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Cortez Hankton is the wide receivers coach for Georgia.

Where Georgia football turns at the wide receiver position in the 2021 recruiting class

Connor Riley

Georgia signed five wide receivers in the 2020 recruiting class. The position was a massive need, as the 2020 SEC championship game against LSU clearly showed.

The poor showing against LSU did secure the commitment of one Arian Smith. It also played a factor in the Bulldogs pulling Jermaine Burton as well as Georgia going out and signing Ladd McConkey late in the cycle.

All those additions do put a limit on the number of wide receivers the Bulldogs will sign in this 2021 cycle. But it still doesn’t make the position any less of a need, as Georgia still needs more talent in that room. George Pickens likely can’t do it all on his own, even if he did it in the first half of the Sugar Bowl.

As for the 2021 cycle, Georgia and wide receiver coach Cortez Hankton do have some things that should help serve as a selling point. For starters, the Bulldogs have a 5-star quarterback in Brock Vandagriff. It’ll be comforting for prospects to know who will be throwing them the ball and it helps that Vandagriff lives in Athens and can scoot on over when players are in town in visits.

Hankton can also show that if you’re talented enough, you can come in and contribute right away as a newcomer. Georgia’s top wide receivers in 2019 — George Pickens, Lawrence Cager and Dominick Blaylock — were all newcomers to the team. And none of those guys even had the benefit of going through spring practice for the Bulldogs.

So who might be those names that Georgia goes after in the 2021 class? At this point in time, there are two that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. And the two could not be more different.

We’ll start with Mario Williams. He’s the highest-rated of the two, even if it’s by a slim margin. He’s the No. 4 ranked wide receiver in the class and the No. 40 player overall in the 247Sports Composite. He comes from Plant City, Fla., and is the No. 6 ranked player from the state.

Williams has seen a noted uptick in the interest from Georgia since the January additions of Todd Monken and Vandagriff. In March, he bumped Georgia up into his top-5.

“They tell me that I am dynamic and they love the way I catch the ball,” Williams told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. “They say that it looks like every time I touch the ball that I am looking to score.”

The 5-foot-10 standout is an accomplished baseball player and is looking to do the also play at the next level. Georgia can point to tight end Ryland Goede, who is currently a member of both the baseball and football teams. Williams also has Florida, Oklahoma, LSU and Alabama among his finalists.

Related: Mario Williams: Going deep with the nation’s No. 4 WR on what really matters

The other big name for Georgia fans to follow at the wide receiver position is the No. 5 ranked wide receiver in the 247Sports Composite rankings. That’s Deion Colzie, the No. 46 overall player in the country.

Colzie is a local product for the Bulldogs as he plays for Athens Academy. From a measurement standpoint, he couldn’t be more different from Williams, as Colzie towers over defenders with his 6-foot-4 frame. While Williams projects to play in the slot at the next level, Colzie is a true outside receiver.

But until March, Colzie had planned on going elsewhere to play his college ball. Colzie had been a Notre Dame commit since October of 2019. But on March 20, Colzie publicly backed off his pledge to the Fighting Irish. This should absolutely be seen as good news for Georgia and its chances to land Colzie.

Like Colzie, Vandagriff was initially committed to playing his college football outside of the state of Georgia. But the allure of home couldn’t be ignored. The Georgia staff would love to see the same development with Colzie.

Related: QB Brock Vandagriff declares a 5-star prospect will be next in-state commit

As for a third name to be aware of there is Pace Academy standout Jayden Thomas, who is rated as the No. 34 ranked wide receiver in the country and the No. 17 prospect in the state of Georgia. Like Colzie, Thomas has trained with former Georgia wide receiver Terrence Edwards, who helped trained Burton and fellow 2020 wide receiver Justin Robinson.

Georgia has done well recruiting Pace Academy as Andrew Thomas, Jamaree Salyer and Trey Blount all played for the Atlanta area school.

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