Athens - One of the Georgia players singled out by coach Mark Richt this week for having a great camp is tight end Quayvon Hicks.
The converted fullback has been working with the first-team offense most of the preseason. He has even managed to stay ahead of ultra-talented Jay Rome, who appears to have gotten offseason foot surgery behind him and has been able to stay on the field.
“When we first put Quayvon at tight end in the spring, it was mostly because we didn’t have the bodies and needed help at that position,” Richt said. “But he’s become pretty solid. He’s not unbelievable in some areas, but he’s tough.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has expanded the role of Georgia’s tight ends to include so H-back — or hybrid fullback — responsibilities. Whoever mans the position could play it as a traditional tight end, shift into the backfield and/or go into motion to block or occasionally flew outside.
That versatility has fit Hicks well. And considering fullbacks were on the field for only about 25 percent of the Bulldogs’ offensive plays last season, it has meant a lot more action for him as well.
“It feels good just to have that trust and show the coaches that I’m capable of being in the position I am now,” said 6-foot-2, 257-pound junior from Blackshear. “… But I’ll play wherever I’m needed. That’s why I came into this program, to be able to grow into my body and show the coaches that I’m dependable. So wherever the coaches need, that’s my mindset. I’m more all for the team now. I like to make plays, but I’m all for the team first and wherever I’m needed and where I’m trusted is where I’ll be.”
Hicks said he hasn’t worked with the fullbacks since UGA had to medically disqualify Merritt Hall a week ago. But he’s confident he’ll know what to do if he’s asked to. Meanwhile, he’s concentrating on refining the skills he’ll need for his new position.
“He’s a pretty good point-of-attack blocker,” Richt said. “His pass-protection blocking needs help, like most tight ends. There’s certain routes that he does well and some he needs to continue to work on. So he’s still a work in progress, but he’s done enough where we can play ball with him.”