Kirby Smart used the same word to describe Georgia's TE and WR groups this spring: 'Thin'
The Bulldogs are poised to have arguably the best offensive line in the Southeastern Conference next fall that will be protecting a quarterback going into his third season as the team’s starter that will have perhaps the deepest and most talented backfield in the nation behind him. All of that talent and experience has the makings of an elite offense but questions remain regarding the playmaking ability of the skill position players on the perimeter of UGA’s offense.
With Isaac Nauta, Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin off to the NFL, the offense is going to feature several new faces at receiver and tight end. Spring practice is all about development and Kirby Smart was recently asked which of his perimeter skill players have stood out thus far a week into the team’s first camp of 2019.
Starting with the tight end position, Smart described his group as “thin” during his recent media availability.
“Thin. There’s not a lot of guys there,” Smart said. “You know we moved Colby White, who we thought was a really good outside backer in fall camp, and he did a good job. He’s developed. He’s gotten a little bigger. We moved him over there to give us a little more depth. He’s done some really competitive things. He’s fighting his tail off.
“There’s a young man that decided to be a walk-on here, Peyton Mercer, who’s done an incredible job competing over there. Several guys. Charlie [Woerner]…[John] Fitzpatrick are ahead of the other guys. Obviously, we’ve got help on the way and we want more help. But if you ask me right now it’s thin.”
Meanwhile, the receiver spot isn’t much better and the player that’s standing out the most to his head coach (Tyler Simmons) recently got arrested off the field. One player Georgia fans are dying to see make an impact on the field next season is the former Cal transfer and speed demon, Demetrius Robertson.
Here is what Smart had to say about his receivers when asked to gauge their progression.
“Well, ironically Tyler Simmons has played well. He’s really competitive, he’s fast, he gets on top of us. He’s done some good things,” Smart continued. “I think D-Rob stepped up. He’s got to continue to play more physical, but he’s made some catches. He’s made some vertical threats. Jeremiah (Holloman) is playing well. Kearis (Jackson) is coming along, probably not as fast as I’d like. Matt (Landers) has done some things and Tommy (Bush} has done some things.”
Much like his tight ends, Smart described this unit as thin after viewing the first week of spring practice.
“The volume we have for the number of receivers we have has been tough, and we normally balance that with tight ends but we don’t have volume there. So we’re thin,” he said. “We know help’s on the way, but we’ve just got to do a good job developing enough depth that we’re comfortable with. They’ve made some plays, I definitely think that, where last year it was like big-play-bonanza out there with the wideouts while we had the young DBs. That’s balanced out more.
“Our DBs have gotten better, at least I hope they have, or the receivers are not as good a group right now. Actually, it was this time last year. That’s only going to happen through getting the kids here we signed and continuing to develop them.”
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