Charlie Woerner’s appearance at UGA’s 7-on-7 camp earlier this month will likely be his only college visit of the summer.
Woerner is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver from Rabun County High School who is rated as the state’s No. 12 overall prospect – and he’d probably be ranked much higher if he did the camp circuit.
The only college campus that Woerner has seen this summer was UGA. He joined his Rabun County teammates at the 7-on-7 camp there a couple of weeks ago.
“I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere else right now,” his father, Kent Woerner, told the AJC. “We visited a lot of folks last summer, and the summer before last. This summer, he’s focused on his high school team and his senior season with his teammates.”
There are three schools standing out for Woerner: UGA, Alabama and Clemson, while Oregon is a dark horse.
It was a pretty big deal for UGA to get Woerner on campus earlier this month because Mark Richt had the chance to clear up some confusion in a face-to-face meeting. Woerner wasn’t sure whether or not the Bulldogs were recruiting him at receiver (his preferred position) or tight end.
“There was some clarification by Georgia that they would look at him at wide receiver,” his father said. “That is a subject that has been talked about a lot from the letters that I have been receiving lately – all the colleges are talking wide receiver now. And that’s where he wants to play.”
There’s a lot in UGA’s favor with Woerner: His girlfriend will attend UGA, and his uncle is former Bulldogs great Scott Woerner.
“He knows that Georgia likes the run the football,” his father said. “Even if Nick Chubb isn’t running it, they’ve got two or three guys behind him. I don’t think that concerns him, but he realizes that he may not be able to catch the football as much as he would at other places. He just absolutely loves to catch the football.”
UGA is considered the heavy frontrunner with 100-percent of the recruiting analysts in the 247sports Crystal Ball projecting Woerner to sign with the Bulldogs.
But don’t count out Alabama. The Crimson Tide have a made a strong impression on the kid that some SEC scouts call “Baby Gronk.”
“At Alabama, it has to do more with the strictness of the program, and the discipline,” his father said. “And it’s just a good overall program. Plus, and I hate to say this because the chance of this happening are far and few between — I think Charlie thinks about playing after college. We all know that Alabama has some of the highest number of kids go into the pros. Nick Saban, he only prepares now for those kids to play for him for three years. I think Charlie sees that, but he has never said anything about that. Right now, he’s only thinking about his senior year of high school.”
And what did Alabama say about TE vs. WR? “Coach Saban said ‘I’m not going to make you play a position that you don’t want to play. If you want to play receiver, then I will let you play receiver. If you want to play tight end, I will let you play tight end. Now I might suggest things, such as that you should consider playing safety. But it’s your decision.’ That’s what he said to Charlie, and it was a different approach than other schools at the time.”
And Clemson? “Clemson has a good program,” his father said. “They lost their offensive coordinator but they have another guy coming in that was under his tutelage. Clemson is going to build that new facility at their practice field, and it’s going to be complete by Charlie’s freshman year. It’s going to have all the bells and whistles. It’s close. His mother likes that. They’re going to have a brand-new facility. And they do throw the ball at Clemson.”
The dark-horse school is Oregon because of its high-octane passing offense.
“It goes back to this: He wants to catch the ball, and he knows that they throw the ball a lot,” his father said. “They are trying to figure it out about receiver, though. They’re wondering if he’s fast enough to play receiver in their offense. But even if Charlie has to play hybrid tight end at Oregon, he knows that he will get the ball thrown to him.”
Woerner’s father offered to pay for Charlie and another son to go to Oregon this summer on an unofficial visit. It was politely declined.
“That was Charlie’s decision,” the elder Woerner said. “I offered to fly him out there and he was like, ‘No dad, that’s too much money.’ And he was thinking of me because I just dropped a bunch of money on a wedding. He said no, that he didn’t want to go now and that he’ll wait until the season. But he does want to go to Oregon. He definitely wants to go visit there.”
And the biggest question: When will Charlie make his college decision? “It will be just whenever it feels right,” his father said.
In the below video, Rabun County coach Lee Shaw talks about what the college scouts like about Charlie Woerner: