With three touchdown receptions in the past two weeks, Georgia senior tight end Arthur Lynch is putting quite the finishing touches on his college career.
It hasn't always been a smooth ride.
Lynch arrived in Athens as a heralded prospect in 2009 but quickly found himself buried on the depth chart, which led to him debating whether to transfer. He stuck through it and has been a two-year starter, and his journey of highs and lows mirrors what the Bulldogs have experienced during his time in the program.
"I've been on teams that were 5 yards away from a national championship," Lynch said, "and I've been on teams that went 6-7 and were on the brink of having a whole new coaching staff. I think we've been through a lot, and we've always overcome the hardships to make the best of the situation."
The massive 6-foot-5, 254-pounder will be playing his final regular-season game Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Georgia Tech in a matchup of 7-4 teams. Lynch has 23 receptions for 360 yards this season, including eight for 117 in the past two games against Auburn and Kentucky.
Lynch, who hails from Dartmouth, Mass., was Rivals.com's No. 2 tight end nationally in the 2009 class when he signed with the Bulldogs.
"When he came, he wanted to try something new," coach Mark Richt said. "He wanted to experience a different culture, and he got it."
In retrospect, Lynch could have done a better job at finding a destination that provided a quick route to the field. He got in 11 games as a reserve in 2009, but the preseason depth chart in 2010 had Orson Charles, Aron White and Bruce Figgins ahead of Lynch.
Lynch opted to redshirt that season, and he began questioning his decision to come to Georgia knowing that Charles and White, who were heralded prospects, too, would still be around in 2011.
"It was one of those things where I kind of doubted myself and figured there was an easier path for me to see playing time if I transferred elsewhere," Lynch said. "The key word there was easier, and I think it was key for me and my development to stay here and kind of fight through it. Looking back on it now, it was the right decision, but I think it took some risks and some guts to make that call."
In 2011, Lynch didn't have a single reception, but the door for him finally opened after that season when Charles opted to forgo his senior year for the NFL draft. he amassed 24 receptions for 431 yards and three touchdowns last season, and he also completed a 16-yard pass for a successful fake punt against Alabama in the SEC title game.
Lynch's final year has not been without gaffes, which have included a missed block against Missouri that resulted in a Tigers touchdown and a dropped lateral against Florida that gave the Gators possession. Yet it's a career that he says he can look back on without any regrets.
"The thing I think I'll take away most is just overcoming a certain amount adversity that you have to deal with," he said. "It feels like we've had to do that more than any other team in the country, whether it's been a big win this year over South Carolina or LSU or a tough loss. We've always been able to overcome and persevere in a short amount of time, and I think that's what I'll get the most out of from my experience here not only this season but throughout the course of my career."
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.