Injured Georgia wide receivers ‘right on schedule for where they need to be’ before start of spring practice

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Georgia receiver Dominick Blaylock (8) during the Bulldogs’ game against South Carolina on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

A lot of people had difficult 2020s. When you re-tear your ACL or dislocate your ankle as you score your first career touchdown, you can certainly count yourself as someone who had a trying past year.

That was the case for Georgia wide receivers Dominick Blaylock and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. Both of those wide receivers are still dealing with the ramifications of their season-ending 2020 injuries, as head coach Kirby Smart provided an update on their status ahead of the March 16 spring practice start.

“Both of those young men are running straight lines and beginning to increase their workload,” Smart said. “They’re not working with us in our offseason conditioning program, meaning they’re not in the actual drill. They have to work separate, but they are increasing speeds.

“Ron Courson and his staff do a tremendous job with those guys and they’re right on schedule for where they need to be.”

Blaylock had a promising freshman season, catching 18 passes for 310 yards and five touchdowns. But in the SEC championship game against LSU, Blaylock tore his ACL in the opening quarter. After rehabbing all offseason, Blaylock was cleared to return to the field last August.

Then in preseason drills, he re-tore that same ACL. His sophomore season came to an end before it even started.

Related: Dominick Blaylock is ready for the big moment in 2019 SEC Championship Game

Rosemy-Jacksaint was Georgia’s highest-rated wide receiver in the 2020 signing class. With George Pickens missing games against Kentucky and Florida, Rosemy-Jacksaint saw an increase in snaps and playing time.

In the game against Florida, Rosemy-Jacksaint showed why he was such a coveted prospect. He ran a post route and got wide open against the Florida defense. As he was streaking toward the endzone, poised to score his first touchdown, Florida safety Shawn Davis dove at Rosemy-Jacksaint’s ankle.

Davis was able to get a piece of Rosemy-Jacksaint. The freshman receiver stumbled as he was going into the endzone due to Davis’ hit and his ankle gave out as he broke the plane of the endzone. As he rolled to stop, it was clear to everyone except the CBS replay booth that Rosemy-Jacksaint suffered a season-ending injury on his best play of the season.

Wide receiver is not the concern it once was due to the emergence of Pickens, Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson. Add in a now healthy Arian Smith and veteran Demetris Robertson, Georgia has a solid foundation at the position. Even after four wide receivers entered the transfer portal this offseason, with Tommy Bush being the latest to do so.

That is part of the reason why Georgia doesn’t need to rush back Rosemy-Jacksaint and Blaylock. They can afford to be patient with both players in their recoveries. We saw with Blaylock a year ago what can happen when returning from a significant injury. The same could be said for Zamir White, who tore both of his ACLs in consecutive years.

Despite the injuries though, both Blaylock and Rosemy-Jacksaint seem to be in good spirits and eager to return to top form.

“From a mental standpoint, they’re awesome,” wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton said. “In terms of being positive and just having the energy to fight to come back and being around the guys any way they can, those guys are definitely two of the more positive, football savvy guys.”

Smart nor Hankton provided a timetable for a return to contact for either wide receiver. It seems far more likely that Georgia would wait until fall camp rolls around at the start of August to fully get Blaylock and Rosemy-Jacksaint back in the mix.

Should Georgia get a full-healthy Blaylock and Rosemy-Jacksaint for the 2021 season, it helps establish the wide receiver position as an even bigger strength on the Georgia team. With the Bulldogs bringing back quarterback JT Daniels and offensive coordinator Todd Monken, the Bulldogs will look to have a better passing offense.

Related: Georgia offense has potential to ‘only get better’ in year 2 under Todd Monken

Blaylock and Rosemy-Jacksaint definitely have the ability to help there, if they can return to the field and more importantly return to full health.

Cortez Hankton updates injury status of Dominick Blaylock, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

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