It has been a special season for some inexperienced wide receivers like Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell, who are both still starting 11 games into the season. They have stepped up in a big way for quarterbacks Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels who were expecting Georgia’s receiving group to be much deeper heading into the season.
A plethora of injuries had led the position to be one of Georgia’s thinnest, being described as a “revolving door” by head coach Kirby Smart. However, Georgia is set to get some key receiver reinforcements as the team reaches its most crucial games.
Receiver Dominick Blaylock played his first game since 2019 against Charleston Southern after battling with a lingering hamstring injury after a torn ACL injury that forced him to miss all of 2020. The Bulldogs could be closer to getting George Pickens, the team’s second-leading receiver last season, back as well. Pickens was projected to be a first-round pick in the 2021 draft before tearing his ACL in March.
“George has been practicing with us, doing more, repping with the threes and the two’s some,” said Smart on Tuesday. “Still waiting to get him cleared but we didn’t have him with the scouts. We’re getting him working with the offense, trying to kind of integrate it back into getting calls and doing assignments.”
On Saturday, Pickens dressed out for the first time this year and went through warmups. Although he did not play, it definitely seems there is a possibility he could be ready for the College Football Playoff, if Georgia gets there. Pickens still is not fully cleared for full contact.
Former Georgia receiver Tavarres King seems to think he has a chance to play this season.
Georgia’s offense has not suffered too much with the injuries to Pickens, Blaylock, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Jermaine Burton. The Bulldogs have the seventh-ranked offense in the country, averaging 40.3 points per game. That ranks second-best in the SEC, only behind Alabama’s 44.4 points per game.
The injuries have not been a problem because of guys stepping up but also because Georgia’s defense has been so stout that the offense has not had to go score-for-score with another team. When the Bulldogs face Alabama and potentially Ohio State, the teams that can score at will, it will be best for UGA to have Pickens and Blaylock be at full strength.
Even when asked about the breakout year for freshman tight end Brock Bowers, Smart attributed health before anything else.
“He’s stayed healthy,” said Smart on Monday. “We really haven’t had anybody else who has been consistently healthy across the board.”
For Smart’s full presser: