Georgia Football: Wide Receiver Becoming an Area of Concern for 2015


The 2015 Georgia football season success will hinge on a number of factors, and one of them is finding out who will be the new quarterback’s go-to wide receivers.

More from Georgia Football

It’s like coach Bud Kilmer told stubborn quarterback John Moxon: “You listen hard. Stick to the basics! Stick to the basics! Stick to the basics!…we are a running team.” Anyone who watched the Georgia Bulldogs last season knows that Mark Richt probably holds a similar sentiment for his 2015 Bulldogs…

Only with less crude bravado and cruelty than Kilmer showed.

But carrying a prolific backfield filled with Heisman hopefuls and stocked with 5-star talent, at some point Georgia is going to have to show that they can throw the ball, and throw it downfield.

While many are asking the question of who will throw it, even more mysterious right now is to whom will that person throw the ball? With the top two receivers over the past two seasons gone, it’s a legitimate question and hasn’t been answered this Spring anymore than the quarterback matter.

Last season, Hutson Mason dinked and dunked his way into a very efficient passing game, but there was never a threat to take it deep and force coverage issues (a fact that cost the Bulldogs dearly against the Gators).

Georgia averaged 199.9 yards passing per game, good for 90th in the nation, and the longest pass play of the year was 50 yards, 124th in the nation. The Bulldogs simply didn’t have a receiver available who could take the top off a defense, draw linebackers off the line and keep safeties honest.

The two receivers who Mark Richt was hoping to depend on this season — Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley — haven’t been the most dependable in their Georgia careers in terms of being available to play. Through injuries or suspensions, the duo of wideouts has only played a total of 53 games between them since 2011.

Nov 1, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) breaks up Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (26) pass during the second half at EverBank Field. Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This Spring, Scott-Wesley looked like anything but the speedy outstanding receiver we saw during his Freshman year, and Mitchell is already getting dinged up. It’s clear that to lay the hopes of the receiver corps on the two veterans could spell disaster.

So who does that leave Richt and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to turn to for catches? If you think a three-person battle for quarterback is interesting, how about an 13-person battle for a few wideout slots.

If you look at the list of names for returning upper classmen players outside of Mitchell and Scott-Wesley, nothing really jumps out at you. Reggie Davis, Ben Souther, Kenneth Towns and Blake Tibbs all saw limited action at wide receiver or were primarily special teams players. Of that group, Davis has the most experience and could become a solid slot possession receiver for the Dawgs.

There are two sophomores who could have a coming out party in 2015 if they stay healthy in Shakenneth Williams and the sensational Isaiah McKenzie, who unfortunately is already showing a propensity for getting hurt. Also, incoming NC State transfer Charlie Hegedus, who redshirted in 2014, will have a chance to shine.

But the real spotlight at wide receiver may fall on the Bulldogs that we’ve yet to see. Jayson Stanley, Michael Chigbu, Shaquery Wilson and Tae Crowder will all have opportunities to stake a claim to the squad, possibly even starting. And then there’s the big catch for 2015, Terry Godwin.

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs /

Georgia Bulldogs

Godwin is the wild card in the whole deck for Schottenheimer. This kid has unlimited ceiling written all over him, and if he comes in and can grasp the playbook and formations in a hurry, he might become the primary receiving threat that Georgia will have.

It’s a a muddled mess at receiver for Georgia right now, and nobody has really stood out to make the coaches think they’ve got that deep threat who was missing last season. It may take some pushing from incoming freshman to sort the whole thing out.

So unless Charlie Tweeder is available and ready to turn in his Varsity Blues for some red and black, Nick Chubb will be the bell cow and the Georgia running game may be forced to grind games out as it did in 2014.

Next: 10 Georgia Football Fan Myths to be Busted