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Georgia Tech Football: Position Previews - Wide Receiver

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who’s gonna catch ‘em all?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 North Carolina at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey everyone - welcome to another installment of our 2021 position previews! Today we’ll be talking about the Wide Receivers. With the departures of Ahmarean Brown and Jalen Camp, there are some big shoes to fill for this group. Luckily we’ve got a deep list of talent just waiting for the opportunity. Let’s get into it.

Roster

Kyric McGowan (Senior)

Malachi Carter (Junior)

Nate McCollum (Freshman)

Avery Boyd (Freshman)

Marquez Ezzard (RS Sophomore)

Adonicas Sanders (RS Junior)

Ryan King (Freshman)

Peje’ Harris (RS Sophomore)

William Marshall (RS Freshman)

Zach Owens (RS Freshman)

Kalani Norris (Sophomore)

Luke Moseley (RS Freshman)

Gavin Stewart (Freshman)

Leo Blackburn (Freshman)

James BlackStrain (Freshman)

Jamal Hynes (Freshman)

Malik Rutherford (Freshman)

Malachi Carter

Carter is the home-grown veteran of the group and with Camp gone he’s the leading returning receiver. His 2020 campaign included 20 catches for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not exactly earth-scorching numbers, but he was dependable (starting all 10 games) and consistent. 2021 should be interesting for him; so far he’s always been the second or third guy behind Brown and Camp, but now he’ll likely be The Guy at the top of a very young receiving corps. Similar in stature and style to Camp, Carter is a red zone and 50/50-ball threat any time he’s on the field. He gets open well and can be dangerous after the catch. I’m really looking for him to be the 40+ catch top receiver in 2021.

Adonicas Sanders

Another experienced Jacket, Sanders is coming off of two consistent seasons. 2020 saw him catch 17 passes for 223 yards and one score. He’s another receiver that hasn’t been particularly featured in the offense but has still managed to carve out a nice, dependable role. 2021 should afford him an opportunity to step up and be a big threat.

Kyric McGowan

The official senior of the group, McGowan is a new transfer coming in from Northwestern. With the Wildcats he actually split his time between RB and WR; in 2020 he amassed 141 rushing yards on 24 attempts and 366 receiving yards on 34 catches. Though he only found the endzone once, McGowan proved himself to be a versatile threat. Good friends with Jahmyr Gibbs from their Dalton days, McGowan should fit right in on the team and be a much-needed injection of talent. His experience should be of great benefit to this young group of receivers.

Other Returning Players

Of the remaining returning players only Marquez Ezzard, Peje’ Harris, and Nate McCollum logged a catch in 2020; those three combined for 22 catches for 277 yards and one score. Between the trio, Ezzard is probably the one to look out for. The transfer has had high expectations since he came over from Miami and now he’s got a year in the system under his belt. Guys like Avery Boyd and Ryan King didn’t see much action in 2020 but certainly still have a lot of potential.

Newcomers

There are a ton of new faces in this group. Of them, James BlackStrain tops my list of the most highly anticipated. A 4* recruit, BlackStrain chose Tech from an impressive list of offers. For more on him, check out our commitment announcement. Jamal Hynes and Malik Rutherford are also names to look out for.

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If I’m picking the 7 guys that I think are Above The Line then it’s gonna be:

  • Malachi Carter
  • Adonicas Sanders
  • Kyric McGowan
  • Marquez Ezzard
  • Peje’ Harris
  • Nate McCollum
  • James BlackStrain

In truth though, I think everyone in the group has a chance of seeing playing time. Carter, Sanders, McGowan, and Ezzard are locks in my mind for the top 4 spots, but past them we could see just about anyone rotate in. Jeff Sims will hopefully be a bit more confident and comfortable in his second year so I think there will be ample opportunities to showcase receiving talent.

What do y’all think? Let me know in the comments who you think will be the big threat through the air.