ATHENS, Ga. — On paper, Georgia’s wide receiving corps looks stocked with talent.
In reality, it felt like anything but for much of this spring while two of Georgia’s most explosive playmakers were sidelined again because of injuries.
“I just want more guys, more threats,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said after the Bulldogs’ final spring practice Thursday. “As many toys that can score, that’s who you want on the field.”
The good news for Georgia: Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley are both expected to be able to practice during summer workouts without limitations by the end of June, coach Mark Richt said.
“Just predicting, you don’t know 100 percent,” Richt said.
Adding Mitchell and Scott-Wesley to a receiving corps that already has seniors Chris Conley and Michael Bennett will give the Bulldogs a formidable frontline group at the position.
Mitchell might be Georgia’s best receiver when healthy. Scott-Wesley was starting to break out at the position before he went down with a knee injury last season.
“Obviously, having those guys will be a great addition to our offense,” quarterback Hutson Mason said.
It would certainly give Bobo more peace of mind.
“I think he’ll feel a lot better if in fact in June all of those guys are running around full-speed, changing direction, making plays, catching the ball,” Richt said. “I think his blood pressure will go down considerably, but right now I can tell you he’s not in a good way when it comes to that.”
Georgia lived through relying on backup receivers last season. Mitchell was out for the season after tearing an ACL celebrating a touchdown in the opener at Clemson. Scott-Wesley’s season ended when tore his ACL against Tennessee on Oct. 5. Bennett was also out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury and Conley missed two games with a sprained ankle.
Scott-Wesley didn’t practice this spring and Mitchell was out all spring after sustaining what Georgia simply called a left leg injury on the first day. Mason said their absence kept Georgia from going up tempo as much as it would have liked because of a lack of numbers.
“Those are two of our guys ... that are a little bit more explosive speed guys that can stretch the field,” Bobo said. “I think our offense runs a little bit better when we have some guys on the outside that can run.”
Sophomore Reggie Davis came on this spring, but Bobo is looking for him to get stronger and be able to have more endurance to play fast for longer stretches. Scott-Wesley is expected to serve a one-game suspension for his arrest last October on a charge of possession of marijuana.
Bobo said freshmen will be counted on to play.
“It will be a big summer for those freshmen receivers,” Bobo said. “Our older guys are going to have to get them ready and we’ve got 29 days to get them ready.”
Georgia signed receivers Shakenneth Williams, Rico Johnson and Gilbert Johnson in its recruiting class. Georgia coveted Isaiah McKenzie, from Florida, for his return abilities, but Bobo said the teammate of tailback signee Sony Michel will also be a slot receiver and a hybrid back.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Williams is the highest rated of the three other receiver signees.
“Shakenneth is a little different,” receivers coach Tony Ball said. “Shakenneth is going to bring some physical toughness to that position. … He runs extremely well and he’s physical and he catches the ball well and he plays the game with passion.”
Jonathon Rumph created some buzz this spring, but had a quiet G-Day.
Bobo said Kenny Towns was actually the most productive walk-on this spring.
Walk-on Clay Johnson flashed potential at the spring game with five catches for 75 yards.