The 4-star TE from West Forsyth High (Cumming, Ga.) has a route tree of places to start, including the likes of the following …..
- A busted-up pinky finger held together by a glove
- How big a recent Clemson offer was for him
- Where does the Georgia recruiting pitch fit in amongst the other big boys?
- When does he plan to decide?
- Which schools does his family root for?
- Which highly-respected 7-on-7 program will he join for the spring season?
- What about that under-the-radar game visit to UGA in 2020?
Yet with all of that, it was his answer to a seemingly innocent question that will start the story rolling down the page this time.
“How do you know in a no-visit pandemic world who the other guys are you want to play with?”
Delp over delivered with that one.
Who does Oscar Delp want to play with from the 2022 class?
“I mean two names come up off the top of my head that I’ve really talked with,” Delp said. “I’ve gotten close with is just Kojo Antwi and Gunner Stockton. Both of them are phenomenal players. I mean Kojo and I are pretty much hanging out almost every weekend because of how close we live together and the people we are friends with. I’m always with him. We really like each other.”
Check out this recent edit which made its way across the Instagram stories of Kojo Antwi and Gunner Stockton recently. (Instagram)
The best play on Antwi’s highlight tape is another link for the two here.
“He put it up against us,” Delp said of his West Forsyth team.
Antwi has Georgia high up among his top eight schools. He recently told DawgNation that the Bulldogs and Ohio State were slightly moving ahead of the pack there.
And then there is the Stockton link.
“I mean I’ve just known him as a great quarterback,” Delp said. “I mean recently we started talking because of the same schools we’re interested in, and this year we’re going to be playing 7-on-7 with Hustle Inc. together.”
Stockton was once committed to South Carolina. Auburn and Georgia are seen as the schools to watch there. Antwi has a top eight which also includes some of Delp’s private group, too.
Is there a chance he could play with them?
“Definitely,” Delp said. “I mean I haven’t released anything because I want to wait until I get out there and get on visits so I can really cut my list down. But I mean I’ve got a good idea of maybe eight to 10 schools that if I really made a list right now, that I know would be on it. And I mean those schools are some of those that would be on it.”
He will take as many unofficials as he can. Delp wants to experience the recruiting process. He has not yet as his recruiting exploded a hot start to his junior year last fall.
“I’ve heard from some recruits like [2021 Georgia signee] Dylan Fairchild that have really helped me through this process,” Delp said. “He already went through it before and he was like ‘Once you step on campus at the right campus then you will know where home is.’ So I mean I’m kind of going by that where I need to get out there before I make any decisions.”
He’s only been recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’d like to experience the way things used to be during his time as a high school recruit.
“I went up to Georgia on my own and I guess I felt some of that glory that a recruit gets,” he said. “A lot of people knew who I was and just walking around it was fun. People were calling out to me and asking questions and just all that stuff. I mean, that was cool. But the true recruit experience I have not yet had where there are people and coaches driving you all over campus in golf carts and all that stuff.”
Delp went to the Mississippi State game with Fairchild this past season. He was in a group with a couple of students he knows at UGA plus a couple of his high school teammates.
“I just walked around campus,” he said. “It was fun. It was pretty cool.”
Fairchild sat with Delp in the stands and helped him start dreaming.
“Dylan was with me and we were sitting in that stadium together,” Delp said. “Just looking out there. I mean he’s going to be out there in a year and I mean I could be out there in two years. I mean it was just great to think about. It was a great place. I really liked it.”
Fairchild understands the deal. He’ll respect an alternate choice from Delp, but he is not letting up.
“He’s pushing for the ‘Dawgs every time I talk to him,” Delp said.
When Delp cuts down that back-pocket top 10 or so, he said there is a strong chance Georgia will make that group.
“Yes, sir,” Delp said. “Definitely.”
He will then get a chance to see the rest of the “glory” he didn’t see on that 2020 game trip on an official visit.
With that first meaty topic smothered and covered, it is time to turn to one very busted-up finger.
Oscar Delp ranks as the nation’s No. 10 TE and the No. 235 overall prospect for 2022 on the current 247Sports Composite rankings. Those measures are certainly likely to rise considerably in the coming months. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
The story of one very mashed-up finger for Oscar Delp
He finished 2020 with a gaudy 17.0 yard per catch average. He played in nine games but managed to rack up 43 catches for 730 yards and nine scores. That’s despite missing his starting QB for a couple of games.
The Wolverines had a much different offense when that triggerman wasn’t in there last season. The same can be said of their All-American TE and his busted-up right pinky finger.
“I hurt my finger and I had to get surgery on it,” Delp said. “I had to get a pin put in there. To hold it all together. My pinky. I’m just now getting back to 100 percent. It is still swollen. It looks pretty gross. I had to get a pin put in there. Tore all the ligaments in it. It was dislocated and they couldn’t get it back in unless they did the surgery. Surgery repaired everything.”
He could’ve played with it if he was a defensive lineman. He’d just have a messed up finger. But his hands are his future. He needs those 10 good digits for a lot of things, including those fingertip catches.
“It happened I think the first or second play of our region championship game,” Delp said. “Got caught in someone’s jersey and I played the whole game with it. Had two touchdowns. I think. Over 100 something yards receiving. Then just after the game, I took my glove off.”
“My glove was kind of holding it in place. My finger just flopped down. Just couldn’t move it.”
He actually went to that UGA game with that very shredded pinky finger. He just thought it was dislocated and it would pop back in.
When he tore the ligaments, it was painful. But after that, it didn’t hurt at all. It was just a dangling finger that he couldn’t move.
The 6-foot-4.5 pound junior is up to 224 pounds now. That’s some good weight. He still plans to play lacrosse this spring. He feels like that sport has helped make him better in football. The conditioning necessary, the change of direction work and strong hand-eye coordination all cross over.
“It really translates into catching the football,” Delp said. “I wouldn’t be the football player I am today if I didn’t play lacrosse.
Check out the player he is today in his junior highlight reel below. It is quite a fun watch. Delp is faster than most might give him credit for. He is also a willing and able blocker. In fact, he seems to relish it.
Oscar Delp: What will the timing look like for his process?
Delp wants to see those college visits restored, but he is thinking ahead. He’s wondering when the NCAA will allow on-campus visits again.
“I wanna wait until it is all normal,” he said. “But I mean if it goes through August like people are saying I will cut my list down to eight. But I’m not committing until I can get on those visits. Unless it gets extended again after August. Then I guess I will go out everywhere on my own. Just bite the bullet and just hope. Hope I made the right decision and pray about it.”
He’s only been to see Auburn and Georgia on his own. Those are the two closest schools and he’s got a lot of friends at those schools.
Clemson also recently offered. That was big.
“It is an honor getting an offer from them,” he said. “Just growing up and going to Clemson games with my grandpa. I mean he’s the biggest Clemson fan I know. We would always talk about this together when I was younger. Now it’s reality and the fact that they’ve offered only three or four other tight ends and I’m one of them is crazy to me. I mean it is just an honor. I’m excited.”
If allowed to visit schools again, he said he’d need to visit Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan and then go out west and hit Southern Cal and other schools out there.
Delp said he has an aunt and uncle in California. Those two are USC fans, but they are not die-hards. That is actually more of the norm for a Pac-12 school.
“The only die-hard fans in our family are my Mom’s parents which live out in Columbia and my grandma is actually a die-hard Gamecock,” Delp said. “My grandpa is a die-hard Clemson Tiger. So it is house divided. It is always fun when I go over there.”
If everything comes together in April or May and he gets to take summer officials, look for him to commit during his senior season. That’s the best possible timing, he said.
“I want to go to schools during the season and go out to those gamedays and go out to some real big college games,” he said.
Delp will enroll early in January of 2022. The hierarchy of what he is looking for hasn’t changed much.
- He wants to go to a school that uses its tight ends a lot
- Delp seeks a quality academic school and a great relationship with that coaching staff
- The ideal school or position coach will have a history of developing tight ends for the NFL
- He is also looking at programs with strong chances of competing for national championships and that would be a bonus criteria
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Oscar Delp recently picked up a very big offer from Clemson, too. The Tigers are a family favorite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
How UGA and Todd Hartley has prioritized Oscar Delp
Delp said he knows he’ll start his day with a few staples. An alarm. A sunrise. Then his rise-and-shine.
There will also be a text from Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley.
“Maybe not on Saturday but pretty much I will wake up with a text from him just saying to have a great day,” Delp said.
Hartley recruits him as a person and a player, he said. Delp said he’s not just a recruiter looking for an asset who is good at football. He takes the time to get to know his family on a personal level.
He called him a “really personal” coach.
“I’ve developed a great relationship with Coach Hartley,” Delp said. “Probably the strongest out of any coach I’ve talked with. I’m talking with Kirby Smart almost every other week or every week. It is just great the way they are recruiting me. I really enjoy it. I mean it is kind of on my time. So they don’t rush me with anything. They kind of text me daily. Just to let me know how much I mean to them and it just means a lot. I really enjoy it.”
Smart is also “by far” the head coach he speaks with the most.
“I talk to Coach Smart more than I talk to any other head coach,” Delp said.
Georgia has had three virtual visits with Delp and his family. He’s done the academic tour and gotten to see a sneak preview of the massive new team facility that is about to go up in April.
The next step is a Zoom session with offensive coordinator Todd Monken. To see how he’d be used in the Georgia offense.
Does Delp have any concerns about Georgia’s use of its tight ends?
“They definitely used it a good amount this year,” Delp said. “I’m definitely curious to see how they’re going to use [2021 signee] Brock [Bowers] this year because I feel like he and I kind of play somewhat the same way. I feel like that is going to give me just a way better feeling about them and how they use the tight end when I see him playing hopefully next year.”
He’s heard from a few schools that they will not accept a commitment from another TE until he has made up his mind, including UGA.
“Every time I talk to them they tell me that I’m their guy,” Delp said of the Bulldogs. “No one else is going to make a decision on them until I do. I mean it’s just great to hear that. I mean It really gives me or kind of keeps me relaxed and not as stressed out. I’m pretty sure I am that with a lot of schools. I mean I think South Carolina feels the same way. I’ve gotten closer with their coaching staff recently and I’m ready to go out there as well.”
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(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)