Rambo staying, Charles going as UGA players wrestle with NFL decisions

Orson Charles, Georgia’s All-SEC tight end, will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Charles revealed the unsurprising decision Wednesday, saying “it’s time to open a new chapter in my life.”

A few hours later, another UGA underclassman who had been seriously considering the draft — safety Bacarri Rambo — made the opposite decision, announcing through the school that he will return for his senior season.

Charles said he consulted with several NFL players and a former NFL coach, Tony Dungy, about his stay-or-go choice. The NFL’s underclassmen advisory committee told Charles that he could be drafted as high as the second round.

The decision wasn’t stressful, Charles said, because “either way I wouldn’t be wrong.” He added: “As I continued to pray about it, I just felt ready.”

The deadline to declare for the draft is Sunday. Charles and Rambo appeared to have the highest draft stock among Georgia players considering early entry, although several others also have said they are weighing decisions.

Rambo’s return is a boon for the Georgia defense. He led the SEC with eight interceptions this past season and was named an Associated Press first-team All-American.

Charles’ departure, combined with the expiration of senior Aron White’s eligibility, means Georgia will head toward the 2012 season without its top two tight ends from last season.

The Bulldogs’ top returners at the position will be junior Arthur Lynch, who has two career catches, and Jay Rome, a highly touted recruit who was redshirted as a freshman last season. Also, Colquitt County tight end Ty Smith has committed to sign with the Bulldogs next month.

“They have a lot of people who can fill the hole at tight end,” Charles said.

Charles was one of two prized recruits, along with quarterback Aaron Murray, who signed with Georgia out of Tampa’s Plant High in 2009. Murray, who unlike Charles was redshirted in his first season at UGA, has two years of eligibility remaining and wished his long-time teammate well.

“The No. 1 thing he said was, ‘Just don’t forget about me,’” Charles said.

“To play [in college] with my high school quarterback was definitely a blessing,” Charles added.

Charles started 29 games for Georgia. He caught 94 passes for 1,370 yards, which set a UGA career yardage record for tight ends, and 10 touchdowns, which tied the school record for the position.

After catching 45 passes for 574 yards and five touchdowns in the 2011 season, he was voted first-team All-SEC by both the coaches and the media. He was chosen first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association.

In what proved to be his final college game –-a triple-overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl –- Charles had one catch for two yards. He said that game did not affect his decision to depart.

“I met the majority of all my goals I came here with,” Charles said Wednesday. “I feel like I’ve grown spiritually. . . . I feel like I’ve grown as a player.

“I was going back and remembering some of the goals I came in [with], and today I was checking them all off, like, ‘Yeah, I accomplished this.’ The past three years have just been a blessing. They’ve been awesome.”

The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Charles is ranked as the third best tight end in this year’s draft by nfldraftscout.com, behind Clemson’s Dwayne Allen and Stanford’s Coby Fleener.

347 comments Add your comment

say it ain't so

January 11th, 2012
2:08 pm

say it ain't so

January 11th, 2012
2:09 pm

yea me, not suprised…..

say it ain't so

January 11th, 2012
2:10 pm

good luck Charles, it was fun, not too fun though…..

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 11th, 2012
2:13 pm

Possibly a little under utilized while at UGa, however a DGD. Best of luck to him. Time to step up Mr Rome.

JSD

January 11th, 2012
2:13 pm

Was he even on the team this year? He had a good frosh year. NFL practice team at best if he leaves now. Good luck Orson. You’ll need it.

JSD

January 11th, 2012
2:14 pm

By the way, I though Jay Rome was a defensive end…

invictus mon

January 11th, 2012
2:15 pm

Lots of opportunity next year for young guys to step up. I was hoping against hope, but congratulations to the young man!

Fridawg

January 11th, 2012
2:16 pm

Jay Rome will be great. Those saying how O-Chuck was underutilized need to remember that he was forced to block because the OL has been so bad in recent years. When the OL holds its own, he’s a beastly offensive weapon.

bdaamwag

January 11th, 2012
2:16 pm

Never lived up to the hype. Good luck in your future dropped passes.

Bright Idea

January 11th, 2012
2:17 pm

JSD, Did you see a game this year?

Bright Idea

January 11th, 2012
2:18 pm

bdaamwag, Did you see a game?

awful mc dougal

January 11th, 2012
2:18 pm

one temp dawg gone, many more to go. thanks for nothing.

Supes

January 11th, 2012
2:19 pm

Thought he left before the OUTBACK bowl this year?

Burbank Dawg not Dwag

January 11th, 2012
2:20 pm

No surprise. Good luck to him and his family. (wait for it…)

I believe he had more False Start penalties than dropped passes though.

1970 Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

JSD is wrong on two counts. (Jay Rome is a TE). I always find it funny how some “experts” prognosticate so poorly.

bruce mac

January 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

Tim, what was Charle’s projected draft round as provided by the NFL?

Spike 80DF

January 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

Good luck Orson! One of my favorite players not only for being a DGD but also b/c he broke the gators NC trophy on an official visit, haha…..

SEC_Champion

January 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

Jay Rome will be as good as, if not better than Charles. I’ve been watching this kid since 8th grade. A pure athlete. He was dunking a basketball in his 8th grade year. Same build as Charles with a lil more height and every bit of the explosion.

DawginLex

January 11th, 2012
2:21 pm

Good luck to Orson Charles

He will be a top flight player in the NFL with a good combination of size and pass catching ability.

DufferDawg

January 11th, 2012
2:22 pm

Thanks to Bobo. One pass for 2 yards in his hometown at the bowl game. Not much confidence in an all SEC player and NFL prospect. I don’t blame him for leaving.

KB

January 11th, 2012
2:22 pm

Good luck to Orson, reload with Jay Rome.

DC Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:22 pm

Another kid leaves UGA early without the TEAM ever accomplishing a thing. This trend is disturbing.

#ajgreen
#knowshonmoreno
#matthewstafford
#orsoncharles

Smart Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:22 pm

I think it is a bad thing when your TE has 3x more holding calls then TD’s. He is going to have to block in the NFL and he is not very good at it. He was given bad advice by Dungy. Should have stayed and worked on the blocking. Just saying!

ugaDAWG

January 11th, 2012
2:22 pm

His not being part of the plan against Michigan State was probably the final straw. You can’t blame him. Good luck to a DGD!

JJ

January 11th, 2012
2:23 pm

Some of you guys bashing Orson, I wonder if you even watched a game this year.

OC is another in a long line of underutilized talents in Athens over the past 5 seasons or so. He’ll be a stud in the NFL – this is clearly the right move for him. How many times did we throw to him in the Outback Bowl? Once? Never?

Good luck Orson. Thanks for your time in Athens – shame we didn’t get to see your full potential thanks to a couple of offensive coaches who are clearly too overwhelmed sometimes to work your talents into the gameplan.

Blackberry Cobbler

January 11th, 2012
2:23 pm

Bring on Jay Rome of the Dream Team.

Taco Meat

January 11th, 2012
2:23 pm

Good luck, Orson! You’re gonna be a beast at the next level! Wish the Dawgs had utilized you more.

Eisendawg

January 11th, 2012
2:24 pm

Hard to blame him. I think we threw two passes to him in bowl game. Not sure if he’s big enough to be an NFL tight end though.

BIGDAWG38

January 11th, 2012
2:24 pm

Good Luck in the NFL, Orson!!! You made a Damn Good Dawg!!! Time to go to work Arthur & Jay!!! We will need both of you!!! GO DAWGS!

Frankly

January 11th, 2012
2:25 pm

OC will always be a DGD, good luck in the next phase of your life.

bdaamwag

January 11th, 2012
2:25 pm

nice one, Idea. Your telling me at NO point in 7’s time at UGA, you never thought this guy could get better?

Lpac74

January 11th, 2012
2:25 pm

Supes, Bobo the clown and Murray forgot about him since they didnt throw a pass his way in the bowl game. He is projected a late 1st or Early 2nd. I dont blame him at all, Murray is an average QB who is 0-9 vs ranked teams who chokes on a big stage.. why not cash it in now.
Best of Luck Orson DGD

Reality Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:26 pm

Who is next? Rambo etc… We had a strong nucleous coming back but if all these guys leave kiss a top 10 start out of the picture…

Loyal Fan

January 11th, 2012
2:26 pm

Orson will be good in the NFL. Yes, I think we didn’t use him enough especially in the bowl game, but Fridawg has a point, our offense was always in need of help with blocking, so he definitely showed off his skills in other than receptions. Jay Rome will be solid. We have great TE depth. JSD obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about. Thanks for sounding like another idiot UGA fan on here. You are in a group of people that make us, Dawg fans, look ignorant on here. Think before you post next time.

PR

January 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

DGD… I for one will always be a fan of OC.

Taco Meat

January 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

He’s projected late first round/ early 2nd…

KB

January 11th, 2012
2:28 pm

JSD , You really know how to evaluate talent, you must be some kind of NFL scout , all the other NFL scouts must not have a clue. What a tool.

PR

January 11th, 2012
2:29 pm

JSD = Clueless

1. Rome was the top TE in the country last year coming out of HS
2. Orson Charles was 1st team All-SEC and will be one of the top two TE’s in the draft this year, along with one time UGA commit Dwayne Allen. Orson may even be more attractive to NFL teams due to his hybrid abilities as a WR.

Oscer Meyer

January 11th, 2012
2:30 pm

Best play of his career was dropping the Gators NC crystal ball.

PTC DAWG

January 11th, 2012
2:30 pm

Internet bashers are idiots of the highest order. It must be a mental disorder or something.

That said, best of luck Charles.

bdaamwag

January 11th, 2012
2:30 pm

If Grantham takes the Falcon’s job; Abandon Ship! Someone needs to lock this guy up fast.

G-Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:31 pm

I hear them coming…trolls!! Watchout!!

UGA Insider

January 11th, 2012
2:32 pm

It’s Jay Rome time in Athens. If I were him I would bolt the BBall program and head straight to the weight room. I’m afraid the Hoop Hounds are not going to win another game…. Another fine team in our $89,000,000 UGA Athletic Dept. Way to go Adams.

Fred

January 11th, 2012
2:32 pm

Either a lot of sour grapes or some incredibly stupid people post here. Charles was one of three tight ends up for the top award for tight ends in the Country.

Good Luck Charles.

Big Albany Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:33 pm

DGD. Too bad Bobo didn’t know how to utilize this athlete.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 11th, 2012
2:33 pm

Echoing alot of comments here, hate to see him go but he was not utilized properly at all. He is going to be a top flight TE/WR type player in the NFL.

Also if we are going to lose a player early this is the spot. Rome was the #1 TE in the country last season and if not mistaken Lynch was highly sought after also.

Congrats Orson and good luck in the future! DGD!

NeoDawg

January 11th, 2012
2:33 pm

Unfortunately – we won’t miss him as much as we should have since we never used him like we should have. One shovel pass in the Outback for 2 yards is embarrassing. Why would he want to come back to effectively be the third tackle for a running game that didn’t exist? Hell’s bells – the MSU tight end had over 100 yards and nobody even knew who he was.

Charles is a DGD and I expect him to be an exceptional pro. Now – Let’s not waste Rome’s talent like we wasted Orson’s. Good decision Orson and Godspeed.

G-Dawg

January 11th, 2012
2:34 pm

He’ll be losing out on a big chunk of change compared to going pro next year!! First 15 picks will be mainly QB or OL..with a couple of defensive players.

But regardless, thanks for the effort and leadership…hopefully it has rubbed off on some of the other under-motivated players.

Dap01

January 11th, 2012
2:34 pm

Charles was a great Dawg. But UGA has TEs to step up and be great.

Loyal Fan

January 11th, 2012
2:35 pm

To Bdaamwag, I have heard those rumors circulating around as well, but it may be just a ploy to give Grantham more money. Besides, Grantham runs a 3-4, whereas, Coach Smith prefers the 4-3, not an easy transition with the personnel we have, but we’ll see. This would totally derail us, but I hopeful that McGarity will lock him up and match Kirby Smart’s 850k salary.