ATLANTA — While Georgia is squarely focused on beating Ohio State this week, head coach Kirby Smart did take some time during Monday’s College Football Playoff press conference to discuss two new additions to the 2023 team that will help the Georgia Bulldogs.

Last week, the Bulldogs reached into the transfer portal to land wide receivers RaRa Thomas and Dominic Lovett. Both have SEC experience and the two also led their respective teams in receiving this past season. Thomas caught 44 passes for 626 yards and seven touchdowns for Mississippi State, while Lovett brought in 56 receptions for 846 yards and three touchdowns.

Smart thinks both receivers have the necessary tools to help Georgia next season.

“We knew about those kids coming out of high school, think a lot of them,” Smart said. “They performed at a high level in our conference, and I think they’ll challenge and compete with the rest of our roster and be competitive wideouts, which is important in this conference.”

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As it stands right now, Georgia is not set to lose any wide receivers off of this year’s team, but that is likely to change once the season concludes. Georgia did sign three players in the 2023 recruiting cycle that will help at the position as well. The Bulldogs have already seen tight end Arik Gilbert and defensive lineman Bill Norton enter the transfer portal.

Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter got a chance to face off against both players this season, as the Bulldogs played Mississippi State and Missouri during the 2022 season. Lovett caught six passes for 84 yards in what was Georgia’s closest game during the 2022 season, a 26-22 win over the Tigers.

Related: Georgia football lands wide receiver Dominic Lovett from transfer portal

Thomas had a tough time finding success, as he brought in just two passes for 23 yards in a loss to Georgia. He did finish the season strong though, catching four touchdowns in Mississippi State’s final four games.

“Both of those guys are pretty good players,” Lassiter said. “Both explosive with big catch radiuses. They’ll be pretty good additions to our team next year.”

Georgia did not bring a player out of the transfer portal this past season, being the only Power 5 program to not do so. But Smart did not hesitate this time around, with Thomas and Lovett both expected to help Georgia during the 2023 season.

As for this week’s game against Ohio State, Lovett and Thomas will not be suiting up. Smart and his team are chomping at the bit to take on the talented Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State’s biggest strength might be its wide receivers, led by Marvin Harrison Jr.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s very physical,” Lassiter said. “He’s a big long guy with a pretty big catch radius. He just seems like he pays attention. He has a lot of attention to detail during the game, and I think that’s what makes him a pretty good player.”

Georgia will arrive in Atlanta on Monday evening and practice in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the rest of the week. The Bulldogs wrapped up their Athens preparations on Monday, while Ohio State got to Atlanta on Sunday night.

Saturday’s game is set for an 8 p.m. ET kickoff, with ESPN airing the game.

Kirby Smart praises transfer wide receivers RaRa Thomas, Dominic Lovett

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