Georgia football Next Generation: Freshman WR Zeed Haynes can be ‘really special’ in Athens
This is the ninth installment of a DawgNation series featuring the “Next Generation” of Georgia football players from the 2023 class. The 247Sports Composite had Yazeed Haynes as the nation’s no. 27 WR and the No. 199 overall prospect. The On3 Industry Ranking saw him as the nation’s No. 31 WR and the No. 221 overall prospect in the class.
Bryan McClendon has been putting in the work. He’s taken an expert’s hand to flip the Georgia football receiver room over with electric, route-running fiends.
It is fascinating when one takes a hard look at it.
The room he inherited in the winter of 2022 will be totally different by the time the 2024 class is signed and on campus. There could be six or seven players at UGA with Day 1 or Day 2 NFL Draft potential. That’s before the ‘Dawgs develop them every day in practice against the nation’s deepest and most talented secondary.
It is not all 5-stars either.
Perhaps the strongest example of that so far comes with 2023 WR signee Yazeed Haynes. He was for the longest time the lowest-rated of the three high school receivers that the Dawgs signed in 2023.
That was until his stock just kept soaring as a senior.
Florida 4-star Tyler Williams was a top-100 prospect. Texas 4-star Anthony Evans III was an Oklahoma flip. Evans is a world-class athlete that doesn’t get enough credit for his dedication to the craft of being a top-tier receiver in the SEC.
Those two did good things during spring drills. The early word on Haynes was he looked just as good as any of the freshmen receivers this spring, if not better.
“He’s going to be good,” redshirt junior WR Arian Smith said this spring. “He’s got a lot of potential to get right. He’s going to be good.”
Smith was shaking his head as he said that. The way he did so showed he was clearly impressed.
“He’s just quick,” Smith said. “He’s just a natural receiver. Like he doesn’t have to be taught [how] to run routes. It is just him learning the plays. Once he learns the plays and learns the offense, he’s going to be good.”
Fans got a glimpse of why Smith said that at G-Day. Haynes was the Bulldog that lost his helmet on a play and came sprinting back to the huddle helmet in hand.
Folks have also taken to calling him ‘Zeed in Athens. That’s the way his one back-handed catch for 28 yards appeared in the final G-Day official box score. He’s even listed on the 2023 roster as Zeed Haynes.