Cast your vote below for the Yellow Jackets' best tight end of the past decade.
Russell Matvay (2000-2001): Averaging 10.6 yards per catch, Matvay enjoyed a strong career for a tight end. In virtually any offense, players at the position very rarely get the ball thrown their way as is, but the native New Yorker seemed to take full advantage of his few opportunities. Playing for the better part of three seasons as a starter (he started eight games as a redshirt freshman in 1998 before also starting his final two seasons), Matvay ranks fourth on Georgia Tech’s all-time receptions list for tight ends, hauling in 57 career passes. His senior season, he was said to be the key component in Georgia Tech’s changing offense following the departure of former offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. Once named the nation’s second-ranked high school tight end by recruiting service SuperPrep, Matvay also doubled as a backup fullback at Georgia Tech.
Mike Matthews (2005-2006): Used primarily as a blocker during his time on The Flats, Matthews caught just nine career passes as a Yellow Jackets player. That didn’t stop him from enjoying success at the next level, however, as the undrafted free agent was picked up by the New York Giants in 2007, just in time for their dramatic Super Bowl XLII win. This year, he has spent time with the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions. While at Georgia Tech, the big-framed, 270-pound tight end was a solid balance to fellow large tight end George Cooper. Much like Matvay, Matthews was used early in his career as a fullback.
George Cooper (2005-2006): Standing at an imposing 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, Cooper was yet another solid tight end along Georgia Tech’s offensive line during the middle years of the decade. Much like Matthews, he was used as a blocker to provide ample time for quarterbacks Reggie Ball and Taylor Bennett to connect with the Yellow Jackets’ receivers. While Cooper also only hauled in nine career receptions, he made many of those catches when they mattered most. Four of his career catches came in bowl games, including three against Utah in the 2005 Emerald Bowl.
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Colin Peek (2007): Once regarded as one of the nation’s 30-best high school tight ends, Peek came to Georgia Tech in 2005 with high hopes of producing at a similar level in college. That year, he was one of eight true freshmen who saw playing time, appearing in nine games. Overshadowed mostly by the older Matthews and Cooper, he did not receive a pass that year. But in 2007, after redshirting his second season, Peek broke out, ranking third on the team in receptions with 25 for 248 yards and a touchdown. That lone score came during the final game of the regular season, in a loss to rival Georgia. The week after that loss, then-head coach Chan Gailey was fired, and his tight end-filled offense left with him. With current head coach Paul Johnson’s arrival at the end of the 2007 season, Peek felt there was no use for him in the Yellow Jackets’ spread option scheme, and left to transfer to Alabama. As a senior this season with the national championship-contending Crimson Tide, he has 19 catches and one touchdown.