It’s games like the SEC championship that brought Eli Wolf to Georgia.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs for his final season, Wolf had only been to Mercedes-Benz stadium once for a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game against Georgia Tech in 2017. This Saturday he’ll be back again, this time for a chance at an SEC title.
But more than the big games, Wolf said he’s most thankful for the friends he’s made during his only season in the tight end room at Georgia.
“This group of guys have been so special to me,” Wolf said. “It’s one thing [for the other tight ends] to welcome me off the field, but to welcome me on the field too and them doing anything they can to help me just speaks volumes to their maturity.”
He’s developed a bond with fellow senior tight end Charlie Woerner, and both of them will need to be on their game if they hope to keep up with the LSU offense. Following an ankle injury to Georgia’s most consistent wide receiver Lawrence Cager, current top receiver Georgia Pickens is suspended for the first half of the conference title game for throwing punches during Georgia’s 52-7 win over Georgia Tech.
But as the situation in the wide receivers’ room has worsened, the tight ends are peaking at the right time. Last time out, Woerner scored the first touchdown of his four-year career against the Yellow Jackets, and Wolf grabbed a career-long 47-yard pass.
With Cager out and Pickens missing the first half, it could be on the two to pick up some of the slack. But Woerner says they don’t feel any pressure to do too much.
“I don't know if we’re the answer, but we can definitely help,” Woerner said. “No one has to be a superhero.”
They may not be superheroes, but Wolf and Woerner have been unsung heroes all season. Largely quiet on the stat sheet, they have been critical in the running game as blockers up front, and Wolf has come up with some clutch catches when called upon.
They’ve only shared the field for one season, but in that short time they’ve become the leaders of the tight end group and formed a bond that Wolf says will be there long after their final season at Georgia.
“It’s been awesome,” Wolf said. “I hate to see it coming to an end, but I’ll keep these guys as friends for life.”
The two won’t have to wait long to see each other once the season is over. Woerner is set to be married next summer, and Wolf will be there. One season of friendship won’t make him a groomsman, but he’s just happy to be invited.
“I don’t know about a groomsman, but I did get the wedding invite,” Wolf said. “I’ll settle for that.”
But right now, the two are locked in ahead of Georgia’s matchup against No. 2 LSU, and they’re ready for the challenge.
“If [the coaches] ask us to do a little bit more then we’ll do as best we can,” Wolf said.
Printed with permission from the Red & Black independent student media organization based in Athens, Georgia; redandblack.com/sports