Continuing my series of Q&As on notable incoming freshmen, today we turn our attention to Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch.
Fellow freshman tight end Orson Charles got most of the buzz in the Bulldogs’ 2009 signing class but a lot of people don’t realize Lynch was actually ranked higher than Charles by Rivals.com. Rivals considered Lynch, of Dartmouth, Mass., the No. 2 tight end in the nation while it ranked Charles No. 7. Scout.com had Charles at No. 3 and Lynch at No. 5.
By any measure, the Bulldogs clearly got two very good tight end prospects to continue the program’s rich tradition at that position. That gives them six tight ends in camp, including returning lettermen Bruce Figgins, Aron White, Bryce Ros and Derek Rich. Figgins will miss the first six games of the season as part of a suspension for team rules violations. White is the No. 1 on the depth chart but sat out Georgia’s most recent scrimmage, so Lynch and Charles each got a lot of snaps. Lynch had two catches for 19 yards and a touchdown and Charles had three for 55 and two scores.
Lynch (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) and Charles (6-3, 230) each bring something different to the field. Lynch is the more traditional tight end who can move some bodies on the line of scrimmage and pop outside and haul in a pass. Charles, like White, is more of pass-catching threat who can flex outside and stretch a defense down the middle.
Lynch sat down and talked recently about his recruitment to Georgia, how he thinks he’ll fit in and whether he’ll play this season.
Q: Obviously there is no shortage of tight ends at Georgia, yet both you and Charles signed in the last class. How did the coaches address that during the recruiting process?
A: “From the very beginning they were very straight with me. I was like, ‘Well, Coach, I just want to know what other tight ends you’re recruiting. If I commit are you going to recruit four more tight ends?’ He said, ‘We’ve offered two and that’s you and Orson Charles.’ I had never heard of him before then so I looked him up and I was like, ‘all right.’ The next time we talked I asked them what was [Charles] like and they said he was a hybrid guy, he can flex, he can go outside or play inside. I was like, ‘What do you think of me? And they said, ‘We think you’re athletic enough to be a pass-catcher and big enough to play in the line — a balanced tight end.’ . . . So really there was nobody leading me on. It was very up straight. That was a big thing that the coaches were up front about it and I’m glad I chose Georgia.”
Q: Now that you’re here, how do you think you guys are fitting in?
A: “Orson’s beefed up. He’s at about 230 now so he can really play in the line. I’m about 255. So we both complement one another, just like Aron and Bruce complement one another. . . . Orson’s doing great so far. He pushes me to be better and hopefully I’m pushing him to be better.”
Q: It was 97 degrees when you guys practiced today. How has your adjustment been from New England weather?
A: “To be honest, I adapted pretty well. I’m hot all the time but I haven’t cramped up once, knock on wood. I’ve been here since May 30th when I moved in and started taking classes, so that’s helped. It’s definitely different. It’s a different lifestyle. I miss home a lot. I miss my mom. But that’s not something I can control. I had to move on some day. There’s a lot of things I miss but family is the main thing.”
Q: What has been your teammates reactions to your New England accent in the middle of all these Southern drawls?
A: “Somehow they can’t understand me. Me and some of the kids have trouble. We talk to each other but we’ll be saying, ‘What? What? What?’ They think I say a lot of words weird, so it’s just different. That’s my accent, same as my mom, my grandparents. I can’t really change it. I definitely won’t be saying y’all.”