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Terry Godwin (No. 5) is just one reason why we can expect to see much more from the Georgia passing attack in 2018.

Georgia boasts pair of SEC’s most efficient returning WRs

Cy Brown

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Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman most effective WRs in SEC

Georgia offenses have long been driven by the running game, and that won’t change anytime soon if the arsenal of young, talented tailbacks Kirby Smart has stockpiled in Athens is anything to go on. But with that being said, the 2018 season figures to be the first under Smart where we see a greater emphasis put on the passing game.

Quarterback Jake Fromm, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year, should have his leash loosened with a full season under his belt — especially since he has a capable group of experienced wide receivers to work with.

Chief among that group are the Bulldogs’ leading returning receivers, senior Terry Godwin (639 yards, 6 touchdowns) and junior Mecole Hardman (418 yards, 4 touchdowns). And perhaps just as importantly for Georgia, Godwin and Hardman are two of the most effective and efficient targets all in the SEC.

According to stats compiled by Pro Football Focus, Godwin (146.8) and Hardman (146.6) rank first and second, respectively, in the SEC for passer rating when targeted.

Last season, Georgia’s passing game found success through efficiency, not pure yardage. And even with an increased focus on the passing game likely, efficiency will still be the name of the game for Georgia’s aerial attack.

UGA will never be a truly pass-heavy team, so it needs efficient receivers to make the most of their opportunities when Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney do decide to take in the air. Based on this stat, there are none better in the SEC at doing that than Godwin and Hardman.

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Deangelo Gibbs’ return not a done deal

When reports that rising sophomore defensive back Deangelo Gibbs is enrolled for summer classes at Georgia after missing the spring surfaced earlier this month, most assumed it meant he is back with the team. But at a Bulldog Club meeting Monday in Columbus, Ga., Smart indicated that those reports are “premature.”

“He’s working and doing the things we ask and he needs to continue to do that,” Smart said, according to Chip Towers of DawgNation. “We’ll make a decision when the time comes, but being enrolled in school doesn’t signify that he’s on our roster right now.”

Check out Towers’ post for more on Gibbs, as well as Smart’s comments on incoming graduate transfer defensive tackle Jay Hayes and the prospects for punter Marshall Long following knee surgery.

Kirby Smart gives update on Stetson Bennett

Smart also took time to address the status of backup quarterback Stetson Bennett, who has reportedly considered transferring in recent weeks. Even though he isn’t expected to play this season, the loss of Bennett would be a major blow to a Georgia team that is extremely short-handed at the position. Smart even mentioned the possibility of putting Bennett on scholarship to keep him in Athens.

“We’ve invested a lot into Stetson and we’re excited to see what he can do,” Smart said, according to Towers. “We’re encouraging him to stay so he can get that opportunity. We certainly respect what he’s done for the university so far and he’s a good student, too. So we’re selling him on a Georgia education.”

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