ATHENS – “Are we doing this or what?”
This comment just prior to an interview didn’t come off as rude, but it did show Arthur Lynch doesn’t like to waste time. Or that he likes to joke around a little bit. Or maybe that he likes to talk a lot.
All would be true.
Last August provided a series of revelations for the young tight end, some of which were disappointing at the time. After playing sparingly his freshman season in 2009, Lynch was asked to take a redshirt because there was so much depth at his position and class separation is always ideal.
Nobody really wants to sit out a year. It means no playing on Saturdays, no road trips with the guys and long hours on the scout team. There is upside to ‘shirting, but in the moment most don’t want to hear about it.
However, soon after hearing the news, Lynch, who grew up in Dartmouth, Mass., was approached by a familiar, but unexpected person—Joe Tereshinski.
“Coach T said I want you to work out with me on Sundays and Fridays. I was like yeah I can do that. I really didn’t think anything of it. I was thinking since I was redshirting why not get some extra work in.”
Coach Dave Van Halenger was still the strength and conditioning coach at the time. But Tereshinkski, then the film coordinator, saw something in Lynch. Entering as a freshman two years ago, Lynch weighed around 235 pounds. He was labeled a traditional tight end—a bruiser known more for his blocking and physicality than his pass catching ability.
Tereshinski believed Lynch could gain more weight and get stronger.
Lynch in action in Sanford Stadium in 2009. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)
“He said a guy like me, that I had the size and the skill set to potentially go a long way, I just had to get my body ready,” Lynch said. “I had to put myself in a position to physically do well. There are guys in the NFL that are big guys good at inline blocking, and they don’t have to stretch the field, you know.”
So on top of his regular practice and workout schedule Lynch started meeting with Coach T every Friday morning and Sunday afternoon in the old Stegeman Coliseum weight room—a place aptly titled “The Dungeon.”
The nickname is fitting considering the kind of work Coach T cranked up.
“It was a lot of squats,” Lynch recalls. “Cling, squat and press was another one. Really it was just a lot of lifts that were really intense. It’s just intensity, high demand and the demand for your best. He pushed me. He pushed my body to do things it’s never done, and I definitely owe him a lot for that.”
The results were quick to follow. Over the course of the season, Lynch grew to 270 pounds—a lean looking 270 pounds too.
“Oh yeah, by far, you could tell when he was just walking around the campus,” said junior tight end Orson Charles.
“We all noticed it,” linebacker Christian Robinson said. “I know towards the end of the season we’re not able to go every single day and workout. He just seemed to keep getting stronger. He’s hitting you and you’re going back and he was down there (on scout team), but it felt like he should have been on the first string. He’d gotten bigger, stronger, and he was loving it.”
Soon after the season ended, Tereshinski replaced Van Halenger as the strength and conditioning coordinator. “We’re going to press and challenge these kids every day to overcome,” he said at the time. “They’re going to have to overcome. They’re going to have to go where they haven’t been.”
Arthur Lynch had already been there, and he was ready for what Coach T had in store.
Lynch in pre-game warmups at G-Day in 2011. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)
“He would come and talk to us about meeting with coach T and how it was working for him,” Robinson said. “He told us it would be a lot of main lifts. Pretty much everything he said was true—squatting, incline, major lifts. Then we had to try and catch up.”
"In the SEC you’re going to block d-ends that are like 280 or 290 pounds," Charles said. "So with him being like 270, he can hold his own and come off the ball. I feel like he didn’t lose his speed with Coach T training him. We run 400 and 200 (yard sprints) and we do agility drills and quick motion stuff. He did that when we were in the season so he had the upper hand when we went into the new training and conditioning and stuff."
The tight end position, led by Charles and senior Aron White still resembles a traffic jam. And talented freshman Jay Rome will only add to the competition.
Through all of his hard work—by not wasting any time—last year, Lynch furthered the niche that could get him on the field often this season.
“We have guys like Orson and Aron who have a different game than mine,” he said. “They have the ability to stretch the field and kind of play as a flexed out receiver. I don’t want to knock myself and say I’m not a receiver. I can go out and catch the ball, but I’m more of that traditional pro-style body type. I think if I keep working on the little things with coach (John) Lilly and coach (Mike) Bobo I think I can do pretty well.”
As for what Lynch is doing in his down time right now, there’s no telling. But he’s probably making the most of it.
“I’ll be grinding it out, you know,” he said.
Lynch on the field during Georgia's win over Vanderbilt in 2009. (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)