Seattle Seahawks: The surprising rise of George Fant

Doug Baldwin, George Fant, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Doug Baldwin, George Fant, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

As the Seattle Seahawks offense continues to rise, So does tackle George Fant’s role within it. His unique skill set makes him an effective weapon.

The Seattle Seahawks have won three of their last four games partially as a result of a run game resurgence. Seattle currently ranks 9th in the NFL in rushing yards and lead back Chris Carson is 14th in the league with 457 yards, despite missing a game due to injury.

As the Seahawks run game continues to dominate, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has started to utilize the athleticism of backup left tackle George Fant.

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Throughout the first four games of the season, George Fant saw just six total offensive snaps (special teams snaps not included). Over the last three games, his snap count has grown significantly with an average of 18 offensive snaps a game. Against the Lions last Sunday he played a season-high  24 snaps.

Seattle has lined Fant up as a tight end for the majority of his plays, as Schottenheimer uses the “heavy set” formation more and more in obvious running situations. However, the Seahawks will also keep Fant in as a sixth blocker when running play action, to give quarterback Russel Wilson more protection.

A New Weapon in Seattle?

Some Seattle fans might not know, Fant was a four-year basketball player at Westen Kentucky who averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He went back for a fifth year to play football. In Fant’s only college football season with the Hilltoppers, he played tight end, catching one pass for seven yards. So is there any chance we’ll see a Russel Wilson to Fant connection anytime soon?

I’d bet on it, in fact, the Seahawks actually let Fant run a route in last week’s game. If you missed it, at the start of the second quarter, inside the red zone, he lined up as an eligible tight end to the left of Duane Brown. He actually got open on a 10-yard drag route, but Wilson opted for a check down to running back Chris Carson as seen below.

George Fant obviously isn’t going to see many targets lined up at tight end. However, he is very fast for his size. He ran a 4.84-second, 40-yard dash at his pro day. Standing at 6’5″ with that kind of speed, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Seahawks utilize his unique skill set on play action at the goal line.

A Bruising Run Blocker

When watching the lions film over again one thing stood out, George Fant is a nasty run blocker. He played tight end on both sides of the formation and even lined up in the slot for two snaps. Out of 24 offensive snaps, I was only able to find one play where he failed to make a successful block. Fant also cleared the way for Chris Carsons seven-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run.

Next. Seahawks receiver David Moore working his way to success. dark

According to Pro Football Focus George Fant was the fifth highest graded Seahawks player during the Lions game. Fant posted a game grade of 79.6 and has a season grade of 87.1, with that kind of production don’t be surprised if Fant’s snap count continues to rise over the next few weeks.