- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
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It’s almost that time. Georgia is scheduled to open spring practice next week.
In previous weeks, we've broken down several players and position groups to watch this spring. As we lead up to the Bulldogs’ first-team workout, this week we'll make five predictions related to the upcoming practices.
Today’s prediction: Jordan Davis makes a move at tight end
Like the prediction we made about redshirt freshman tailback A.J. Turman on Monday, this is another one that seems like common sense.
The tailbacks are a bit depth-depleted because injuries will prevent Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall from performing at 100 percent and because signees Nick Chubb and Sony Michel aren’t on campus yet. That will provide Turman with a prime opportunity to prove himself.
Depth is an even bigger issue for Davis and the tight ends. All-SEC senior Arthur Lynch just exhausted his eligibility. Jay Rome is recovering from surgery, and coach Mark Richt said last week that he expects him to either miss all or most of spring. Signees Jeb Blazevich and Hunter Atkinson won’t arrive until summer.
If redshirt freshman Davis doesn’t make good use of what should be a ton of reps this spring, that will come off as an enormous disappointment.
The Bulldogs didn’t need him to play last season since Lynch and blocking tight end Hugh Williams were seniors, and Rome was also in the mix, although injuries cut his season short.
The depth chart looks completely different now, and Davis’ combination of speed, athleticism -- he was a distinguished hurdler in high school -- and a steady work ethic should begin to pay off immediately. If anything, he needs to learn to relax a bit, as tight ends coach John Lilly insisted last season that Davis often put too much pressure on himself.
Now is the time for him to settle into the routine of operating with the regulars on offense. Georgia’s coaches said last week that fullback Quayvon Hicks might take some snaps in an H-back role on offense, but otherwise Davis is the lone scholarship tight end available if Rome misses the entire spring.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Davis certainly looks the part of a pass-catching tight end with the frame to hold more size if necessary. Our prediction is that he develops the confidence this spring to accompany those physical tools, and that he will seize an on-field role for this fall.