Lynch Wants It All

ATHENS - Tight end Arthur Lynch has been deemed a leader for Georgia as a senior, but he's still maturing after all these years.

Lynch's role on the team has grown and continues to grow. Whether he's catching touchdown passes from Aaron Murray or serving as a school representative at SEC Media Days, Lynch will do whatever it takes to keep the Dawgs moving in the right direction.

"You try to be resilient over time and really try to understand you might not always be the go-to guy on offense, but understand it's really not about you but it's about the team," Lynch said. "I've earned some people's respect in that faction of football, but seniors always have a leadership role no matter who you are."

Lynch didn't grow into his leadership role by default, though. He's had plenty of role models on this Georgia team who've played in front of him and represented the Bulldogs in good fashion. Some of those guys include former Georgia fullback Shaun Chapas, quarterback Joe Cox and linebacker Akeem Dent. Those are the players Lynch says he's modeled himself after both as a player and a leader.

"Shaun Chapas is a guy I've always looked up to. He did a really good job of handling himself on and off the field," Lynch said. "We've been blessed with a lot of guys who've done well on and off the field and those are kind of the guys you're drawn to; guys who come here, get a degree and have good careers because those are the ones who usually have good success in life."

The guys Lynch plays alongside at the moment aren't half bad either. In fact, they just beat South Carolina for the first time in three years. That's a big feat for the program, and Lynch said he credits the offensive line for stepping up after a somewhat sloppy performance during the loss at Clemson.

"I think this was a big game for us and to handle the defense the way we did said a message to not only South Carolina, but the rest of the league that we can be pretty dynamic," Lynch said. "We're also a physical football team that can run the ball as we please as long as we play disciplined and don't hurt ourselves."

The Dawgs' offensive line hurt itself a lot less with penalties in the win over the Gamecocks. The win was a moral victory for everyone involved. Not only was it nice for the seniors to beat South Carolina, but it gives the team a little momentum headed into some other key conference games.

"It was a big win for us and a big win for the program, but we understand what's at stake for the rest of the year," Lynch said. "You cannot rest in your laurels in this league. As soon as you do you're going to end up with your tail between your legs and kind of embarrassed. I think we understand that."

Against South Carolina Lynch played every snap where the Dawgs' offensive package contained a tight end. He recalled about 73, but says he'd play even more if necessary. Even though the team has a solid number two tight end in Jay Rome, Lynch wants to be in on every play as long as he's on the roster.

"You always appreciate when you have a guy where there's not a drop-off in level of play like we have in Jay," Lynch said. "I think my whole mindset is that the coaches can rely on me no matter what, whether it's 80 snaps or two snaps. I try to be in good enough shape where they don't have to worry about having too much depth. I think they trust me to where I can play a whole game at a high level."

Depth is something Georgia's offense does have this season. Whether it's at running back, tight end or the rotating offensive line, the Dawgs have options. Lynch says depth at fullback and tight end are crucial for offensive success, especially for Georgia.

"Without a fullback and a tight end that can block in this offense you really don't have much," Lynch said. "Fortunately we've been coached up very well. That's all you can ask. They depend on us to go out and perform and we've done a pretty good job of that so far so we'll try to keep it up."

It's been a long, interesting, exciting, gratifying and at one point disappointing two weeks for Georgia. However, this is a bye week for Georgia which means it's time for the Dawgs to get some much-needed rest and recuperation.

"With the emotional roller coaster we were on the first two weeks you want to recharge your batteries and get ready for a long stretch until the next bye week," Lynch said. "We just want to regroup, work on our fundamentals, come back and get a win against North Texas and get ready for LSU."

Even though Georgia's matchup with North Texas won't be a conference game, Lynch says he knows it will be an important one. He wants Georgia to have two wins under its belt before taking on LSU the following week. He says the Dawgs won't lag in front of their fans next weekend.

"Obviously you can't ever sleep on an opponent like North Texas," Lynch said. "I don't know too much about them because we haven't played them, but you definitely don't want to let down and not come ready to play a game; especially in front of your home crowd."

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