Georgia football-2020 receivers-progress
by Curtis Compton AJC

Georgia pass game soaring through offseason, 4 receiver updates

As good as JT Daniels looked in the G-Day Game, the Georgia quarterback could look even better with more weapons and better chemistry around him by the time the season starts.

Daniels and the Bulldogs receivers have been staying busy during the voluntary workouts this offseason, drilling to get the sort of chemistry and timing down that wins championships.

RELATED: JT Daniels snubbed on preseason All-SEC team, second-team pick

Georgia coach Kirby Smart identified the importance of building a strong support cast around Daniels that could execute on point.

“Our limitations aren’t surrounded around JT, they are around the other players within the offense,” Smart said this spring.

“That starts with the backs, offensive line, tight ends — and we’ll have some young guys playing tight end — and also at wideout.”

Already, the extra time some players spent with Daniels in California last month with receivers is paying off.

RELATED: 3 takeaways from Daniels’ time in California

The ball rarely hits the ground, per whispers out of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

Some might counter that it’s only drill work, but the receivers’ ability to get down their timing and spacing is the biggest challenge the passing game faces.

Daniels had the offense down to the extent Smart trusts him to fly the jet, so to speak, running a Pro-Style Spread offense featuring Air Raid principles.

“The key is his decision-making process,” Smart said this sprig. “We know the quarterback position there is probably a decision that has to be made every single play, and he manages that really well, fortunately.”

RELATED: JT Daniels’ California grind no surprise to 5-time national champ SoCal coach

There’s reason to believe this Georgia offense could be the most prolific of Smart’s tenure. Here are three things we’re hearing out of the workouts:

Jermaine Burton

Burton is having a spectacular offseason from all accounts, putting the mild hyperextended knee injury he suffered in spring drills behind him.

Burton, along with Adonai Mitchell, stayed in California with Daniels throughout the duration of the quarterback’s vacation time out there.

RELATED: Burton left off SEC preseason first, second, third and fourth teams

There’s no question Burton is the safest bet for a “breakout” player on offense, sure to improve on his numbers from last season (27 catches, 404 yards, 3 TDs) and perhaps even double them.

Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

Rosemy-Jacksaint posted modest numbers last season, making only 4 catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in the six games he played before suffering a broken ankle against Florida.

Things will be different this season, as Rosemy-Jacksaint is expected to click on the perimeter with his precise route-running and strong hands.

Rosemy-Jacksaint wasn’t quite yet at 100 percent when the receivers went to California, but the word is he’s making the most of the voluntary workouts in Athens.

Arian Smith

Smith was another receiver nicked up in spring drills, suffering a sprained wrist and never really getting on track on the football field.

The redshirt freshman was, however, on track for Georgia in the 4 x 100-meter relay team at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships earlier this month. Smith ran the first leg as the Bulldogs finished second (to LSU) with a school-record time of 38.54.

RELATED: Georgia records highest 4x100 finish since 1984 championship

Smith’s blazing speed is an asset, but the time he missed in spring drills puts him behind other receivers, and he’ll need a strong offseason to play the type of role some are dreaming up he might have.

Smith had only 2 catches in the four games he played last season, albeit, one was a 31-yard TD against South Carolina, the other a 55-yard bomb in the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati.

Arik Gilbert

Gilbert has one of the bigger challenges on the team coming in and trying to learn a new offense without the benefit of spring drills.

But Gilbert also has the benefit of a quarterback like Daniels who is all in on the teacher role, and it’s fair to say the LSU transfer is getting plenty of added attention as he tries to transition from tight end to the ‘X’ receiver spot.

The good news for Gilbert -- and Georgia -- is that there are enough weapons and depth that there won’t be added pressure to be an every-down wideout.