As successful as Kirby Smart has been at recruiting since he became the head coach at The University of Georgia, one position group that hasn't stood out as much as others as far as ranking is concerned is the receiver position. Of course stars and rankings aren't everything. Most sane Dawg fans wouldn't trade Ladd McConkey for 99% of the other receivers in college football right now and he came in out of high school ranked as the #169 receiver in the nation.
With that being said, it's no secret the Dawgs need to get more explosive at the receiver position. The proof is in the pudding with the 2023 class of receivers that Coach Bryan McClendon was able to bring in. Both Yazeed Haynes and Anthony Evans can get out of their stances and fly down the field. While being fairly new to the position, Tyler Williams is one of the most explosive receivers in the class. Add in transfers Rara Thomas and Dominic Lovett who have proven themselves in SEC play, and you have a good start to becoming one of the most explosive receiver rooms in the nation.
The group became a little less explosive with AD Mitchell's decision to transfer to Texas. Also gone are Kearis Jackson and Dominic Blaylock, who both saw their playing time diminished after establishing themselves as great teammates and great ambassadors for the football program. The two are beloved by the Georgia faithful and will always be looked at as favorites among most Dawg fans. Although these losses will hurt on the field and in the locker room, there is a strong group of Dawgs ready to make their mark:
Losing: AD Mitchell, Kearis Jackson, Dominic Blaylock
Returning: Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (Sr), Ladd McConkey (Jr), Arian Smith (Jr), Jackson Meeks (Jr), Dillon Bell (So), DeNylon Morrissette (So), Cole Speer (So), CJ Smith (RS-Fr)
2023 Class: 4* Tyler Williams, 4* Yazeed Haynes, 4* Anthony Evans
Incoming Transfers: Dominic Lovett (Jr), Rara Thomas (Jr)
Kirby Smart and company continue to look for explosive playmakers in the 2024 class. If you look at the list below, you'll see a couple of different types of players. Some have the breakaway speed needed to play against SEC defenses like Haynes, some are shifty and can make guys miss in the open field and in tight spaces like McConkey, while others are the athletic playmakers who can get anywhere on the field and high point the ball like Mitchell. Look for UGA to bring in a combination of the talents.
The top target who Georgia currently has the most momentum with us California's 4* Aaron Butler. The 6'1 170 pound playmaker was high on the Dawgs even before his visit in late January. Georgia has been heavily trending ever since. He'll take his official visit to Athens in April and likely make his public commitment on his birthday on July 22nd. I LOVE where UGA stands here.
Another name that is popular among UGA recruiting fanatics is the #1 receiver in the nation and Ohio State commit, 5* Jeremiah Smith. There is a good possibility he visits in March and I wouldn't be surprised if it's the March 18th weekend when 5* QB Dylan Raiola is supposed to visit. We must get him on campus before talking about having a legitimate shot here. His relationship with Raiola is what could end up putting the Dawgs over the top, assuming we get Raiola.
Mike Matthews is the in-state five star I feel the least confident in UGA getting. That's not to say I don't think the Dawgs have a chance at all. Georgia is very much in this one and will be after him until signing day. He's just more open to multiple schools right now. Clemson will be a serious player here, as will Notre Dame, Alabama, Tennessee and others.
4* WR Drelon Miller is an elite receiver who isn't talked about enough in UGA recruiting circles. I've been told he is a high priority target at the position. I personally think he has the all-around game to be the next AD Mitchell type receiver, especially in this UGA offense that Todd Monken installed. The in-state programs from Texas will be the biggest competition for the #9 receiver in the nation.
There hasn't been much talk around one of my favorite receivers in this class, in-state 4* Zion Ragins. He has been on campus and Todd Hartley is from Jones County, but there just hasn't been much going on recently with Georgia and the speedster. One question that needs to be asked is do we have the smaller/shiftier playmakers we need in this class in Sacovie White and Dwight Phillips Jr.? April and June are now huge months in recruiting. If we don't see him in Athens at least a couple of times in these months, then the writing would be on the wall.
Two more in-state prospects to keep an eye on are 4* Jalewis Solomon and 4* BJ Gibson. Georgia has been in touch with both of these athletes, but let's see if they become priority targets as time progresses. Gibson is an all around athlete and was once a Tennessee baseball commit, before backing off that decision a month ago. Solomon will have an interesting recruitment, as he is brothers with 2025 in-state 5* Zayden Walker.
Three star receivers Terrance Moore from Florida and Amari Jefferson from Tennessee are two others to keep an eye on. It's fairly early in the recruitment timeline for both of these guys. Let's see how they progress and where they choose to visit in the coming months. Georgia has been in contact with 5* Joshisa Trader with BMac trying to get in on his recruitment after the Florida prospect already naming a top five. Let's see if the Dawgs can get him on campus.
In-state 4* Ny Carr has been committed to Georgia since July 5th of last year. It will be very interesting to see if he sticks in this class. I'd watch for him to visit Florida State and see how he does during his senior season.
Also committed is in-state 3* ATH Sacovie White. All this guy has done is make plays all over the field, whether it be during the season or while camping at UGA. He is one of the most underrated prospects in the country in my opinion and will be a nationally sought after recruit. He's said all the right things about Mike Bobo taking over for Todd Monken and I believe is one we'd like to keep.
There are three in-state prospects I didn't include here, as I think they will end up on defense. I like where UGA stands with 5* KJ Bolden and 4* Demello Jones, but believe Bolden ends up at safety, while Jones could end up at multiple DB positions. I also think 4* Kam Mikell would end up on defense in Athens, but I want to see how hard we're recruiting him.