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Pearce Spurlin/Courtesy photo
Pearce Spurlin III has become a national recruit in the 2023 class over the last 10 days.

Pearce Spurlin III: New TE offer hits home and hints at the future of that position at UGA

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry details the recent offer Georgia made to Class of 2023 tight end prospect Pearce Spurlin III. It was a significant offer on a couple of tiers. 

Todd Hartley and Todd Monken have a new vision in mind. It seems like Kirby Smart is all about it, too.

We saw a glimpse of the “flex-end” future at UGA during the 2020 recruiting cycle with the vigorous pursuit of elite tight ends like Arik Gilbert, Theo Johnson and Darnell Washington. The nearly 6-foot-8 Washington did sign with Georgia in last year’s top-rated class.

But then the preference for speedy athlete Brock Bowers in the 2021 cycle was another clear tell. Georgia is looking for a little more electricity than what it has historically lined up at the tight end position.

Hartley and Monken and Smart want to create mismatches. That’s even with SEC defenders assigned to shadow their guys in the future.

The recent offer to 2023 hybrid prospect Pearce Spurlin III is another big example of that.

This was not just any offer.

First and foremost, it is a significant offer for Spurlin. His family has some strong athletic DNA. He also comes from almost an exclusive Bulldog family. The Spurlins, who recently have moved from Metro Atlanta to South Walton High on the Florida panhandle, are long-time season ticket holders.

The 6-foot-5 Spurlin has a grandfather who played pro baseball. Another grandfather played football for Georgia Tech. That’s is just his father’s side of the family. His uncle on his mother’s side played baseball at UGA. His grandfather on that side of the family also played college football.

When the 2023 prospect was coming up, he was the kid who would score 10-15 points in every rec league basketball game. He’d also rake on the diamond during baseball season. Spurlin would also be good from anywhere from two to four touchdowns per game in the fall, too.

Mix in that frame, a soft pair of hands and a competitive streak which Bulldog star WR George Pickens might recognize from his youth and it is an impressive combination.

“Really and truly this is all about how hard he was worked,” his father Pearce Spurlin II said. “He is so self-motivated. He wants to play. He wants to work hard. He loves going to these camps. He loves going to work out with Terrence Edwards and Brett Cooper and those guys. He works his butt off. He really does.”

Check out some of his camp work here.

Prospects like Spurlin can modernize the TE position at UGA. That’s exactly what Hartley said to him when he offered.

The first 15 minutes of that conversation centered on family. Spurlin shared why they made the move from Walton High in Cobb County to the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida on the Emerald Coast by the Gulf of Mexico.

But Hartley eventually started talking football.

“He told me that they are done with the hand on the ground tight end and they are looking for that flex tight end that can run routes,” Spurlin III said. “He was like it is now more of a receiver but more of a hybrid position but that’s what they are looking for and he said that I bring that to the table.”

That’s what Spurlin can do. He will be 16 in September.

“It was awesome to hear that from Coach Hartley,” he said. “The new tight ends now play a fun position to certainly watch but also to certainly play, too. It is a really important position and I’m glad to see Georgia is using it in a different way. I hope maybe I can be a part of it one day.”

He was measured at 6 feet, 5 inches at that MVP camp. That was flat-footed. He usually weighs around 210 but has been around 205 over the last month. That is with three more seasons of high school football to go.

“I believe that my skill set is a receiver skill set,” Spurlin said. “I just happen to be 6-foot-6 and I can run so I don’t understand why they wouldn’t put me at the tight end position so I can go against linebackers. That’s what I want to do. I’m a mismatch at the tight end position. A really good tight end is hard to find so I can bring that to the table.”

Pearce Spurlin-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Pearce Spurlin III started to turn heads early this winter at football camps and showcases around the Atlanta area. He did so while training with former Georgia all-time great WR Terrence Edwards. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Pierce Spurlin III: How that Georgia offer was received

When that talk of changing the tight end room at Georgia was shared, it was met with great interest.

“I knew this was going to be a big deal for my family because everyone in my family went to Georgia,” Spurlin III said. “I knew that offer was kind of going to change my life and I’m just really thankful for that. With Georgia being such a big offer, things are only going to go up from there. I knew it was going to be a big deal. I’m so grateful that it happened and it is hard work paying off.”

The Spurlin family was “ecstatic” when Hartley shared that offer. On his father’s side, his Dad is a UGA alum. The same goes for his aunts and uncles. Both of his grandparents on the Spurlin side are Bulldogs, too.

“Coach Hartley and I talked,” he said. “Once all this coronavirus is over, they are going to have me up there. I’m just going to continue to visit. They are going to continue to check on me down here and we are going to see how it all goes from there.”

He was a recruiting guest for the Murray State and Texas A&M games last fall.

“It is such an electric atmosphere,” he said. “So electric. Just awesome. It is just a great place to be. It really is.”

Maryland, Penn State, South Carolina and Tennessee have also offered Spurlin over the last 10 days, too.

DawgNation has seen a slew of Georgia tight ends over the years. From Jeb Blazevich to Orson Charles to Arthur Lynch to Randy McMichael to Martrez Milner to Leonard Pope to Ben Watson to Charlie Woerner to Eli Wolf to Aaron White.

The Spurlin family has seen almost all of those tight ends over the last 20 years. From their seats.

“Look at the NFL now with all the teams and the offenses they are running,” his father Pearce Spurlin II said. “All the teams in the playoffs all had that mismatch type of hybrid tight end. That’s the 6-foot-5 and the 250-pound guy who can run a 4.6 or a 4.7. It is a mismatch for a free safety or a linebacker. … Most of these guys are all former basketball players.”

Spurlin has been playing receiver since he was in first grade.

“I just love the game of football,” Pearce Spurlin III said. “Everything about it. It has meant everything to me. There’s a relationship with your teammate that you have that is like no other sport.”

He values that camaraderie and brotherhood that seems to form on any good team. But there’s more to it than that.

“I like being underestimated,” he said. “If someone is going to press me at the line, then they are not going to be able to think I can run. But I like being underestimated and proving people wrong.”

Pearce Spurlin III-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Pearce Spurlin III got to snap a photo with Georgia legend Herschel Walker at a game last fall. (Courtesy photo)

Terrence Edwards: The scouting report on Pearce Spurlin III

Spurlin III admits his first love was actually basketball. He started a few times at power forward or in the post for the Walton High varsity as a freshman. That sport has obviously enhanced his ball skills, coordination and just his overall athleticism.

He’s also progressed well in lacrosse, too. He said he has been timed at 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash, too. That’s something given his size and age.

Remember Kyle Pitts of the Florida Gators? Remember all those plays he made in the first half against Georgia last year? That’s the type of player that Spurlin wants to be in college football.

He could be another walking mismatch like Pitts.

“I want to be that type of player,” Spurlin said. “He obviously gave Georgia fits last year. I want to be that type of flex tight end.”

Spurlin has been training with all-time great Georgia WR Terrence Edwards for the last year. He’s worked with a lot of quality trainers in his life to get to where he is already at now. Brett Cooper has also played a pivotal role in his development, too.

“He is as fluid as they come and he can run,” Edwards said. “We are still developing his footwork and being able to catch the ball naturally and adjust his body to catch bad balls and off-balance balls. Pearce is going to be a special player. He is one of those hybrid guys that you will see enter college at 6-foot-6 and about 225 pounds. Once his body develops, he could be one of those guys that can split out now and run routes from all angles and positions.”

“He’s going to be a special special player. His ball skills and his wingspan is tremendous and he can go up and adjust his body mid-air and be that tall. He can adjust his body to catch any ball in his catch radius. He has a huge catch radius.”

The next leap for Spurlin will be working to get in and out of his breaks quicker.

“That’s when he will be able to separate himself from everyone else,” Edwards said.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

What is Pearce Spurlin III looking for in a college fit? 

That’s a question he took down in short order. It is rare to hear a rising sophomore frame up his school search criteria as simply and succinctly as he does here.

“I’m just looking for a school that fits me,” he said. “That benefits me for 40 years and not four years. Somewhere that it is kind of accessible to my family where I can see them because they are the most important people in my life. But football definitely does play a part in it, of course. Somewhere that plays top-notch football like at a Georgia also goes into it, too. Those are not the only things and there are also other things that go into it, too. I will have to weigh all my options.”

Spurlin, it must also be noted, is a connected dude. His network of future Saturday standouts is already pretty deep. That’s because there is a group chat already for some of the elite football prospects in Georgia in the class of 2023.

That would be guys like Newton defensive tackle Justin Benton, Grayson safety Michael Daugherty, Blessed Trinity RB Justice Haynes, Hillgrove WR Cayden Lee and Milton defensive end LT Overton, among many others.

RELATED: Georgia legacy Justin Benton explains why Georgia is “home” 

“There are some ‘Dawgs in our class, man,” he said. “I honestly think it is going to be the best class yet to come through Georgia. That’s our 2023 class. You just have so many different types of great players. It is just a different class. It is going to just be so special. Hopefully, we are all going to be able to play together. We all talk. We talk every day.”

His growth spurt came in middle school. Spurlin would add about two-to-three inches every grade. It led him to really focus on his agility and body control. That is a very hard thing for young boys to do. Especially growing at the rate he was.

Spurlin took over at quarterback for the Walton eighth grade team two years ago. It came after the starting quarterback went down with an injury. He had to learn how to play quarterback in about four days, but he was the type of athlete that could do that.

He only grew about a quarter of an inch over the last year, but put on about 40 pounds. His father believes he will grow about another inch or two. That would make him a 6-foot-7 tight end.

If he chooses Georgia, it seems likely that folks won’t remember him for having his hand in the ground. Check out his freshman highlight reel from Walton High in Atlanta below.

SENTELL’S INTEL

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

 

 

 

 

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