Ricky Jeune came to Georgia Tech a few years ago in the same class as Antonio Messick. At the time, those two guys were seen as our next top receivers. There was plenty of debate over which would be the better of the two, and for a while, it looked like that was going to be Messick (especially since he's accumulated more stats than Jeune).
Neither one has done much since they got to Tech, but then again, there's a pretty good reason for that. After both redshirting their freshman year, they both played very sparingly this season. Messick made the more noticeable impact though, making his first career reception -- a 16-yard touchdown grab against NC State. Messick finished the season playing in just five games, though, being used as a reserve receiver.
Unfortunately Jeune did not get the opportunity to receive the ball. When the reserves are in, it's not very often that the ball gets passed. Even playing in 12 games this season, Jeune was never able to get a reception. He was also in on some special teams plays.
Both Messick and Jeune are very inexperienced and at the same time, very similar. They are the same height, similar builds and skill sets. According to RamblinWreck.com, Jeune's got Messick by about 20 pounds, but we all know how accurate those numbers are.
Right now, these two guys are competing for a starting spot opposite redshirt junior receiver Micheal Summers. Summers is quite a bit smaller than Jeune and Messick, but his skill set is also pretty different. While Summers can be the physical type if he needs to be, he more often relies on his speed, so I really appreciate that we have two guys that can complement that very well with Jeune and Messick.
So what makes me think that Ricky Jeune is going to break out over Antonio Messick?
Other than me, just having a personal preference to Jeune (which I really can't explain; it's just a feeling), I picked Jeune based off of reports that came from the Spring. In Ken Sugiura's breakdown of spring practices, he made note of several players who helped themselves. One of those players was Jeune. As I wrote in my Opinions Week piece about Jeune, I really liked what receivers coach Buzz Preston had to say about him:
He’s doing some good things, making some plays, catching the ball, picking up on some things. There’s still a lot Ricky has to learn, a lot to do — details, the little things.
Jeune may still have a ways to go, but he looked good in the spring game, and I'm fairly certain he's spent plenty of time with Justin Thomas this summer. With the season getting closer to starting, the time they spend together developing chemistry is only going to increase.