Georgia receivers Matt Landers, George Pickens take important first steps

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Georgia redshirt sophomore Matt Landers caught both his targets in the 30-6 win over Vanderbilt last Saturday.

ATHENS — Georgia’s receiving corps entered the season the most unproven position group on the team.

That’s still the case, but at least Bulldogs’ coach Kirby Smart indicated the group is off to a relatively good start, led by Demetris Robertson’s three-catch, two carry effort.

WATCH: Deserving D-Rob makes first catch count for TD in 30-6 win

“We’re going to play the best guys who have experience doing it and (Robertson) is getting his opportunity now to do it,” Smart said on Monday, “and he’s got to continue to work because there’s good players behind him now.”

Redshirt sophomore Matt Landers, true freshman George Pickens, grad transfer Lawrence Cager and senior Tyler Simmons have the look of strong options.

Landers and Pickens were the two who had the most to prove in fall drills and under the lights at Vanderbilt.

Smart was disappointed with Landers’ lack of consistency in spring drills, but he indicated Landers is off to a good start through one game.

“Matt and I have had our differences on the practice field many of times and Matt has come a long way,” Smart said. “I think that Matt has finally figured out that ‘if I play special teams and I play well, then I have an opportunity to contribute on offense and maybe even get some balls’.

“You earn the right to do that by how you compete, what you do, and he’s come a long way. I’m really proud of Matt and how he’s grown up.”

Landers had 2 catches for 26 yards, catching both of his targets.

Pickens showed he has no problem being physical blocking on the perimeter. It sounds as though the true freshman from Hoover, Ala., is on his way to winning over his head coach, even though a pass interference penalty negated what could have been a TD catch.

“I don’t think there is anything that he could have done different to have a ball-call (target),” Smart said. “Some of it was what people did around him to affect it.

“What he controls is how he blocks, how he runs his routes and what kind of effort and toughness he plays with. I thought he did a good job doing that.”

Georgia redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson was off to a strong start, but broken bones in his hand/wrist could open the door for freshman Dominick Blaylock to get on the field moving forward.

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