UGA football: George Pickens on Biletnikoff watchlist and among the nations best receivers

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

UGA football fans already know George Pickens is a great wide receiver. The nation is starting to notice as well with Pickens’ inclusion on the Biletnikoff Award watchlist.

Not since AJ Green has a freshman receiver electrified the UGA football fanbase as much as George Pickens did last season.

The five-star from Hoover, Ala. lead the team by catching 49 passes for 727 yards with eight touchdowns. He ended his true freshman campaign with an outstanding performance against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. He grabbed 12 passes that night 175 yards and one score, earning Sugar Bowl MVP honors in the process.

That MVP award might be the first of many awards for Pickens. The Biletnikoff Award preseason watchlist debuted Thursday evening with Pickens’ name among the 55 on the list. Pickens could become the first Georgia Bulldog to win the coveted award which is presented to the best pass-catchers in the nation (not just wide receivers).

Pickens certainly has what it takes to win the Biletnikoff Award. He’s a strong, physical receiver with deceptive speed and a solid vertical. These traits make him difficult to cover just about every route. Even when a defender has him blanketed, Pickens possesses a pair of pillow-soft hands that can catch even the hardest bullet passes. There’s a reason he was a five-star prospect coming out of high school. He left the 12th grade with an SEC-ready physique and skillset.

Judging by his Sugar Bowl performance, Pickens is clearly ready to be “the man” in Georgia’s receiving corps. Without Lawrence Cager and Dominick Blaylock, Georgia needed a big game from Pickens and he delivered with a legendary performance that people will talk about for decades.

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Plus, Pickens will have more help this year. Blaylock, Demetris Robertson and Matt Landers are back and the Bulldogs added three super-talented receivers in the 2020 class. Pickens won’t see many double-teams, defenses can’t afford it. He’ll have ample opportunity in each game to prove why he is the best receiver in the nation.