Since Kirby Smart arrived at the University of Georgia the talent level has increased exponentially each season. Through elite recruiting and Scott Sinclair’s outstanding work in the weight room, the offense is littered with explosive athletes capable of making game-changing plays at any moment. With Jake Fromm distributing the ball like an elite NBA point guard, opposing defensive coordinators will have nightmares about limiting explosive plays. Below are the top Dawgs capable of breaking a game wide open in 2019.
8 Zamir White
The man they call “Zeus” may be the biggest wildcard for the Georgia offense in 2019. The once guaranteed superstar has not seen a snap Between the Hedges due to back-to-back ACL tears. For mere mortals, such an injury would be devastating and likely career ending but Zeus has continued to grind towards a return. While he was limited during spring practice several teammates expressed excitement about what they saw. The staff will continue to be conservative with Zamir during fall practice but once he returns he is as explosive as they come.
7 Matt Landers
G-Day was the perfect snapshot of Matt Landers’ career at UGA. He is tall, fast and easily creates separation from defensive backs, however, he tends to fight the ball in the air which leads to drops. This is a huge offseason for him where he needs to take advantage of every moment to become more consistent catching the football. Whether it be working 7-on-7 or spending time with the JUGS machine, an offseason of hard work will make Landers an explosive vertical threat.
6 Lawrence Cager
At 6-5, 225-pound, Cager does not have elite speed or quickness but brings incredible size, explosive leaping and a massive catch radius. His biggest impact in Athens will come on 3rd Down and in the redzone where Javon Wims was a massive piece of the puzzle in 2017 and sorely missed in 2018. While Cager is not going to be running by defensive backs he can consistently stretch the field vertically and make contested catches on back-shoulder fades.
5 Demetris Robertson
When Robertson’s transfer waiver was approved, the Bulldog Nation felt as if they had just won the lottery and a superstar had come home. However, after not playing football for over a year, Robertson was out of shape and struggled with the physicality of the SEC. He flashed incredible speed on a jet sweep where everyone else on the field looked as if they were moving in slow motion. The remainder of the season was a disappointment but the coaching staff was impressed by his work ethic and improvement during spring practice and it was an injustice that he caught a virus that kept him out of G-Day. Nevertheless, expect to see Robertson routinely taking the top off opposing defenses in 2019.
4 James Cook
James Cook is the most electric player on the roster for Dawgs in 2019. His combination of speed, agility and vision are elite but what makes him special is his versatility. He can run the ball between the tackles, turn the corner on linebackers or line up at receiver and run through, around and past defensive backs. He is not a 20-30 touches per game player, but what he will do in 10 touches per game is create explosive plays. Also, watch for a major impact on special teams where Cook can take over for Mecole Hardman and be an unstoppable punt returner.
3 Jeremiah Holloman
Out of high school, all of the physical tools were there for Jeremiah Holloman, but significant refinement was needed in terms of route running and the ability to consistently catch the football. Known for maturity beyond his years and tireless work ethic, Holloman began to reap the rewards of his hard work in 2018. He is incredibly strong with a huge catch radius that allows him to dominate opposing defensive backs. Defensive backs cannot arm tackle Holloman and his ability to run after the catch is how he creates a majority of his explosive plays.
2 Tyler Simmons
Until 2018, Simmons was known solely for the impact he made on special teams with his blazing speed. Last season the Bulldog Nation finally saw that speed put to use on offense. Whether it was on a jet sweep, crossing route or a go route Simmons routinely flashed the ability to make defenders look like they were running in sand. In 2019, it will be routine to see Simmons stretch the field vertically forcing opposing safeties to think twice before they come flying downhill to stop the run.
1 D’Andre Swift
The biggest threat on the roster to break a big play at any moment is D’Andre Swift. When healthy, Swift’s combination of speed, agility, balance and power has proven to be unstoppable. His ability to change direction without slowing down, explode vertically and outrun everyone to the end zone is unbelievable. With an increased workload in 2019 expect the “Heisman Moments” to start early and often.