After going without signing a tight end in 2017, Georgia’s search to replenish the position has amplified once more.
The coaching staff has extended a number of offers to top prospects around the Southeast, with George Takacs, Tommy Tremble and Ben Bresnahan all showing interest in the program. Georgia has added another name to the list with Marist tight end John FitzPatrick.
The Atlanta-area product told The Telegraph that head coach Kirby Smart is looking to take two players at the position for the upcoming class, and FitzPatrick believes he has become a priority.
“I’ve spoken with Coach Smart,” FitzPatrick said. “He has told me he can see me both split out and attached next to the tackle, for blocking on offense. We also talked about the tight end situation (with Jeb Blazevich departing after this season) and the chance of getting early playing time.”
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Georgia had success with landing a top-tier tight end in Isaac Nauta just weeks after Smart and his staff took over in Athens. The efforts of the second-year head coach coincide with tight ends coach Shane Beamer, who frequently draws a positive review from recruits.
It’s no different for FitzPatrick, who calls Beamer “awesome,” and has had opportunities to build a relationship with him since Georgia offered the in-state prospect on April 18.
FitzPatrick visited campus four days later for the G-Day spring game on April 22 and will likely make another trip on May 20. At this time, however, nothing has been finalized.
“Beamer checks in and has stopped by Marist to see me and (walk-on punter pledge) Bill Rubright,” FitzPatrick said. “He’s always nice and has let me sit in on one of their tight end meetings.”
Although rated as a three-star prospect by the 247Sports.com composite rankings, FitzPatrick holds offers from 42 programs. The rising senior had a successful showing at The Opening Atlanta Regional on March 26 with a SPARQ score of 72.12, which sparked a wave of offers – including Georgia’s – to come FitzPatrick’s way.
At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, FitzPatrick is a multi-sport athlete. When many other prospects were taking unofficial visits, he was part of Marist’s soccer playoff run.
“I haven’t been able to visit many schools, so none have stood out,” FitzPatrick said. “UCLA, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia have been recruiting me the hardest as of late, however.”
Georgia currently has three pledges for the 2018 class, two of which are within the state. The idea of playing “close to home” is something that has appeal to FitzPatrick.
He plans to end his recruiting process soon and commit sometime within the summer.
“(The possibility is) exciting,” FitzPatrick said. “It would give me the chance to be close to my family at all times.”