After a whole host of drops from the Georgia Bulldogs receivers this past week at Ole Miss, it will surprise no one to see that Wide Receiver is a heavy focus for Kirby Smart and his coaches in the 2017 recruiting class.
As the Georgia Bulldogs continue to trust true freshman QB Jacob Eason this season, one of the defining factors in his success will be the type of weapons that he is throwing to. While he currently has a very strong tight end group, led by junior Jeb Blazevich and several highly ranked prospects from last year, the team lacks real play-making ability from their wide receivers.
Georgia’s 2016 wide receiver class was similar to its offensive line in the sense that it was very deficient in both flagship talent and depth. While they were able to load up on tight ends with 5-star Issac Nauta and local 4-star Charlie Woerner joining the team, Kirby Smart and his recruiters were not able to pull in any wide-outs of note, leaving the cupboard somewhat bare at this position.
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Riley Ridley, brother of Alabama standout Calvin certainly has the bloodlines to provide a big impact in the future but has battled some injuries so far. Ridley however was very much a last gasp signing, committing to the Dawgs in January only after Kirby Smart joined and giving the team only one high level receiver in their class.
Mecole Hardman Jr is a name you sometimes hear when talking about future receivers. The 5-star athlete is going to bring an incredible level of talent to whatever position he ends up in and his explosiveness could play well out of the slot. That being said, he has taken most of his reps so far on the defensive side of the ball and there’ a good chance that is where he will likely end up.
2017 WR commits:
Smart and company have gotten off to a much better start in terms of recruiting receivers in the 2017 class, signing 2 highly thought of recruits. The headliner so far is Mark Webb Jr, the nations #19 rated receiver out of Pennsylvania who is the teams most recent commitmnt. Also signed to the Dawgs is local Pace Academy product Trey Blount.
Both players have some size, coming in at 6-2 and around 190lbs each and both have a reputation for being solid blockers alongside offering big play capabilities. The size and blocking skills is something that Kirby Smart has often mentioned this season, repeating time and again that he want’s his receivers to earn their catches by playing physical football.
Despite signing two 4-star receivers, the success of the 2017 class at this position could well depend on whether Kevin Sherrer and James Coley are able to bring in the nations #13 ranked receiver Nico Collins who is currently picking between UGA, Alabama and Michigan. Collins is 6-5 and could potentially be the sort of true #1 receiver that Georgia fans haven’t seen since AJ Green left campus.
Right now, the odds seem to be against them, Michigan is considered the favorite to land Collins but the player himself has recently stated how impressed he has been with Eason and how playing with a potential star at quarterback would appeal to him. Adding him to Webb and Blount would give Georgia and its quarterbacks some weapons on the outside that will hopefully make the drops of last week, a thing of the past.