ATHENS, Ga., — New Georgia tight end Eli Wolf is still learning his way around Athens. He hasn’t figured out how to cut 30-minute drive in the city to 10 minutes. If he wants to go somewhere for food — which he says really stands out in the city — he has to plug the location into his GPS.
“It’s been home to the Butts-Mehre center here pretty much,” Wolf said referring to Georgia’s football facility.
The reason Wolf, a senior in terms of eligibility, is still getting familiar with Athens is that he only recently arrived as a graduate transfer. Wolf spent the past four years playing for the Tennessee Volunteers before joining the Georgia football team this summer.
And Wolf arrived in Georgia via the much talked about transfer portal.
Related: 5 questions with Georgia football tight end Eli Wolf, Rocky Top relocation
While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Wolf detailed what the process was like for him as far as getting from Tennessee to Georgia.
Per his timeline, Wolf had a number of discussions with the Tennessee coaching staff around mid-January, right before Tennessee hired Jim Chaney to be the team’s new offensive coordinator. He then met with the compliance department and had his name put in the portal.
Then his phone began to ring. A lot. It got to the point where Wolf would start interacting only through text or email, as a way to speed up the process of talking to so many coaches.
But one of those first coaches to reach out to Wolf was Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
“It was very humbling, and awesome,” Wolf said of the call. “And a couple of weeks after that I was sure this was the place I was going to go.”
Wolf said the process ended up mirroring what recruiting was like in high school, just on a more accelerated timeline.
On Feb. 7, Wolf announced he would be joining the Georgia football program. But it wasn’t an immediate process. He still had to finish school and graduate, that way he could become eligible.
Wolf did that and has been working with the Georgia tight ends during fall camp. Wolf is working alongside Charlie Woerner and John FitzPatrick to try and replace not just Isaac Nauta but also Luke Ford, who like Wolf entered the transfer portal. Ford ended up at Illinois, but he will not be eligible to play this season.
Related: Georgia football TE John FitzPatrick working to add magic to his game
Offensive coordinator James Coley detailed that Wolf became a very interesting option for Georgia after the tight end room saw some attrition this offseason.
“He has the ability to run routes. He has good hands,” Coley said of Wolf.”That was very intriguing for us after seeing Isaac [Nauta] go to the NFL. It opens the opportunity for a lot of catches for whatever five guys can fit those roles to get that. But he’s definitely in competition.”
Some might raise an eyebrow at the idea of Wolf learning a new offense so quickly, given that he only joined the team this summer. But Wolf has a lot of experience in terms of learning a new playbook. In his time at Tennessee, Wolf played for three different offensive coordinators. And had he stayed at Tennessee, he would be learning Chaney’s new playbook.
“He’s used to new playbooks and he’s done really well. He’s adjusted really well to Georgia,” Woerner said of his new teammate.
Wolf added that the football aspect of his time in Georgia is nothing new.
“The process helped me learn and adjust on the fly,” Wolf said. “So this is just another transition that I’m capable of doing.”
Wolf was also peppered with questions about his time Tennessee and his thoughts about Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, quarterback Jarrett Guranatono as well as the program as a whole.
But Wolf wasn’t going to say anything negative about his time at Tennessee, a place that he still thinks of very fondly. Georgia will be visiting Tennessee on Oct. 5 of this season.
“I’m excited. It’s going to be all business during the game but afterward, it will be good to see those guys,” Wolf said of the game against Tennessee.
Wolf was one of two players to transfer into the program this offseason, with the other being wide receiver Lawrence Cager. And while they might not be able to navigate the city of Athens like your average senior, both have shown they know their way around the football field and complex.
Georgia tight end Eli Wolf speaks with the media
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