ATHENS — Georgia freshman Mark Webb, who has been working on cornerback for several weeks, may stick there, according to head coach Kirby Smart.
Webb was a highly-regarded receiver prospect, but with some injuries and depth concerns at cornerback he’s been getting a look there.
“We obviously have had concerns with injuries at that position. And we have a little more depth at receiver,” Smart said. “He’s been making plays on special teams. He tackles people. He played corner in high school.
“It’s not necessarily permanent. But he’s done a really good job. I really think he’s got a bright future there. We’ll sit down and revisit it when the time comes to see what he really wants to do.”
Smart also kidded the media for not realizing that Webb had moved to cornerback until before Saturday’s game at Notre Dame. He said it happened two weeks ago.
Webb received a considerable amount of buzz as a receiver during preseason camp.But Georgia also lost starting cornerback Malkom Parrish to a foot injury – his return date is still unknown – and the staff also looked at the projected roster at receiver and cornerback the next few years.
“Webb was one of the most talented freshmen receivers we had,” Smart said. “We also as far as I know have one senior receiver. We’ve got one, two, three, four guys in the secondary who are seniors, so we’re one year away from depletion at one spot and not the other. We made this decision as a one-, two-, three-week, possibly one year decision that could pay off for us.”
Webb, listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, was one of five receivers signed this offseason by Georgia, which also signed six defensive backs.
Through two games this year, none of those five receivers have a catch, and only one of the new defensive backs, freshman safety Richard LeCounte, has received significant playing time.
Webb saw the field in Georgia’s win at Notre Dame, though only on special teams.
A product of Philadelphia, Webb was rated a four-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite, which rated him the nation’s 22nd-best receiver prospect. But Webb also played cornerback, where he was regarded as a lockdown defender for Archbishop Wood High School.
“He originally wanted to play receiver, but I never really met a more selfless kid who said, It don’t matter coach I just want to play,” Smart said. “He’s playing. He’s playing on kick return, kickoff coverage, kickoff return. So he’s a valuable asset that we felt like if AD (Aaron Davis) didn’t improve and get well, Malkom we don’t know when he’s getting back for sure. Things are looking better and better with him. We just didn’t have enough guys. So we moved him over there. And to be honest with you he’s been a really pleasant surprise.”