SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (BVM) — The University of Georgia is becoming known as a tight end factory. Brock Bowers, Arik Gilbert and Darnell Washington are some of the best at the position in the entire country and they all call Athens home.
But the Bulldog program is already prepping for the next wave, highlighted by Pearce Spurlin.
Spurlin is a high school senior at South Walton High School in Santa Rosa Beach Florida, ranking as the No. 2 tight end in the country according to 247 Sports. He stands at 6-foot-6 and has recently bulked up to 238 pounds.
His biggest asset is his elite athleticism, allowing him to make just about any type of catch.
— Brooks Austin (@BrooksAustinBA) September 25, 2021
While some of this is from his natural ability, Spurlin credits his middle school days where he wore a cast on his hand for multiple seasons, forcing him to master the one-handed catch.
“I was taught if you’re hurt, still play unless you can’t,” Spurlin said.
As he got older, these types of catches allowed him to become a standout at camps across the country.
The more he popped at these camps, the more he was looked at by some of the biggest programs in the nation. But for Spurlin, who spent the majority of his life in Marietta, Georgia, before his family moved to Florida for his dad’s career, the Bulldogs were heavy favorites from the beginning.
Spurlin committed to Georgia in September of his sophomore year, which is atypical for a big-time high school recruit.
“It was my dream school,” Spurlin said. “I grew up a Georgia fan. I went to all of the camps in middle school and that’s when I met Kirby (Smart).”
Even after Spurlin’s commitment, he was still being contacted by other college football powerhouses, but he never wavered, wanting to fulfill his childhood dream of playing at Sanford Stadium.
Despite the potential opportunities elsewhere, Spurlin never took a visit to any other school besides Georgia.
“Instead of taking recruiting trips, I’d rather be fishing or playing golf,” Spurlin said. “I had my mind made up pretty early. It was kind of natural for me that I wanted to go to Georgia.”
Despite all of Spurlin’s individual accomplishments such as being invited to the 2023 All-American Bowl, the proudest moment of his career thus far was his team’s success throughout the 2021 season.
Including the playoffs, South Walton went 10-3, the best record in school history. Spurlin was a star for the Seahawks, leading the state in both receiving yards with 1,404 and touchdowns with 20.
“I’ve been around football my whole life and anybody that’s played a lot of football will tell you that it’s a team sport,” Spurlin said. “You cannot do anything without the person next to you. If one person messes their assignment up, it messes everything up. An individual accomplishment or award is almost not appropriate for the game of football and that’s why it’s the greatest sport in the world.”
Spurlin’s unselfishness and desire to win as a unit rather than in solitary, should make him a fan favorite in Athens and give him the best chance to succeed beyond the college level.