ATHENS — Dominic Lovett understands what life is like for new Georgia wide receivers Colbie Young, London Humphreys and Michael Jackson.

As they are now, Lovett was a new face in Athens after transferring into the program last offseason. He knows how difficult it is to make an early impact at Georgia, even after arriving as an accomplished player from Missouri.

“Don’t take it with a grain of salt, actually enjoy the struggle, the good times, the bad times, which they have,” Lovett said of his advice for the newcomers. “I’ve seen all three of those guys, our whole room actually, grow tremendously. I would just tell them, just enjoy the journey. Keep striving and keep having fun.”

Lovett is Georgia’s leading returning receiver after he caught 54 passes for 613 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first season at Georgia. It may not have been the explosive season some envisioned but he was a productive piece for the Bulldogs.

With Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint all moving on to the NFL, Georgia needs someone to step up as a go-to wide receiver.

Now that he isn’t inundated with learning the playbook and the way Georgia likes to do things, he’s ready to establish himself as a top playmaker for the Bulldogs.

“So far this spring, I would say Dom’s had a very good spring,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “He’s so much more confident in the offense. I think Carson has a lot of confidence in him. They’re on the same wave length. There’s been some days that Dom’s been really dominant out there.”

Smart did wonder whether Lovett is producing more because he is no longer being checked by NFL-bound defensive backs Kamari Lassiter, Tykee Smith and Javon Bullard.

Lovett is definitely taking advantage of a depleted secondary. Though he quickly pointed out how practicing against those guys last season helped better prepare him for then and now.

“He’s got more confidence, and he’s playing with confidence,” Smart said. “I think Carson [Beck] feels really comfortable with him. I’m pleased with where he’s at. His physical toughness continues to improve. This time last year, we were constantly on him about what he was doing without the ball. He makes a conscious effort to do better at that now, and we need him to.”

Lovett, Dillon Bell, Rara Thomas and Arian Smith hope to emerge as top targets for Beck in 2024. Though Lovett isn’t too worried about his own statistical production this coming season.

He knows if he puts in the work, the numbers will come. But so to will the wins, which is of far greater importance to Lovett.

“They actually welcomed me with open arms, and their work ethic to get better the next day after a win, that’s what really drew me. It was like, OK, these guys want to get better, they compete, and they help each other get better,” Lovett said. “That’s why they’re such a dominant — well, that’s why we’re such a dominant force to be reckoned with on the field. I feel like that all comes back to that connection piece.

“As long as we win as a team, that’s all I care about. When you’ve got team success, individual success will come. If it’s the other way around, the team can kind of crumble from the inside out.”

Georgia won 13 games last season, one more than the 12 Lovett won in his two seasons at Missouri. Georgia’s winning culture and development track record was a big reason Lovett came to Georgia in the first place. He spoke about how money and NIL weren’t a factor in deciding where he would end up bettering his game.

That mindset fits Georgia’s current culture to a T. And explains why he has been welcomed with such open arms by his Georgia teammates.

He’s now an engrained part of said culture and able to pass that on to his newest teammates.

“I don’t really be focused on myself. As long as we win, that’s really all I care about,” Lovett said. “When we win, we’re all connected and I feel like we are one big connected family.”

Dominic Lovett having a ‘dominant’ spring for Georgia football