Georgia football-George Pickens-Todd Monken
Georgia wide receiver George Pickens (1) during the Bulldogs' game with Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken raves about return of George Pickens, stresses development

George Pickens made quite a splash on Monday, as he announced his arrival in Miami ahead of Georgia’s upcoming game against Michigan.

Pickens made his debut this season against Georgia Tech and followed that up with an incredible catch in the loss against Alabama.

There’s a desire and hope to see more out of Pickens when the Bulldogs take on Michigan. The junior wide receiver played just 12 snaps against Alabama, as he is still working himself back into the Georgia offense from both a physical and mental standpoint.

“He’s basically missed the last two springs when you think about a young player’s development, and then he missed a couple of games the year before,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “So he’s still a young developing player, and we’re still trying to work him in and to make sure that he can help us offensively and most importantly help us win with what he can do at this point.”

Related: Todd Monken: ‘No doubt’ Georgia can win national championship with Stetson Bennett at quarterback

Pickens has usually been at his best in Georgia’s bowl games, as he’s finished with over 100 yards in games against Baylor and Cincinnati. If he were able to do put up that kind of performance in a College Football Playoff semifinal, it would only further cement his legendary status at Georgia.

When Pickens tore his ACL back in March, Monken was crestfallen for what it might mean for both the young player and the Georgia offense.

It says a lot about the work ethic of Pickens for him to even be in this position just over nine months after his injury.

“George has done a fantastic job of working to get back, to give himself a chance to play at the back end of this season,” Monken said. “When I think back to the spring when he injured his knee and thinking, wow, what a disappointment for him and his development and for us. But he has done a fantastic job of trying to get back.”

Zamir White understands the rehab and recovery process that comes with an ACL injury, as he’s torn both in his legs. The Georgia running back was in constant communication with Pickens as the wide receiver aimed to make an impact on this talented Georgia team.

“I has talked to him and gave him advice on what to do and as far as like a mindset thing, yes, we have talked about like injuries and stuff like that,” White said. “Just me being a leader, just being there for him.”

As for an onfield impact, Pickens should help boost a Georgia passing game that is finally healthy. Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and others have missed time this season due to a variety of injuries.

Related: Kirby Smart shares where things stand with George Pickens entering College Football Playoff

The break between the Alabama loss and the Michigan game, it’s given the beleaguered wide receiver room a chance to not only rest up but improve as well.

And no one needed that more than the uber-talented Pickens.