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100 Days to Kickoff: Position Previews - Wide Receivers

Experienced Starters and Intriguing Backups Make This One Of Tech’s Strongest Positions

NCAA Football: Virginia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech’s best season in years, the 2014 team, had a fantastic receiving corps led by future NFL receivers DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller. The following season, they started a pair of youngsters on the outside, Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart. This season will be their third season starting together and they have an especially difficult job with a new and unfamiliar quarterback coming in. The Georgia Tech quarterback race is wide open, but it is almost certain that whoever is starting this season will not be as effective as a passer as Justin Thomas was late in his career. This could see a return to the jump ball passing attack of the Tevin Washington era. Both Stewart and Jeune, but especially Ricky Jeune, are well-suited to that style, but will still miss the more precision attack with Thomas. On the other task that Georgia Tech wide receivers are asked to do, both Jeune and Stewart are strong blockers and I don’t have any doubt that they will set strong perimeters this season.

Behind these two, there was a lot of attrition. Christian Philpott, Harland Howell, and Mikell Lands-Davis all left the team this offseason. Lands-Davis was third on the depth chart, but Howell and Philpott looked unlikely to see much playtime this season anyway. The obvious third receiver is Jalen Camp. There is some hype following Camp coming into this season and he should be a solid third receiver or a good stand in should there be an injury. Other players that could see some play time include Stephen Dolphus and Antonio Messick. Jair Hawkins-Anderson fits better than either of those players at the slot than any of the previously mentioned players. He’s only 6’1” and blazing fast.

There are plenty of solid options on the outside this season, but Paul Johnson usually keeps his rotations pretty short so I wouldn’t expect to see most of these players play except in garbage time. Overall though, this should be one of the strongest units on the team with both experience and a lot of young talent.