Georgia Football Becomes The Latest To Offer Gunnar Helm
There is arguably no hotter prospect right now in the world of college football recruiting than Gunnar Helm. Helm, a 6'6" 225-pound wide receiver turned tight end, has received 25 Power 5 and Group of 5 scholarship offers since January 17th of this year. The group includes some of the NCAA's blue-blood programs such as Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State, and Tennesse. This past Friday, April 3rd, Georgia joined that group and the Bulldog Maven on SI.com caught up with Helm to discuss his growing relationship with the Dawgs and his flourishing recruitment.
Referencing the whirlwind of attention that has come his way in the last month, Helm shared, "It took off and it took off fast!" The 2021 converted tight end has received offers in just the past month from Michigan State, Alabama, LSU, UNLV, Georgia, and Penn State. "I never would have expected to get all of those in one month, but it's exciting." It is easy to see why so many programs are interested when watching Helm on film. He is extremely fluid and has great awareness in his route running.
Despite being relatively new to the tight end position, Gunnar Helm desires to be the best at the position. Some who overlook his talents on the outside provide a little extra competitive fire to the Colorado native. When asked about his recruiting rankings and his designation as a 3-Star, Helm responded, "On some of these recruiting sites I'll be ranked behind guys that have 5 offers from lower-tier D1 schools. Then you'll see the 49th ranked tight end, which is me, with offers from Georgia, Alabama, and LSU." Helm acknowledged that he does have the goal of obtaining more "stars" and climbing the ranking ladder, but at the end of the day, as long as he impressing coaching staffs of schools he desires to attend and play at, that is all that ultimately matters.
Helm has an interesting story of how his relationship with Georgia came about. "I actually sent a DM to the tight end coach (Todd Hartley) the night before they offered me. I was just like, I'm interested in UGA. I'd love to talk if you have interest. So I didn't get a response that night, but I woke up the next morning to my dad telling me that they (Georgia) were on the phone. So I got up and started talking with them and they offered. So it was a pretty quick process."
The motivation to send that direct message came from research that Helm and his family had done on colleges going into his freshman year in high school. Not even thinking about being in a position to be a D1 football player, Helm and his family were just looking into schools for their academics and Georgia was one that caught their eye. Gunnar and his family got to visit Athens and came away quite impressed. "I remember even then thinking that it was somewhere I could see myself going, even if just as a student. I love the campus, I love the town. The restaurants, the atmosphere, and then, of course, the love for Georgia football in that town, that definitely stood out to me early on."
In terms of the x's and o's of football, Helm was pleased to see that Georgia has brought on Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken. "It's just good to hear that they want to open up their offense a little more. Being a tight end, you want to be involved and get the ball. The SEC used to be just downhill run blocking but everyone has progressed and opened up their offenses more now and the tight end position has been utilized more." Monken was one of the first staff members at Georgia to recognize Helm as the new UGA Coordinator followed the Cherry Creek High School product a couple of weeks before his initial phone conversation and offer from the Dawgs.
Helm stepped into the tight end role for his team this year out of necessity but ended up flourishing with a combination of size and natural route running ability that translated from his background as a receiver. He is working hard to add weight and become a complete tight end in terms of blocking, but the pass-catching ability and understanding of how to navigate opposing secondaries that Helm possesses are undeniable.
The body type, the use of his hands, and the ability to control his body remind me of what Zach Ertz looked like early on at Stanford. I know that is high praise, but when you take into consideration the limited time that Helm has spent at the position and then see the athleticism he displays on the field, it gets you excited for his future. Look for Helm to be late riser in the rankings and definitely someone that Georgia fans should keep an eye on because it is entirely possible that the Dawgs take multiple tight ends in the 2021 class and Helm's game, plus his fondness for the Classic City, would make him a great fit.
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