Tech looking for answers at wide receiver

Greetings-

In the final few weeks of the offseason, we’re taking a look, position group by position group, at the 2011 Georgia Tech team. Coming off of a 6-7 season, Tech’s first losing season since 1996, the Jackets have questions to answer along with hope for an improvement on both sides of the ball. Let’s take a look at the roster…

Projected starters: Stephen Hill (Jr., 6-5, 206), Tyler Melton (Sr., 6-0, 206)

Others to watch: Jeremy Moore is coming back from a season-ending knee injury sustained last summer. Daniel McKayhan is the only receiver on the roster besides Hill and Melton who has caught a pass at Tech, and he has three. Incoming freshman Corey Dennis is one of three who’ll get a good look in fall camp.

Key losses: Starter Kevin Cone and backup Correy Earls had a combined 15 catches last season, two for touchdowns.

Key fact: N.C. State, which led the ACC in completions last season, had seven players with more catches than Hill, who had a team-best 15.

Key fact II: Despite ranking last in passing offense in the ACC, Georgia Tech led the league in yards per completion at 17.0.

Key question: Who’s going to assert himself? The group did not distinguish itself last season except by its considerable number of costly drops. Hill, who has shown glimpses of his potential in his first two seasons, will need to provide some sort of stabilizing and playmaking force on the perimeter. By whatever measurement, the receivers can and should be better.

Recent developments: Chris Jackson, whom coach Paul Johnson dismissed from the team last fall, asked to return in the spring. Assuming he meets a number of conditions, Jackson, who has yet to play since transferring from Alabama in 2009, will be reinstated and could make a strong bid for playing time. It would not be at all surprising if Dennis or fellow incoming freshmen Jeff Greene and Darren Waller get into the two-deep.

Outlook: Poor. It’s probably the weakest position group on the team. The receivers have been putting in hard work over the summer, Hill in particular, and they need to do so. The chances of finding a Demaryius Thomas clone are not good, but this group has to improve from last season.

Your turn: Can the receivers make an impact this season?

157 comments Add your comment

Saban

July 8th, 2011
6:09 am

Receivers waill be a real surprise for Tech. In fact when Johnson wins ten games and the dawgs win three St. Richt can move to Honduras full time.

Corny Hull

July 8th, 2011
6:43 am

As far as Hill is concerned, you either can catch or you cannot catch. Thus far, Hill appears scared of having a career ending injury from being tackled when trying to catch the ball. Frankly, after two years, he should be better catching than in high school,but mentally he appears to not mine forfeiting a catch while attempting to catch a ball rather than an attitude of “I will catch the ball no matter how hard you hit me”.

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
6:52 am

Ken; Out of all of the incoming Freshmen Wide Receivers, you chose only Corey Dennis (6′2″, 205 lbs) to mention? I’d say that Darren Waller (6′-5″, 204 lbs) or Jeff Greene (6′-4″, 200 lbs) would actually have a better chance of seeing the field this coming season, especially since they have played wide receiver in high school and are listed as such in the GA Tech roster whereas Corey hasn’t been assigned as of yet (because of his versatility). Thanks for the great work on the team; keep it coming!

ToeMeetsLeather

July 8th, 2011
6:55 am

Passing yardage will go up quite a bit this season due to more short passes to running backs out of the backfield. That pass is unstoppable out of this offense. That will also open up the longer pass, and don’t be suprised to see a true freshman step in for those grabs.

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
7:00 am

I forgot to mention that Chris Jackson has been a workout warrior and no one should be surprised to see him lined up across Stephen Hill as a starting Wide Receiver.

TennesseeDawg

July 8th, 2011
7:00 am

Tech has receivers?

WnE

July 8th, 2011
7:06 am

Sorry Jacket Man, but if C. Jackson were really a workout warrior, then he would still be at Bama, do you really think that Satan pushes SAs out the door that are talented enough to help him win SEC-CGs & MNCs?

Jupiter

July 8th, 2011
7:16 am

I think we will see improvements from the receiving corp. The passing game is the key to keeping defenses honest and if CPJ expects to win more than 6 games this year then he better turn that aspect of the team around…. that and special teams.

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
7:35 am

“WnE;” YES.

fan of shorter passes

July 8th, 2011
7:37 am

I hope “ToeMeetsLeather” is correct.

Dawg Fan

July 8th, 2011
7:37 am

Tech’s problem is recruiting…or lack of. PJ’s a great coach with a winning system but he’s has failed on the recruiting front. This years Tech team is the weakest, in terms of talent, that I have seen in 10 or so years. I hope I’m wrong. UGA fan first but still enjoy Tech football.

[...] Paul Johnson’s wide receiver corps may very well be the worst bunch in [...]

BankerDawg

July 8th, 2011
7:59 am

Dawg Fan….I don’t think that is exactly true regarding CPJ and recruiting. I know my Tech buddies can produce data and analysis to back that up, so I’ll let them do it if they are inclined. His class rankings have been pretty much in line with Tech’s historical rankings.

HIs problem, at Tech anyway, is finding a defense to stop anyone. If CAG brings his defense along in year two of the 34, I think CPJ will magically be a much better coach than last year.

Same for CMR if CTG improves our 34 from last year.

Tech’s offense is on cruise control, folks. If I’m a Tech guy, I don’t ever worry about it as long as CPJ is there. Fumbles and no JN cost them in the second half of the year. But look at the offensive production…it was there, just didn’t keep the ball off the ground.

Did not mean to hijack. Just wanted to point that out.

Of the receivers, I would look at Jackson and Waller to be surprises. Hill needs therapy, but otherwise his physical skills are not in doubt. He should be stud, but hasn’t lived up to it.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!

:-p

July 8th, 2011
8:08 am

Man, what a dreadful bunch…..

Jacket68

July 8th, 2011
8:09 am

Ken why “poor”? This would imply there is not going to be any improvement whatsoever. Your UGA compatriot never uses less than “encouraging” to describe our rival’s prospects. I don’t think you have yet to think highly of anything Tech related. CPJ might as well forfeit our games based on your prognostications.

mountain_jim

July 8th, 2011
8:09 am

Why would any really good receivers even come to play for CPJ’s rinky-dink passing offense?

No variety and no shotgun package, no decent pass-blocking……

Some of you may think his offense is great, but this GT alum sees it as unable to succeed against the best defensive lines when the other team has time to prepare, and unable to successfully pass when that is needed.

And his recruiting has been poor – he succeeded when he had Chan’s recruits, who did not come to play in this run-only or hail-mary pass offense.

imh, class-of-80, opinion.

mountain_jim

July 8th, 2011
8:14 am

And his offense so beats up the QBs that they can’t throw with accuracy, and eventually get injured. We will not soon see another QB as tough as Nesbitt, and even he could not last the season.

GT45

July 8th, 2011
8:21 am

With your early prognostication of the O line, it will have to be two step drops and quick hitters. I personally believe you are wrong on both counts. I think that both will find their identity early and flourish. My biggest question is can we get them the ball?

Who cares (the original)

July 8th, 2011
8:22 am

BnakerDawg. Glad to see someone other than me can understand your points of GT recruiting. Not only has his recruiting been in line with our history, he redshirts most recruits. We tend to forget about them and the hype they had when this happens. If you look back to the year we won the ACC guys such as Days, Bostic, Ayers, I. Johnson, Lanier and Barnes were guys who were highly thought of. Only two of those guys were not redshirted and the others people forgot about.

As long as CPJ is here we will be in the running for the ACC title game. Even with last years record and on field preformance we had a chance to win every game we lost.

Go Jackets!!!

HGT

July 8th, 2011
8:26 am

Yards per comp shouldn’t ever be mentioned when talking about this offense that is 80% run.
It would be like looking at a baseball player who was called up from the minors and for a week he hit 10/20 for a .500 avg and you compare that avg to a guy who’s been playing all season and is batting .275 and you say look how well the .500 guy is doing.

AtWork

July 8th, 2011
8:27 am

@ mountain_jim

This offense would be perfect for any one reciever wanting only him to touch the ball. Why? Because when you are averaging 17 yds a catch and then another 10-15 yds after…you could set recieving records with that if done consistently. That is what Tech needs to find in its passing game, consistency! The rushing game has it, passing game neeeds it. I think we start to see it this year.

Go Jackets!

Always a Jacket

July 8th, 2011
8:34 am

Ken, I agree with your take. I have a few other random comments;

Poor Catching; The dropped passes from last year came at critical times and had impact on the outcome of the game, so they are remembered more than some of Bay-Bay’s drops. Hill made some great catches his freshman year, but seemed lost last year and as the go-to guy was the player that had the drops. He seems like a good kid and will work thru it.

Poor Passing; This is the bigger problem CPJ’s QB will always be throwing from a rollout or short pocket(unless OL improves), so pinpoint accuracy is not primary objective.. it is about mismatch.
But, this is how CPJ offense works, run,run, run…..run, then lob the ball down the field when the defense is stacking the line and make the big jump ball play over the safety. Bay Bay could catch anything in the area and we will not have another Bay Bay. While we don’t need a Drew Brees passer, we need someone with enough passing accuracy, touch, and timing for the passing game to work. I havent seen that yet. Maybe Vad Lee, but that is big question mark. We can recruit the best WR in state, but if we dont have a QB than can throw it to the right area at the right time, it is useless. Josh threw it on a rope with little touch. Tevin seems to heave up the rainbow.

Dynamicbigboy

July 8th, 2011
8:41 am

How can the receivers make an impact when there is NO ONE who can get the ball to them? The bumblebee’s QB situation in not very good and with an O-Line that is average at best, it could be a long season. If the genius CPJ has proved anything in his stay at Tech it is he sure can’t recruit very well. Also, don’t look for the defense to step up, with no nose guard the 3-4 just doesn’t work very well.

GT Fan ...

July 8th, 2011
8:42 am

Banker Dawg … you’ve been reading some of my posts.

So many people (GT and UGA supporters) jump to GT’s final conclusion of 2010 and the 6-7 record, and assume that there is NO talent, PJ can’t recruit, everyone’s figured out the offense, etc. None of them stop to consider or analyze why the YJs really finished 6-7; TOs & injuries. Really just one BIG injury, but Jarrad Tarrant sustaining a leg injury in the 3rd qrt vs. Air Force enabled a “fill-in” PR to fumble consecutive punts was a game changer for the Falcons.

Yes, the D should improve in AG’s 2nd season. And if the boys cut down the TOs, and avoid major injuries, then the YJs will win 8 or more in 2011, no Nesbitt, no receivers, weak OL, no talent, high school offense, and all.

gtfanfrom1951

July 8th, 2011
8:44 am

Who coached wide recivers went CPJ was at Georgia Southern? Because the passing game was important part of the game plan. Maybe we need a coach who played that in a CPJ offense.

GT Fan ...

July 8th, 2011
8:53 am

HGT and Mountain Jim …

How many college WRs would like to finish a season with 46 catches, 1154 yds, and 8 TDs, then be the first WR taken in the NFL draft?

Tech75

July 8th, 2011
8:59 am

I’m with GT Fan on the question of “what WR would choose tech”.

The pros are looking for athletic studs that can get separation, have good hands, and can go after the ball and win it. D Thomas was such. Route-running is all discipline and repetition; it can be taught. It was taught (sharpened up) at Denver to DT.

So, there will always be a few WRs that see this situation as an opportunity to be The Man.

Harvey D. Pooka

July 8th, 2011
9:10 am

Note to Stephen Hill: please, just concentrate on playing the game and being moderately productive. Do not anticipate “superstardom” until after the season. Those rewards have a way of working themselves out as it should.

Old Gold Britches

July 8th, 2011
9:23 am

As long as we have poor passing we will see little improvement. Spring game showed little improvement if any. I certainly hope the dropped passes are history! I personally think S. Hill will have a much improved year.

Buzzwax

July 8th, 2011
9:35 am

Why would a good WR want to play in this offense? Any good reciever can run good routes, any good reciever can catch, but VERY FEW recievers learn how to BLOCK. Bey bey became GREAT in all THREE phases, and THAT was why he was the FIRST WR TAKEN IN THE DRAFT LAST YEAR!!!!
Comparing our depth and skill at WR from last year to this year? Hill an Melton the same, lose Earls and Cone, add Waller, Jackson, Greene. I’d say this group will be MUCH BETTER this year!!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

July 8th, 2011
9:35 am

Regarding recruiting, this link was posted on these blogs a couple of weeks ago. Check it out if you want an accurate assessment of CPJ’s recruiting. Some of you guys are blind to the facts. CPJ’s recruiting, in fact, is no worse, and in some cases better, than recruiting always has been for the Jackets

http://coachesbythenumbers.com/the-paul-johnson-recruiting-myth/

chuck allison

July 8th, 2011
9:35 am

Bankerdawg, thank you for your insightful comments. As a dedicated Tech Alumni and fan, I appreciate your remarks. You dawg fans put a lot of time and effort into your football analyses. I normally don’t like dawg fans, but you sound different from most.

Buzzwax

July 8th, 2011
9:36 am

Hey WnE – Its called Preparation H, I’m pretty sure it will help……

Too Flimsy

July 8th, 2011
9:40 am

Hills problem = 6′5″ but only 205. No meat on the bones. He is just too flimsy, probably worries about getting crunched out on the field.
He needs to add about 20 pounds of weight and 100 pounds of meanness.

DawginLex

July 8th, 2011
9:41 am

2011 SECCG

Honduras Mark 72
I am the coach of the Miami Dolphins Saban 3

George Stein

July 8th, 2011
9:47 am

I’d be more interested in what our yards per attempt were.

Tevin doesn’t have a big arm but he doesn’t need one. He needs his receivers to catch it when he makes a good throw and he needs to make good decisions.

It would help tremendously if the A-backs would pull their weight in the passing game. Using them over the middle would hold the safeties or force a linebacker to cover an A-back, and that’s a matchup we will win every time.

Moobs Johnson

July 8th, 2011
9:57 am

I don’t need no stinkin’ receivers to run my offense. And if any of you boosters don’t like that I’ll punch you in your face.

DBH

July 8th, 2011
9:59 am

“looking for answers at wide receiver”? We don’t throw the ball!!!

Ken Sugiura

July 8th, 2011
10:05 am

Jacket68 – Check Chip’s outlook on the Georgia offensive line. I started with what most would consider probably the two weakest units on the team. I don’t think I’m being a Debby Downer.

Ken Sugiura

July 8th, 2011
10:10 am

Jacket Man – you are right, dennis played quarterback last year, but i happened to hear something about dennis. it could be any of the three.
HGT – i’m not using the stat to point out how good the passing game is. what i was saying is that when this offense actually completes passes – which wasn’t very often – it’s very effective. that pass-per-completion number is pretty consistent with johnson’s offense.

Techmate

July 8th, 2011
10:14 am

The passing game is about timimg and accuracy. Tech will not use straight drop back passes (the O-line is too inexperienced) as much as they will use quick passes and rollouts. While Nesbitt was a warrior, I believe CPJ wants a more nimble QB. Washington is a good leader, Days has great potential as does Lee but he has to adjust to college as well as learn a new system. My money is on Days if he can control the ball. The receivers need to man-up and own anything thrown in their direction. If they do, it only makes the runnng game stronger, which then makes the passing game stronger.

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
10:16 am

“Dawg Fan;” Paul Johnson does more with his “poorly rated” recruits than Mark Richt has ever done with “star studded” ones. This could mean a few things; either the rating services don’t evaluate talent as well as they think they do, Paul Johnson and his staff know how to “coach” and motivate his recruits better than Mark Richt and his staff, Paul Johnson is a better game strategist than Mark Richt, or there’s a combination of all the factors I just mentioned.

I suggest you be happy with UGA’s recruits and your own head coach, and leave us to appreciate our own.

Tech75

July 8th, 2011
10:18 am

Techmate – sounds like Mouse Davis’s Run-n-Shoot philosophy as applied to the TO offense

Steady GT Fan

July 8th, 2011
10:20 am

I can’t wait for the season to start. We will be better than expected.

:-p

July 8th, 2011
10:29 am

@supersize — “CPJ’s recruiting, in fact, is no worse, and in some cases better, than recruiting always has been for the Jackets” Translation….CPJ is no crappier than the other coaches we have had so let’s be content with the continued under performance and low expectations. Ahem.

Roger

July 8th, 2011
10:32 am

Do not need any receivers They dont throw any how

2008

July 8th, 2011
10:53 am

You need only compare the current roster and the roster from 2008 to see which coach brought in better talent.

George Stein

July 8th, 2011
11:00 am

Thanks, Captain Hindsight. We were predicted to win a grand total of three games in 2008 with all that talent.

CoolBreeze

July 8th, 2011
11:08 am

Dang ! Pretty good comments today, guys…..even from the Dawgs. Every time I write, I repeat: please install a SHORT passing game. If that is not possible with this offense, somebody please tell me why. Won’t quick-hitters work out of this setup ? And Stephen Hill: if he shows that he can catch the ball, use him. If not, let someone else try. Maybe pine time is the solution….

Supersize that order, mutt

July 8th, 2011
11:20 am

2008, I refer you again to the link I posted at 9:35AM