ATHENS — Kirby Smart made it pretty clear he has some major concerns about the Georgia football receiving corps entering into the offseason.
“We don’t have numbers,” Smart said at the conclusion of spring football drills. “It’s the thinnest position, right there with D-Line and tight end, it’s been said over and over and over.”
Junior J.J. Holloman and senior Tyler Simmons are proven targets at UGA, and Demetris Robertson earned Smart’s praise in spring drills.
But Smart has voiced questions about consistency in the receiving group beyond that and made it clear incoming players will challenge for playing time.
Georgia lost four of its top five five pass catchers from a season ago, with juniors Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley joining departing senior Terry Godwin.
The Bulldogs also lost two tight ends before their eligibility had expired when junior Isaac Nauta decided to declare for the draft and freshman Luke Ford opted to transfer to Illinois.
Georgia has seasoned help en route with Miami graduate transfer receiver Lawrence Cager and Tennessee graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf graduating from their respective schools this month. Wolf graduates next Wednesday, and Cager graduates on Friday, May 10.
Smart said the receiving position is more pressing than tight end because of the versatility he demands at that position.
“It (receiver) is probably more concerning than tight end,” Smart said, “only because those guys play on special teams, and we lost a tremendous amount of special teams snaps out of our wide receiver room.”
In addition to Cager, who is already on the Senior Bowl radar, UGA has incoming freshmen receivers George Pickens, Makiya Tongue and Dominick Blaylock enrolling in June.
Smart said he’s eager to see how the players respond to football at the collegiate level.
“I don’t know how they are going to respond to the first time they get hit in the mouth, first time they have to compete against a guy one-on-one and answer the bell,” Smart said.
“I’m not comfortable where we are at receiver, certainly not.”