What comes next at the wide receiver position now that Dominick Blaylock is out for 2020
For the second time in less than a year, Georgia wide receiver Dominick Blaylock has suffered a torn ACL. He will now miss the entire 2020 season as he will have surgery on the knee.
Blaylock figured to be a key part of Georgia’s offense this season, especially as he gained more and more confidence from his surgically repaired knee. As a freshman, he caught 18 passes for 310 yards, leading the team in yards per catch. He also was second in the team with 5 receiving touchdowns, including ones against Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech.
Georgia confirmed the news that Blaylock will miss the 2020 season and that the knee injury will require surgery.
“University of Georgia sophomore wide receiver Dominick Blaylock suffered an injury to his left knee Wednesday during a non-contact drill,” a statement from the school said. “Surgery will be required and he will miss the 2020 season. A full recovery is expected.”
Without Blaylock, an even bigger burden will fall on Georgia’s wide receivers, who have much to prove after a largely disappointing 2019 season.
George Pickens will still be the top option for Georgia, given he led the team in yards, catches and receiving touchdowns as a freshman. But without Blaylock, his job likely becomes tougher in the 2020 season, as there’s one fewer option threat for opposing teams to worry about.
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken spoke earlier this week about the need for some of Georgia’s veteran wide receivers to continue to develop and improve.
“Some of the older guys that still have work to do as developmental players that need the reps,” Monken said. “Guys like Matt Landers, D-Rob. I know he’s one of our older players but from a developmental standpoint. Tommy Bush and some of our older guys that I think will push for playing time.”
As for a direct replacement for Blaylock, who excelled as Georgia’s slot wide receiver, there are two names to know. The first is a veteran option in redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson.
Like Blaylock, Jackson has battled injuries in the past, as he broke his hand in the opening game of the 2020 season. But he’s battled back and impressed early on at camp this fall, with Monken calling a “relative surprise in terms of his consistency and the way he’s played and developed.”
“I feel like I had to face adversity and I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing since I got here,” Jackson said about his injury history. “I fell like I’ve overcome most of my injuries and bounced back really well. Just been able to work hard in practice and push guys around me and stay motivated.”
Jackson had 5 catches for 79 yards last season for Georgia.
The second name to know is one of the five freshman wide receivers that Georgia signed as a member of the 2020 recruiting class in Jermaine Burton.
Burton was ranked as the No. 82 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings, making him one of three top-100 players Georgia signed at the position. Of the incoming freshmen, Burton has the best set of skills and talent to contribute immediately from the slot position.
Burton’s trainer, former Georgia great Terrence Edwards, shared what Burton might bring to the Georgia offense this year on Thursday’s episode of DawgNation Daily.
“Jermaine is explosive, down the field vertical threat. He can get in and out, can play inside and outside,” Edwards said. “I think he has the total package.”
The Bulldogs will have some time to find a replacement for Blaylock, as the first game is not until Sept. 26, when the Bulldogs take on Arkansas.
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