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Meet the Freshmen: WR Antonio Messick

Our "Meet the Freshmen" series continues today with a very athletic receiver from Fayetteville.

Is Antonio Messick the next Stephen Hill?
Is Antonio Messick the next Stephen Hill?
Kevin C. Cox

Antonio Messick committed to Georgia Tech in mid-July of 2012, and was the last player to commit (and actually sign with the Jackets) until January of 2013. At first glance, one can see that he's rated at 2-stars by Rivals and 247 Sports, only had offers from Georgia Tech and Charlotte, and generally lacks verbiage out there that suggests he might be a standout player in school. However, I'm willing to make the case that Messick could be the dark horse of this class.

Messick stands at 6'2", and weighs in around 180 pounds (I've seen him listed anywhere between 170 and 205...I'm just ballparking it). He has a very long, slim frame that Buzz Preston compared to that of Stephen Hill. The comparisons continue for me when you watch his film. Stephen Hill was noted for his unique running style -- he took abnormally long strides, yet could move extremely fast. Messick is a mirror of this, in that he seriously looks like a gazelle out there at times. He shows promise on special teams too, returning kicks for his high school team. In doing so, he showcased his vision and solid burst.

Overall, Messick's downfall appears to be that he's very raw on the whole. Highly athletic as he is, his hands aren't really astonishing, and he doesn't show great ball instincts such as timing jumps. (That's not to say that he couldn't catch a cold, or that he has no idea what he's doing, but more to say that the finer points of his game could use some refining.) Messick is similar to a few of the receivers that we've recruited in the sense that he's highly athletic, and therefore worth the risk of needing to refine the skills that take an athletic kid from 2-stars to 4-stars.

Messick is very fortunate to be entering Tech when he is, considering that our wide receivers are an extremely depleted unit (after Jeff Greene's departure and Anthony Autry's injury) and the playing time is completely TBD. If Messick can prove himself in fall camp, he very well could see some playing time this fall where he'll have a chance to shock everyone else who passed him up in recruiting.

Do you see Messick as a kid who can feasibly develop into a difference-maker for Tech, or is he a real project of a player who was deserving of his ratings?

For Antonio Messick's highlights, visit his page on Hudl. I cannot embed his video onto our site, unfortunately.