True sophomore tight end Ty Smith has decided to transfer, leaving the Georgia Bulldogs one player short on their depth chart.
While the news of his departure isn’t necessarily cause for panic—they will still enter the 2013 season with Arthur Lynch, Jay Rome, and incoming freshman Jordan Davis—Smith’s decision to leave does shake the numbers up a bit for this class and makes way for the Dawgs to add at least one additional player in 2014. The question now is will that player be a tight end and, if so, whom?
The first name to enter the minds of most Bulldog fans was Milan Richard. Richard, in case you’ve already forgotten, is the nephew of Herschel Walker, and he was being pursued at the same time as current Georgia commit Jeb Blazevich, but when Blazevich committed before Richard could figure out where he wanted to go, Georgia pronounced themselves done at tight end, and Richard landed at Clemson.
End of story.
However, with this latest development, some wonder if Richard would be willing to reconsider his decision, and take another look at Georgia. While I can’t safely answer that question—although my immediate thought is he wouldn’t—I am more intrigued by another name that hasn’t received nearly as much press, that of Cole Cook (Carrollton, GA).
Cook is 6’5-6’6, 220-30 pounds, and is tremendous as an in-line blocker. He currently holds only a couple of SEC offers (Mississippi State and Missouri), but if he camps well this summer, and carries some momentum into the fall, he could be a player to watch.
Cole has already visited Georgia at least once, and the coaching staff has him on their radar, but an offer likely wouldn’t come until after the summer—if it were to come at all. It’s also worth noting that Cole has ties to the University of Tennessee (his mother played basketball there and his uncle played football), but he’s an in-state product from Carrollton and it has been rumored that he is close friends with current Georgia commit Dontavius Russell—for what it’s worth—so there are some ties there as well.
Another possibility might be Avery Edwards (Raleigh, NC). Edwards was a player Georgia reached out to before it was known where either Blazevich or Richards would land for sure. Lilly indicated to Edwards, at the that time, that he was a player the Bulldogs intended to keep in mind should anything happen with Richard or Blazevich, leaving a spot available.
“At the end of practice I talked to Coach Lilly and asked him where I stood, and he said they’ve offered three guys, and they’re recruiting two heavy,” Edwards said. “But Coach Lilly said ‘If anything happens with these top five and other schools have a chance to get these two guys, you’ll definitely be our next offer or if these guys take too long maybe in May or June we’ll throw you an offer to get you in the hunt.’” (Ashley Barnett, Dawgs247)
It’s unknown how much interest Edwards still has in the Bulldogs, but you’d have to figure the Dawgs would have plenty of ground to make up with either player before either would be seriously interested in accepting an offer.
That said, it’s not a given that a spot is even opening up so most of this is merely speculation on my part—take it for what it’s worth.
In the meantime, here’s a little film on both prospects. Feel free to leave your thoughts.