ATHENS -- As Rabun County head coach Lee Shaw sees it, Charlie Woerner can play any position on offense.
In high school, Shaw has lined Woerner up as a wide receiver, slot man, flex tight end and as the dot when in the pistol formation. With Woerner, a 6-5, 220-pound four-star recruit in the class of 2016, giving his verbal commitment to the Bulldogs on Thursday, Shaw believes Georgia is getting a player that can create advantages all over the offensive side of the ball.
“(Woerner) presents mismatches because you can force a defense into different fronts,” Shaw said. “Then you flex Charlie out, or send in trips open and he’s a single receiver, and you force the defense into a scheme they don’t want to be in. Charlie’s that guy. That’s why I compare him to (tight end Rob) Gronkowski and how they use Gronkowski at New England.”
Though Shaw gave the big comparison to arguably the best tight end in the NFL, he said, at least to his knowledge, the Bulldogs’ plan is to let Woerner be a receiver first. Woerner was initially being recruited as a tight end, though it’s apparent he’ll now get the opportunity to compete for a spot at his preferred position.
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“We all got to be realistic when you go to college,” Shaw said. “Coaches have a scheme for what they have on the team at the present moment and it dictates the position he’ll end up playing. I think he can do it. He’s smooth enough, he’s fast enough. He can be a great mismatch guy.”
In 2014, Woerner led his team in both rushing and receiving. Woerner ran the ball 156 times for 1,143 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching 45 passes for 659 yards and seven scores.
Shaw, who left Flowery Branch for Rabun County following the 2011 season, has coached Woerner since his freshman year of football. Shaw said once he saw Woerner’s eighth-grade film he decided to build his program around the playmaker. Woerner also plays free safety for Rabun County’s defense.
A legacy recruit, Woerner is the nephew of former Georgia defensive back Scott Woerner, a four-year letterman from 1977-80 that played on the Bulldogs’ last championship team. Scott Woerner was drafted in the third round by the Falcons in 1981 and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Though his uncle excelled in a Georgia uniform, Shaw said Woerner is planning to “write his own story” once he steps on campus.
“He’s blue-collar, all business, go-to-work and grind-it kind of a player,” Shaw said. “He’s not high maintenance. He hates social media. He’s about playing ball and winning. They have got a tremendous selection in the recruiting game with Charlie Woerner.”