social life to athletics, you’re not going to find a better institution. I firmly believe that.”

It’s worth pointing out that for all the praise Hartley heaps onto others, he’s certainly deserving of it as well.

Hartley also gave credit to head coach Kirby Smart. The reasons for which he praises Smart also apply to him. Like Smart, Hartley’s passion is very easy to see at Georgia practices. He’s likewise a Georgia alum, as Hartley graduated in 2008.

Both are dogged on the recruiting trail, putting in tireless hours to find the best players for Georgia. Even with Sprulin and Luckie already enrolled, Hartley took cross-country trips to see Robinson and Lyons this month. Smart was right alongside him as he did it.

“He’s unbelievable at building relationships with kids and developing kids and preparation from after football to football,” Hartley said of Smart. “Everything is top notch. it’s not just what I’m doing. I’m a very small part of the recruiting process. There’s a lot of factors that go into it. You have to have alignment from the top to the bottom. When you do that you will have recruiting success.”

NextTodd Monken NFL rumors the price of championships for Georgia football
Leave a Comment