Aulden Bynum waited a while before he got his first start for the Georgia football team.
The redshirt sophomore has been on campus since spring 2013 but never broke through to get a spot on Georgia’s offensive line. Bynum was a three-star recruit coming out of Valwood School in Valdosta, Georgia. He entertained offers from Auburn, Clemson and Nebraska among other programs before signing with the Bulldogs.
Two weeks ago against Florida, he finally notched his first collegiate start. And last Saturday against Kentucky, he added several more snaps.
However, it wasn't as an offensive lineman. Bynum has recently been worked into the tight end role, and that’s where he’s played the last two weeks.
“It's an adjustment,” Bynum said. “It's a lot of the same stuff, a lot of different stuff. I'm just doing whatever [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], [offensive line] coach [Rob] Sale and [tight ends] coach [John] Lilly, whatever they want me to do.”
In about 10 snaps, Bynum has not recorded a catch, but he’s helped block in the running game. He said his hands were “alright,” and expressed confidence in his capability to play well at the position.
Bynum said he’d never played at tight end during a game, but the position isn’t exactly foreign to him.
“I played tight end here two springs ago,” he said. “We were hurting in injuries there, so I did nothing but tight end that whole spring.”
Bynum’s involvement continues the cyclical use of players at tight end. Senior Jay Rome and sophomore Jeb Blazevich have seen most of the playing time at the position. Freshman Jackson Harris saw a fair amount of playing time earlier this season, but his playing time has decreased the last several games.
The trio hasn’t spent much time talking to Bynum about his performance in the tight end spot. He said they’ve offered him a few tips, though.
“When I come off the field, they'll be like, 'Hey, step with this foot first or try to get a little more vertical or a little more horizontal with that first step or the second step,’” he said. “They're just helping me in that regard.”
It took Bynum nearly two and a half years to start a game in a Bulldogs uniform, so he said he was excited about his first start and about the amount of snaps he’s played so far.
And he doesn’t even care if his playing time is coming in a more unnatural position. He's just happy to finally contribute.
“I don't know if it's going to be a permanent move or if it's just a temporary thing,” Bynum said, “but I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help out.”