New Georgia tight end Eli Wolf / graphic illustration
ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is dialed in on building another SEC championship roster, from impact freshmen, to transfers of both the junior college and graduate transfer variety
Former Tennessee tight end and SEC Media Day rep Eli Wolf represents more than just a splash of orange.
Wolf is expected to play a key role this season, or Smart wouldn’t have used up a 2020 scholarship to add him to the Bulldogs’ Top 5 roster.
The versatile 6-foot-4, 236-pound Wolf will be aimed at filling the shoes of departed tight end Isaac Nauta, a 6-4, 240-pound NFL prospect.
Wolf brings the sort of self-starting leadership qualities Smart looks in all of his seniors. Indeed, the Ohio prep product’s hunger and desire for improvement has been well-documented, as he rose up from walk-on status two years ago and last year gained 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason.
Wolf took time for a question-answer session with DawgNation on a variety of topics after committing to the Bulldogs last Thursday:
Q: What was your attraction to Georgia?
Wolf: Well, initially the interest was for all the obvious reasons you would expect. Championship caliber program, competing in the SEC, storied program, great facilities but it didn’t take me long to realize that my sincere interest in Georgia was the people. Coach Smart was straight forward and to the point on why he was the first coach to call. They were looking for a specific skillset and with the losses of some key veterans they were looking for experience if possible and it was just a great fit. My visit was amazing with 2 hours of chalk talk with the staff and meeting Jake (Fromm) and Charlie (Woerner) was just great as well.
Q: What has the interaction with James Coley and Todd Hartley been like?
A: There is no doubt me and Coach Hartley and Coach Coley hit if off because first and foremost their passion for the game is off the charts. It was only strengthened when I was in Athens for a visit (Jan. 27) and got to see first hand the different things they want to accomplish with the offense and how I fit into that plan. Coach Hartley has a great track record with tight ends, and I felt really comfortable around him. Great family guy. Coach Coley has just a vast amount of experience and is very innovative, and I really enjoyed our time and his approach.
Q: How do you feel you can help Georgia next season?
Wolf: I feel my strength as a tight end is my ability to be flexed out, or come in and put my hand in the dirt and support the run game. I have played off the ball, lined up at fullback, blocked in space, and being multiple is something that Coach Coley and Coach Hartley were in search of. Not only does it fit the needs of Georgia, but plays to my individual strengths that I was looking for, so I feel it is a win-win for both of us. Obviously nothing takes the place of experience and physical development at this level, so my four years in this league will allow me to pick up on things much quicker, handle the physical piece and also be a good fit in the tight end room.
Q: What did you take from talking with Jake Fromm and Charlie Woerner?
Wolf: My time with Jake and Charlie was great. They came in after a morning duck hunt so we hit it off right away. What I took most out of our 20 minutes together was how laser focused they were and make no mistake they have one thing on their mind, and that is competing for a championship. Very down to earth guys that were extremely welcoming. They both have great futures ahead of them.
Q: Your older brother, Ethan, was selected Tennessee captain for 9 games and still bleeds orange. What was his reaction to you choosing a rival school?
Wolf: I couldn’t ask for a better role model than Ethan, especially these past four years. Yes, on the field stuff, but more importantly how to go about your business like a pro. We both leave Tennessee with lasting memories and college degrees. He also understands the importance of timing and opportunity and knows what I am trying to accomplish to close out my college journey and supports me more than ever.
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