Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart dismissed JJ Holloman this week. Did he dismiss the College Football Playoffs with him?
Head coach Kirby Smart dismissed wide receiver JJ Holloman from the Georgia football team this week. Pundits and fans will dismiss the loss, waving away the concern with tales of Smart’s recruiting and chants of “next man up.”
Forget it. Holloman’s dismissal throws the 2019 Georgia football season up for grabs.
With Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman, Isaac Nauta, and Riley Ridley departing ahead of Holloman, no Georgia receiver returns with more than 150 receiving yards in 2018. Charlie Woerner came closest with 148 yards receiving.
New names must step up
The role of sparking Jake Fromm’s run-pass option game, stretching opposing defenses, and converting a grinding ground game into an explosive one with strong downfield play falls to recruiting and G Day conversation pieces.
The Georgia offense now looks forward to loaded defensive boxes. The challenge begins on first down the last Saturday of August in Nashville. It continues until Georgia’s kiddie corps wide receivers prove themselves. If they don’t, Jake Fromm will be relegated to game management with occasional run relief, a recipe that will leave the Dawgs on the outside of the College Football Playoffs.
A new lead Dawg must emerge
The spotlight in this new drama, no doubt not the last of 2019, now shines on rising senior Tyler Simmons and former five-star recruit Demetris Robertson. Simmons may have simply been lost in the numbers game behind Georgia’s now departed talented pass catchers. Dawg fans hope so, since he became the go-to receiver overnight.
Everyone knows about Robertson, the speedy former top national recruit. What no one knows is if his talent will convert into an every down threat. Robertson certainly appears built like a touchdown machine. The Dawgs need him to perform like one.
Kiddie corps time in Athens
The departure of Holloman creates great opportunities for rising sophomores Kearis Jackson, Matt Landers and Tommy Bush. Jackson was already a strong candidate to replace Hardman in all phases of the game. Landers and Bush bring size to the outside, but so far little production. The door is open for them, and Georgia needs them to run through it.
The game changing talent at wide receiver is in the freshman class. While the Dawgs missed out on 2019’s top receiver, Jadon Haselwood, they reeled in two of the nation’s top five, Dominick Blaylock and Georgia Pickens.
Help is on the way
The five-star Blaylock and four-star Pickens both project as game changing talents, with Blaylock getting the nod as the most likely to play early and often.
It’s that time of year Dawg fans – stuff happens, and it did. For Georgia to regain a spot in the College Football Playoffs, Kirby Smart’s recruiting muscle needs to pay off at wide receiver.