Coming out of signing day this week, Mark Richt admitted that Georgia’s lack of depth at wide receiver concerns him, especially after the loss of Da’Rick Rogers to Tennessee left the Dogs with only one incoming freshman receiver this year, Michael Bennett of Alpharetta.
Speaking of his receiving corps, Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald, “We don’t have, at this moment, the number that we would feel comfortable having — and that’s always give or take one or two.” Which pretty much echoes a quote from Mike Bobo last April when it was announced that rising senior receiver Kris Durham would have to take a medical redshirt year because of shoulder surgery.
Despite being thin at receiver last year, Georgia wound up with a pretty decent passing attack, mainly because of A.J. Green. Junior star Green is back this season, of course, for what many think will be his final season playing in Athens, but the Dogs’ second-leading receiver last year, Michael Moore, is gone.
Returning behind Green are what so far has proved to be a middling bunch of wide receivers, with Tavares King the most productive. There’s also Rantavious Wooten, who showed flashes last year but wasn’t consistent; Israel Troupe, who didn’t do much; and the heavily hyped Marlon Brown, who barely registered on the field in what probably should have been a redshirt season for him but ended up being wasted. It would certainly help if Brown finally started to live up to his potential this year.
On the plus side, the Dogs do get back fifth-year senior Durham, who if he is able to shake off the rust could provide a set of sure hands in possession situations. And, who knows, Logan Gray could even wind up at receiver after the spring quarterback battle shakes out.
Looking ahead a year at Georgia’s receiving corps in 2011, when Green likely will have moved on to the NFL, isn’t a very pleasant prospect right now. But despite the lack of depth I’m not really that worried about the receiving end of the passing attack this season, barring a rash of injuries.
And that’s mainly because the Dogs are well-stocked at tight end, including hybrid Orson Charles, Georgia’s third-leading receiver last year, and Aron White, who was fifth for the year in catches.
“The one thing that I’m excited about and confident about is our tight end position,” Richt told the Banner-Herald. “We’re blessed with four outstanding tight ends; tight ends that certainly are playmakers and we’ve got good solid depth with guys that can really play that position. I think that’s going to a little bit of the burden off the wide receiver corps.”
Like many, I still expect the running game to be the primary focus of Georgia’s attack in 2010, especially early in the year, to take the pressure off whichever inexperienced quarterback ends up starting. But with targets like Green and Charles out there, Bobo and Richt are going to put it in the air a fair amount of the time and should be able to maintain some of the balance that their offense is based on.
I believe the Dogs will be just fine at receiver this year. Beyond that, I’m not so sure. What do you think?