Just Throw Me the Ball

draytonBy: Drayton Hogarth

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With the Georgia Bulldogs season getting close, there will be a lot of words written and spoken about who will be under center and throwing the ball at quarterback for first year head coach Kirby Smart.

There may not be as much talk about who will be on the receiving end of the passes from the eventual starting quarterback, be it Jacob Eason, Brice Ramsey, or Greyson Lambert.

The Bulldogs will be replacing their leading receiver this year, but the receiving corp is as deep as it has been since the AJ Green era. Let’s take a look at the tight end and wide receiver position.

New offensive coordinator Jim Cheney may feel he has hit the proverbial jackpot, as he looks at the level of ability of the tight ends, in particular Jeb Blazevich, Jackson Harris, Jordan Davis, and incoming freshman Issac Nauta.

The tight ends were extremely underutilized under former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Cheney has a history of using the talent that he has around him and catering to the strengths of the offense on his roster.

Jeb Blazevich will look to put up numbers that potentially could match his career totals so far in Athens. Jackson Harris arrived as a true freshman last season, and earned playing time from the first game on. Harris has tremendous size to go with solid athleticism. Jordan Davis is athletic enough to not only play with his hand in the dirt, but he can also move out wide and play the role of physical wide receiver.

The most exciting of the group may well be the youngest of the group, Issac Nauta. Nauta arrives at Georgia as the top tight end in the 2016 recruiting class and already showed strong playmaking ability in the Bulldogs spring game.

Georgia can get back to using the tight end position that was a staple in the Mark Richt era. The talent is there and should be a tremendous advantage for the Bulldogs offense.

One thing that has been missing the last couple of years of the Richt tenure was the explosive playmakers. Last season Malcolm Mitchell was the leading receiver, but he is now a New England Patriot.

Terry Godwin should take that next step as a rising sophomore and will be the number one target on the outside. Godwin was already showing signs of taking that step toward the end of last season and should only improve with better quarterback play and talent around him.

There are three newcomers who should help complement Godwin and the rest of the receiving corp. Well, one of the three has been in Athens for a season but had to take a redshirt last season due to a knee injury.

From all reports, the knee is solid, and he is showing the same talent that led Jason Stanley to be one of the top receivers in the country coming out of high school.

Now two players who will be entering their first season as Bulldogs, who will contribute greatly are, Javon Wims and Riley Ridley.

Wims is a junior college signee. Wims stands 6’4” 215 pounds and has shown the kind of playmaking ability that is sorely needed in Athens.

Ridley is the younger brother of Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley, but the younger has already shown that he knows how to get open and has demonstrated good hands so far as an early enrollee to Georgia.

These are just a few names to familiarize yourself with before the season gets underway.

Look for the tight end spot to be used much more effectively under the new coaching staff; the talent is there, and it provides such a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

The receiver position will provide much needed playmaking ability and depth for Coach Kirby Smart’s offense. The talent is there, and will only get better in the Smart era.