ATLANTA — Georgia coach Kirby Smart noted the Bulldogs have had a “merry-go-round” of receivers this season, and it has come full circle.
Senior Tyler Simmons, the team’s leading returning receiver entering the season, is back on top of the WR rotation and was the Game Ball performer in a 52-7 win at Georgia Tech.
Simmons had a team-high three catches for 52 yards and a twirling, momentum-inducing 17-yard TD grab in the third quarter.
“Tyler Simmons was showing up and making spectacular plays,” Fromm said. “He’s an awesome guy who has been with it all season. I know it means a lot to him, and I’m thankful he’s come along.”
Simmons, who also had two carries for 22 yards, suffered a shoulder injury in the second game of the season that forced him to wear a brace most of the season and limited his range of motion.
WATCH: Tyler Simmons provides textbook leadership, resilience
But the senior stuck with it, preparing hard and playing in every game, taking on any assignments the coaches sent his way.
“I never stopped preparing, I always knew my number would be called at some point,” Simmons said. “Just to know my hard work is paying off, it feels good.
“When the injury came, I got down on myself a little bit … I talked to the coaches, and they told me, this is the deal, keep working, don’t get down on yourself, keep progressing, and it paid off today.”
Simmons has been Georgia’s top receiver over the past two games with Lawrence Cager out and freshman George Pickens suspended for a violation of team rules and ejected in less than one quarter against Georgia Tech.
Indeed, it was Simmons with a tumbling catch on a back-shoulder fade that kick-started Georgia’s only touchdown drive in a 19-13 win over Texas A&M in the home finale.
“Me and Jake have a pretty good chemistry on and off the field,” Simmons said. “He knows I’m going to be there when he needs a play to be made, and it’s all about trust.”
Simmons, one of UGA’s team leaders, has proven he can be counted on to do his best with the season winding down.
“This is going to be the biggest game of our season so far,” Simmons said of the SEC Championship Game matchup with LSU at 4 p.m. next Saturday. “Just to have some confidence moving into this week, it feels really good.”
Georgia WR catches last two games
Tyler Simmons 4-79 yards
George Pickens 3-98
Dominick Blaylock 3-40