UGA offer surprises 2014 TE Jeb Blazevich

When 2014 tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) called Tony Ball recently, he was told that the Bulldogs wanted to offer him a full scholarship. The rising junior already had offers from Ohio State, Duke, UNC and South Carolina, but the Georgia offer took him by surprise.

“I didn’t really know they were looking at me so I was kind of shocked,” Blazevich said. “I was also excited, humbled and very thankful. Coach Ball asked me what I thought about the offer and I said the only two things I know about Georgia is that Athens is a crazy place to play and that I have never heard of anyone that went there that said they didn’t like it. And I know it is definitely a good school too.”

Blazevich says he wants to see Athens firsthand and see what the Bulldogs have to offer.

“Yes sir I am planning to visit,” Blazevich said. “The one thing we are looking at, besides what day works for us, is mainly the fact that I need to focus on being a leader for my team back home. Georgia was my fifth offer and the last thing I want is for people to think I am focusing on college already. I know that my priorities are in high school first. I have to make sure I have all of that in check and then I will try to go down for a day or two.”

Thursday night Blazevich picked up an offer from Maryland and more are likely on the way. He is getting help handling his new celebrity status.

“I was worried at first that it might go to my head but really it is just grounding me more,” Blazevich said. “I have seen a couple campuses and that has humbled me since I realize I have a lot of work to do. But I guess they see some potential and that gives me confidence. I am reminded constantly by my good friends, my family and my coaches that I have two more years of high school and I can’t be getting all googli-eyed over all of these colleges just yet.”

Blazevich doesn’t have a favorite college team despite growing up in Charlotte.

“My dad went to Northwestern -- he actually played there,” Blazevich said. “And my mom went to Ole Miss so we have family roots there. You know their football histories. I never had a deep loyalty to one or the other based off the wins and losses. I have been neutral in all this.”

His classmates on the other hand are not neutral at all. Blazevich calls them the “best recruiters” and he says there is a lot of pressure from a lot of people in his community to stay in-state.

“All my classmates’ parents are coming up to me saying, ‘You got to go here’ or 'You got to go there’ and I just say, ‘I will let you know.’

The Bulldogs are taking a decidedly different approach with Blazevich’s recruitment and that is already helping Georgia’s case.

“What I really like about Georgia is that they are not turning on the sales pitch too hard right now,” Blazevich said. “They understand I have two more years. If I am going to play at Georgia, they want me to want to be there. They just want to build a relationship and from there decide. I am sure once I get down there they will tell me all about their program. But as of right now they are saying, ‘Get to know us,' and they are pretty confident that I will want to go there with that approach. I like that better than people saying, ‘We have this and that and we are better than these people.’ Well, if you are, your school will show it in the end.”

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore spent most of last year “down on the line as more of a bandit position,” but still managed to rack up 32 catches for over 500 yards and six touchdowns. He played on defense at outside linebacker and defensive end, picking up 69 tackles over the course of the season.