Luke Benson is the lone addition to the tight ends this year as he transfers in from fellow ACC member Syracuse after three years. He joined the Orange in 2019 as a 3-star and the 34th overall prospect from Pennsylvania. His best year came as a freshman where he appeared in all 12 games and totaled 8 receptions for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns as well as contributing to the coverage unit on special teams. While continuing to receive snaps in every game the following seasons, his role as a pass-catcher diminished as the Syracuse offense placed heavier emphasis on the run game, likely prompting Benson’s transfer.
Landing at Georgia Tech places him on another struggling team with a coaching staff in flux. The silver lining lies in new offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Chip Long. Coach Long has an extensive resume coaching tight ends over his career and has employed a two tight end set often when in charge of play calling.
Benson won’t be without competition for a starting role with Dylan Deveney, Dylan Leonard and Billy Ward all returning with playing experience. However, he should have an edge with speed with a 100m state championship under his belt. The tight ends have struggled to separate thus far and Benson being able to provide a quick safety valve for Tech’s QB could open the offense up more. A highlight from 2020 against Duke shows his ability to get upfield on defenders after a quick pass underneath.
I expect Luke Benson to be a key piece to watch in the new system. His past two years were mostly a result of being underutilized and should benefit under Chip Long and his ability to effectively deploy his tight ends.