The Georgia Bulldogs will enter the 2014 season with one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the country. Hutson Mason, who will enter his first season as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, will have plenty of options to help him out as he tries to settle into the starting role. Last season, the wide receiving corps became very thin after numerous players went down with season-ending injuries. Luckily for the Bulldogs, it looks like the offense will be back to full strength in 2014.
In the first game against the Clemson Tigers last season, the Bulldogs lost Malcolm Mitchell, the team’s best wide receiver, to a season-ending ACL injury. The injury was a major blow to the offense since Mitchell was Aaron Murray‘s favorite target. Mitchell has the athletic ability to spread the field. He is a deep threat on every play and rarely drops many passes. Expect Mitchell to be one of the most productive wide receivers in the SEC.
Justin Scott-Wesley will also return from injury for the Bulldogs. Like Mitchell, Scott-Wesley went down with a season-ending ACL injury in the Bulldogs’ game against the Tennessee Volunteers. The 5-foot-11 and 206-pound wide receiver is one of the fastest players on team’s roster. He was a track star in high school and has the ability to be a deep threat. Having him and Mitchell back will work wonders for the Bulldogs’ offense. Teams will have to prepare for the deep ball, as both players can burn the secondary on any play.
With the Bulldogs returning Mitchell and Scott-Wesley, the offense should be potent. Mason will also have seniors Chris Conley and Michael Bennett. Conley and Bennett were the Bulldogs’ leaders at wide receiver during the 2013 season. I would consider them both more of possession-type receivers, but they can also beat teams deep too. Conley led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season. The senior finished his junior campaign with 45 catches for 651 yards and four touchdowns. Bennett was second on the team to Conley in the same categories.
Not only do the Bulldogs have those go-to receivers, but the offense also returns several players who will see valuable playing time. Senior Jonathon Rumph enters his final season with the Bulldogs. Rumph has the prototypical size of a wide receiver. At 6-foot-5 and 208-pounds, he has the skill set to be a great, but he must become more reliable. Rumph transferred to Georgia after spending two seasons at Holmes Community College in Mississippi. He was supposed to be the Bulldogs’ next great receiver but hasn’t had the production he was expected to have. In 2014, I expect that to change as Mason will look for him to be one of his main targets.
It will be interesting to see how Mason will use all of these wide receivers. If he can get enough time from the offensive line, I expect him to have a field day against opposing defenses. There are just too many options at the position for Mason not to succeed. Look for the Bulldogs to lead the SEC in passing yards.