Valdosta High School – Valdosta, Ga. – Major: Biology
Why he redshirted:
Although Rome came to Georgia as a highly touted and talented recruit, the Bulldogs simply had too much talent at tight end for Rome to see the field in his first season. Senior Aron White and Orson Charles commanded the bulk of the playing time at the position, but both are now gone.
A look at the depth chart:
Coming in the 2012 recruiting class:
In his own words:
"It's been fun. It's always a big jump going from one level to the next. Coming from high school to college, I mean everything you just have to get used to it. With the football and basketball both everybody is better. You have to push yourself to be better. I've just been having a fantastic time getting to know the guys on the football team and now being able to bond with some of the guys on the basketball team. I just feel like I'm making a lot of good friendships that will last for a lifetime." – Tight end Jay Rome
What the spring needs to bring:
Distracted isn't the right term, but Rome juggled quite a bit during his first year in Athens. He played both football and basketball, so his attention was split up from November on.
Rome didn't miss much on the football side, and there were some benefits gained from his time on the hardwood. He lost weight and improved his footwork and explosiveness, he said.
The goal for the spring: Put back on the weight lost in a healthy way. Rome would like to get back to 255, but he wants to get there by putting on muscle instead of wasted weight.
Also, Rome will be at worst second on the depth chart during spring, which will lead to increased reps and the chance to hone his craft.
Contributions for next season and beyond:
Rome will play in 2012 and will make catches. Arthur Lynch has waited patiently (and productively in terms of working out to get ready), so he's going to have the first shot at taking over for Charles as the leading tight end.
Rome and Lynch are different types though so they should compliment each other well.
Rome has the makings of an All-SEC tight end and no doubt will be a multiple year starter at Georgia. Will the basketball gig persist now that Rome figures to be a contributor? That remains to be seen. But 100 percent focus and effort on the football side of things could lead Rome to the NFL one day.
Previous Redshirt Diaries: