Yes. You heard that correctly. One of the best, if not the best. Better than 2002. Better than 2007. And, believe it or not, better than 2012.
The die hard fans are terrified searching the chat rooms for which unknowns will produce on defense as Georgia prepares to play by far the toughest schedule of any team in the nation. Most fans somewhat trust Aaron Murray; they know they have running backs that are just as good as anyone in the country in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall; and they have a dynamic play maker on the outside in Malcolm Mitchell.
But as you go up and down the roster, there is one player’s name that keeps jumping out. A guy who will have a tremendous impact on the season. A senior who might just very well end up being the best player at his position come December in helping the Bulldogs to an SEC Championship and a berth in the final BCS Title game.
And that player is none other than tight end Arthur Lynch.
Lynch may not have the numbers of some of the legends of Athens as he has appeared in 39 games, started 15 and has caught 26 career passes for 448 yards and three touchdowns. But without a doubt, he will be the key to Georgia’s offensive success in 2013.
From a blocking standpoint, Lynch brings leadership and flexibility to a solid offensive line. This is vital to the Bulldogs running attack, as well as protecting Murray on longer pass plays. Lynch also gives Georgia all kinds of options in the passing game alongside Mitchell whether it be short yardage, third or fourth options or deep stretch routes down the middle.
If you go back and look at some of the great teams in the history of Georgia Football, the TE was always a key contributor and found multiple ways to dominate the game. In fact, it is the perfect piece to Richt’s offense. When the TE is a part of the mix, Georgia has proven to be nearly unstoppable.
So, with the schedule to end all schedules kicking off in about 60 days, the Bulldogs will need everyone playing at an elite level every Saturday. And the key to the team’s success lies in the hands, shoulders, legs and arms of Lynch.
M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.
Follow him @woodysmalls.