ATHENS — Kirby Smart is thrilled with the performance and competition in the Georgia football receivers room.
That said, the Bulldogs head coach wants to set the record straight when it comes to the perception that it’s just a bunch of 5-star recruits showing up and showing out.
“The guys that are playing best right now don’t have five stars, we go off performance,” Smart said following Wednesday’s practice.
“The receiver position is where do you help the team the most, can you cover a kick, can you block somebody, can you make a play outside on the perimeter that nobody can make, and right now that has nothing to do with what you were regarded as coming in.”
The Georgia football team’s most recent addition was Demetris Robertson, once a 5-star recruit who began his career at Cal.
Smart said some of the media are putting too much emphasis on what the receivers’ star rating was when they signed with the Bulldogs.
“How they came in does not matter to us, you mention they came in highly regarded, that ain’t nothing in that room, it means absolutely nothing,” Smart said. “Every time you guys print something about receivers, it’s about how many 5 stars are in there.”
For the record, here’s a list of the 5-star receivers on the Georgia roster:
• Mecole Hardman
• Demetris Robertson
• Terry Godwin
The most impressive looking receiver in the portions of practice open to the media has been Riley Ridley.
Ridley, who had six of his 14 catches last season in the College Football Playoff national title game, was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school.
Smart said the receivers are pushing one another hard.
“The culture of competition good, absolutely, because maybe those guys that were 3 stars and 4 stars have out-worked the guys that were 5 [stars] because none of that makes a decision for us, all we do is say ‘who’s playing well?’ “ Smart said. “And right now, the guys that are playing best at receiver were not the highly regarded guys, and we’re going to play the guys that play the best, we’re going to play the guys that practice the best, we’re going to play the guys that bust their butt and help the team, and a lot of them are helping on special teams.
“I’m very pleased with our receiver room, top to bottom, they are competing hard, they are playing hard, they are making good plays and they are really helping on special teams.”