Georgia picked up another piece of the 2018 recruiting puzzle this afternoon with the commitment of Marist tight end John FitzPatrick. FitzPatrick, a 6’7, 230 pound junior, picked the ‘Dawgs over offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss, UCLA, Louisville, Oregon, and Tennessee.
While only ranked by 247Sports as the 34th best tight end in the country (and the 75th best player in the state of Georgia), FitzPatrick was high on the UGA recruiting board. He turned heads this spring at the Nike Opening regional in Atlanta, which led to a series of offers, including the one from Georgia. With 40+ Division One offers, I expect that the recruiting services’ evaluation of FitzPatrick will soon more closely approximate that of college coaches.
“Fitzy” (as I have literally just christened him because why not) is a versatile player in the Jeb Blazevich mold, who could theoretically flex out wide or line up tight. He’s got surprising agility for a guy his size, likely due in no small part to time spent on the soccer pitch (FitzPatrick was a part of Marist’s “other football” squad, which made a run to the state playoffs this year). He carded a 25 on his initial try at the ACT and will have zero trouble qualifying. And with years in longtime Marist coach Alan Chadwick’s option attack, FitzPatrick is also a solid run blocker.
After not signing a tight end in the 2017 class the Bulldogs needed to add at least one to this year’s group. With Blazevich’s departure I would expect Coach Smart and team to try to sign one more tight end. Likely candidates include John’s Creek standout Tommy Tremble (son of former Bulldog defensive back Greg Tremble) and productive West Forsyth tight end Ben Bresnahan. The ‘Dawgs would likely have to best Notre Dame for Tremble, and Bresnahan recently committed to Vanderbilt after Georgia passed on offering at this time.
The ideal candidate for the other slot would be Carterville, Illinois standout Luke Ford, the nation’s #3 tight end and a consensus four star recruit. Ford has indicated that he wants to play with Bulldog quarterback recruit Justin Fields, so getting the one might be dependent upon snagging the other.
But if the numbers don’t work out or a satisfactory second TE doesn’t sign on the dotted line, FitzPatrick’s pledge means the Red and Black would still likely enter 2018 with four scholarship tight ends on the roster. Not bad at all. Until later....