UGA position analysis: Tight end

Georgia will lose senior tight end Aron White after the season and might lose junior Orson Charles to the NFL draft, but the Bulldogs believe the position will still be in good hands in 2012.

Georgia has redshirt sophomore Arthur Lynch and freshman Jay Rome returning next season -- and White said that would be more than enough for Georgia’s tight ends to remain effective.

“Artie is probably one of the most successful tight ends in our segment at making plays against our defense in practice,” White said of the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Lynch. “I don’t know what it is. He’s like their Kryptonite. But he’s so big, he catches balls in traffic and guys bounce off him. It’s kind of funny because they make a joke that he’s the least receiving tight end and he’s out there tearing guys up. Everybody says he’s the big blocker, but he picks our defense apart.”

Lynch has played in every game this season and started for the first time against Kentucky, but the Bulldogs use him mostly in blocking packages. He has yet to catch a pass this season. And while Rome came to Georgia as the top-rated tight end in the 2011 ESPNU 150, he redshirted this season.

“I’ve been pleased with Arthur Lynch’s progress and I think Jay Rome has a bright future, but they’re obviously green playing out there,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “That’s an area of concern for us if [Charles leaving] were to happen that those guys have got to get ready to play. But I think their talent set is good enough to play in this league, but with experience, if that happens, we’ve got to get them game ready next spring in camp.”

The Bulldogs should add depth in their upcoming recruiting class. They already have a verbal commitment from tight end prospect Ty Smith (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County).

Orson Charles was a finalist for the John Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top tight end. ESPN.com lists him as the No. 3 draft-eligible tight end, so he will certainly be on many NFL teams’ radars if he opts to make the leap.

Whether Charles stays or goes, quarterback Aaron Murray has seen enough of his potential replacements to believe that Georgia will be OK either way.

“I think our future is bright with those two guys,” Murray said. “Artie has obviously been here for three years now and he knows the system extremely well, he knows the plays, he knows the blocking schemes. Whether Orson leaves or not, I think he’s going to get a lot of playing time next year. Then Jay, he’s just an unbelievable athlete. The kid plays football and basketball for goodness sakes, so he’s an extremely good athlete, has some great hands, is a hard worker.

“It would be awesome for Orson to stay obviously, but I think we’ll be fine no matter what.”