INDIANAPOLIS — Georgia football lost four of its top five receivers from the 2018 season, an issue Coach Kirby Smart and his staff are sure to tackle quickly in spring drills.
Those four top departing pass catchers agreed at the NFL combine the Bulldogs will be fine in 2019, as there’s plenty of talent and coaching to maintain an effective pass game.
“l’ll bet on (Jeremiah) J.J. Holloman, and I’ll bet on Tyler Simmons and Matt Landers,” said Riley Ridley, who led UGA with 44 catches for 570 yards and 9 TDs last season.
“We didn’t just leave that room empty. Coach Cortez Hankton will lead those guys in the best direction he can, and those guys have the want-to in them, and I can’t wait to watch them.”
Holloman is Georgia’s top returning receiver, ranking fourth on the team last season with 24 catches for 418 yards.
Mecole Hardman, the No. 2 target in 2018 with 34 catches for 532 yards, was on the same page with Ridley.
“A guy that comes to mind is Matt Landers, if he gets his head right and gets that playbook down, he’ll have his hame called a lot on Saturdays,” Hardman said. “Of course, J.J. Holloman, he’s going to be the leader of that room. I expect great things of him, and I expect Tyler Simmons to do some things.”
Departing Georgia senior Terry Godwin was the leader of he receivers room last season, and he has already played a role in helping to develop the Bulldogs rising stars.
“I’d say Matthew Landers, Kearis Jackson and Tommy Bush,” Godwin said, asked what new names UGA fans can expect to hear from this season. “There are quite a few back there … I”m pretty sure they will show out this year.”
Godwin, who overcame early season injuries to his knee and calf o make 22 catches in 2018, said he’s confident new offensive coordinator James Coley will see to that.
“Me knowing Coley,” Godwin said, “I know it’s going to be explosive, and I know it will be an exciting year for the offense.”
Indeed, even the tight ends figure to catch more passes.
At least, that’s what Isaac Nauta said he told incoming Tennessee graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf.
“I told him that Coach Coley is a big tight end guy, he loves to use the tight ends, I think they are going to throw it a lot more with Coley,” Nauta said. “So I told him to be excited about that …. he’s got a opportunity to play right away and step in and catch a lot of passes.”
Returning tight end Charlie Woerner had 11 catches for 148 yards last season.
DawgNation from NFL combine