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Lawson Luckie not to be forgotten as key piece in Georgia tight end room

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs05/22/24


Georgia has built quite the track record of tight end success in recent seasons, and there’s no reason to believe that’ll end in 2024. Yes, there’s Oscar Delp, returning after stepping into a starting role as a sophomore, and yes, UGA added Stanford transfer Benjamin Yurosek. Both of them are potential picks in next year’s NFL Draft, but they aren’t the only Bulldogs at the position capable of contributing. Look no further than Lawson Luckie.

A member of the Class of 2023, Luckie came to Athens and got a jump start last spring. He impressed and appeared to be gaining momentum towards potentially significant playing time before an ankle injury that required surgery during fall camp derailed his freshman campaign – at least early on.

Luckie would return to the field in early October, and after Brock Bowers went down with his own ankle injury, the freshman was called upon to play an important role at times. While it wasn’t the most statistically outstanding season, the experience gained in seven games with the added confidence of a touchdown in the Orange Bowl could carry over into an even bigger 2024.

“He had a great spring. We gave him a lot of reps, a lot of chances to grow with Pearce being out,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said about Luckie in the spring. “He’s shown great toughness, great maturity, durability. That’s what Oscar Delp has been. Oscar Delp is the one guy, when Darnell (Washington) was out Oscar took all the reps. When Brock (Bowers) was out, Oscar took all the reps. So Oscar’s taken a lot of football reps and gotten better for us. Lawson stepped up and took on a larger role of that.”

Smart’s comments should tell you something about both Luckie and the tight end room as a whole. Delp is the go-to guy, even with Yurosek coming in. Georgia coaches trust that they can count on him while Yurosek’s contributions will be a bit of a bonus. He wasn’t in Athens this spring and will have to pick up the playbook over the summer. Fall camp will be his first time practicing with the Bulldogs, and there’s an adjustment that could come with that. Meanwhile, Luckie is lurking in the background and, implied in Smart’s response, he’s ready to take a similar jump from freshman year backup to sophomore year contributor as Delp did. Given the experience advantage in Georgia’s system, don’t be surprised if we see Luckie having an equal or bigger role than Yurosek early on, and if he handles it well, potentially throughout the season.

In 2021, Georgia had three NFL-bound tight ends regularly playing. John FitzPatrick, Darnell Washington and Brock Bowers all played different roles for the Bulldogs during their run to a National Championship, and there’s a chance that could be the case once again. Oscar Delp, Benjamin Yurosek and Lawson Luckie all have massive amounts of potential and an opportunity to step up with the void left by Bowers’ departure. Now, can Mike Bobo, Todd Hartley and company find a way to utilize all three? Everything we’ve seen says they can do that, continuing to bolster the Bulldogs’ track record as the top place in College Football to play tight end.

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