Monken gives first impression on receivers, running backs

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Monken gives first impression on receivers, running backs

Georgia wide receiver Tommy Bush (12) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Mon., Aug. 24, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

A majority of Tuesday’s Zoom call with Todd Monken focused on the quarterbacks, but the first-year Georgia offensive coordinator did also discuss some of his initial observations in regards to some of the Bulldogs’ skill players.

Although, Monken did admit that he would have a better idea about them following Saturday’s scrimmage. However, several returning receivers have already seemed to impress him in the first few weeks of practice.

“This is a group of talented guys who have truly been a joy to work with. They’re excited about the opportunities they have in front of them,” Monken said. “We’re still relatively young with certain guys we’re counting on, like George [Pickens] and some of the incoming freshmen, and even some of the older guys who still have work to do as developmental players who need the reps; guys like Matt Landers, Demetris Robertson.”





Those three guys weren’t the only receivers to catch his attention. Monken thinks that two other returnees now have the chance to contribute in an even bigger way with sophomore Dom Blaylock out for the season.

One of those players is sophomore Tommy Bush, who only has one career catch, but apparently he’s been making a great impression after battling a sports-related hernia. That injury plagued Bush for most of last year causing him to miss a lot of action.





I know [Robertson] is one of our older players, but from a developmental standpoint,” Monken said. “But I think players like Tommy Bush and some of our older guys will push for playing time.”

Georgia running back James Cook (4) during the Bulldogs’ practice in Athens, Ga., on Mon., Aug. 24, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson is another returning receiver that has caught Monken’s eyes.

“Kearis Jackson has been a relative surprise in terms of his consistency and the ways he has played and developed,” Monken said. “That’s what we’re paid to do. We are paid to recruit talented players and then develop them and maximize their measurable skill sets. That’s what coaching is and utilizing what they bring to the table.”

Monken said that he would have a better idea about the running backs following Saturday’s scrimmage, but conceded that some hard work has already been put in by that group.

“It’s hard to say. We really have not had a scrimmage yet. We have hit a little bit. The first day of pads was Monday. But Zamir [White] I think has had a tremendous off-season, as has James Cook,” Monken said. “Then you consider Kenny McIntosh, who came in last year and had a really good start to his career. He is a very versatile player who can do a lot of things running and catching the ball in the backfield, and then Kendall Milton who showed up in the spring and, like a lot of true freshman, you’re excited to see.

“But, again, with that position, until you put on the pads, it’s hard to really tell. I really like our guys. Daijun [Edwards], as well— I think those five guys are an impressive group.”

Monken also commented about the offensive line, despite losing three starters to the NFL Draft and one to the transfer portal. He seemed excited with what he’s seen from them and new offensive line coach Matt Luke.

“The good news is they’re big and athletic. I guess every position likes to be big, fast, physical, smart, and tough. It’s everybody’s looking for the same guys obviously in this league, you have to guys that are able to move people up front, and still be able to move their feet and be able to pass protect,” he said. “It’s a really, really good group. Obviously, we lost several players that either came out early or transferred, but it is not for a lack of talent, it is just a matter of reps, getting our guys in the right spots. We have good looking players as good as anywhere I’ve been in college, it’s impressive and I’m excited to see our players continue to develop.”





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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.