ATHENS — Kirby Smart said Tuesday what Georgia football fans have been waiting to hear for a long time: “I think D-Rob’s stepped up.”
“D-Rob” is Demetris Robertson, a former 5-star recruit who earned FWAA Freshman All-American honors at Cal in 2016 before an injury sidetracked his sophomore year (2017) and led him to transfer to UGA before the 2018 season.
Many expected Robertson to make an immediate impact, but he didn’t catch a single pass and was largely a non-factor last season.
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The Georgia receiving corps was too deep, and the blocking assignments and physical demands too tall.
Much — not all — of that has changed this spring.
“You know, D-Rob’s got to continue to play more physical, but he’s made some catches,” Smart said. “He’s made some vertical threats.”
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Georgia lost four of its top five pass catchers from last season.
Junior receiver J.J. Holloman is the leading returning pass catcher (24, 418 yards), followed by tailback D’Andre Swift (32-297), tight end Charlie Woerner (11-148) and receiver Tyler Simmons (9-138).
Simmons, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct on Sunday, has been otherwise impressive this spring.
“Tyler Simmons has played well,” Smart said. “He’s really competitive. He’s fast. He gets on top of us. He’s done some good things.”
Smart said redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson is coming along, “probably not as fast as I’d like,” while redshirt freshman Tommy Bush “has done some things” but is dealing with a groin injury.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Landers also “has some bumps and bruises” Smart said.
“You usually balance that with tight ends,” Smart said. “Wel,l we don’t have volume there, so we’re thin. But we know help’s on the way.”
Georgia signed a pair of 5-star receivers in Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens, but neither has yet to arrive on campus.