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Inside The Chart: Taking Flight

by Andy Demetra (The Voice of the Yellow Jackets)

Taking Flight:  A son of a (Top) Gun, tight end Brett Seither has shown uncommon efficiency in his first season with Georgia Tech

Inside The Chart | By Andy Demetra (The Voice of the Yellow Jackets)

Brett Seither’s teammates have a stern warning for him.

“Don’t catch it if you’re in the middle of the field,” he said.

Spoken in jest, of course. They’re not concerned about the tight end’s safety. But they know when to keep a good thing going. The redshirt junior has been an epitome of efficiency in the Georgia Tech offense, with four of his five catches this year going for touchdowns. That included a pair in the Yellow Jackets’ 46-42 win over 17th-ranked North Carolina at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field last Saturday.

His game-winning score, on a third-and-goal with 4:28 remaining, featured a dexterous toe-drag in the back corner of the end zone, a balletic piece of footwork not often seen from a brute-force tight end.

“I knew I got my left toe down,” Seither recalled. “I was more worried they were going to review it and see me go out of bounds. I really didn’t know I got pushed out. I kind of felt it but wasn’t sure how that would go down.”

It has also resulted in one of the quirkier stat lines in college football this season. Having five catches may sound modest – he’s tied for eighth-most on the Yellow Jackets – but Seither is tied for fifth nationally in touchdown catches by a tight end.

Most TD Receptions by a TE – NCAA Division I FBS (2023)
1)Jack Velling (Oregon)8
2)Dallin Hooker (Colorado State)6
3)R.J. Maryland (SMU)5
Tyler Warren (Penn State)5
5)Brett Seither (Georgia Tech)4

Seither says he’s familiar with Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, though he didn’t know about the “All he does is catch touchdowns” line that ESPN’s Chris Berman bestowed upon him during his 1990’s heyday. It’s a coincidence that Seither wears No. 80 like Carter, but the 6-foot-5, 233-pounder says he’s simply happy to play his part in Georgia Tech’s rejuvenated offense.

“I wanted to go somewhere that I could showcase what I could do. I’m happy with how it’s turned out so far,” he said.

That production may have seemed pent-up at his previous stop. The Clearwater, Fla., native caught four passes across four seasons (one redshirt) at the University of Georgia before graduating in December with a degree in sports management. It was there that he first crossed paths with Tech offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner.

Seither officially entered the transfer portal on January 10, which he knew wouldn’t give him much time to choose a new school if he wanted to enroll for the spring semester.  He considered the taboo, real or imagined, of transferring to a rival school. He had taken an official visit to Georgia Tech in high school, though, and knew both the school and Faulkner’s system would fit him well.

“I was comfortable with Buster, and confident in the plan that he had for what he was bringing here. I knew he would help turn this program around and I wanted to be a part of that,” he said.

He also liked the idea of staying closer to his family, which includes two older brothers and an older sister. Seither grew up in Maryland and began attending high school in Delaware before his parents retired and moved to the Tampa area before his junior year. His dad, Bert, spent 18 years as a naval aviator, which included a stint at the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Yes, Seither’s dad went to the actual Top Gun. His call sign was “Slither.”

“I think he liked the first one a little more,” Brett said of the movie franchise, which had its “Top Gun: Maverick” reboot in the summer of 2022. Among his dad’s naval accomplishments, Bert Seither flew in two F-14 fighter squadrons and served as an instructor for the “Grim Reapers” Strike Fighter Squadron 101.

(He also finished his career with 399 carrier landings, proving he knows a thing or two about touchdowns as well.)

His son’s landing at Georgia Tech has paid dividends, especially on routes to the end zone. Seither is the first Yellow Jacket tight end with multiple touchdowns in a season since J.P. Foschi in 2003.

“All he does is catch touchdowns.”  Brett Seither is channeling another No. 80 – Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter – with four touchdowns in five receptions this season.

 

“Knowledge of the game and feeling space, feeling open areas, knowing when to throttle, when to accelerate, run away from man coverage – he has exceptional feel on running routes,” said quarterback Haynes King.

That feel led to a feel-good, field-storming moment on Saturday night, a celebration that wound up including Seither’s mom, Beth.

“I spent about five minutes trying to find somebody I knew in the crowd and didn’t find anybody, and I figured I’d start walking over to where my parents were,” Seither recalled. “I found my mom in the stands and told her to come on down. I helped her down out of the stands so she didn’t hurt herself and got a picture with her.”

“It was wild. I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” he added.

Seither also added that any of his fellow tight ends could have caught his touchdown passes against North Carolina. Like the rest of the Jackets’ position groups, they’re determined to show more consistency as they hunt for their first winning streak of the season against Virginia this Saturday (2 p.m. ET, Georgia Tech Sports Network from Legends Sports).

They can expect a close one – the Cavaliers’ last four ACC games have been decided by four points or less.

Then again, if Seither and the Yellow Jackets need points, his quarterback knows the solution.

“Just throw him more,” King said.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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