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100 Days to Kickoff: Position Previews - Wide Receiver and Tight End

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There’s a lot of guys here to go over!

NCAA Football: Miami at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Ed. Note: You might be wondering why there wasn’t a preview article yesterday, and you know, that’s a great story for another time. In the mean time, we’ll tackle the wide receivers AND tight ends today!

During the Paul Johnson era, Georgia Tech typically used two wide receivers, sometimes a third. With Dave Patenaude calling the shots, we’ll see a lot more of just that: shots (i.e. passes). Yes, I’m aware that was a horrible joke. No, I don’t care.

This offense will feature three different kinds of receivers: outside receivers, slot receivers, and tight ends, and Georgia Tech has a surprising amount of depth that we’ll be looking at today.

Outside Receivers

Already on the Roster

This is where Georgia Tech has the most depth, as the primary kind of receiver that Paul Johnson employed is the exact kind of receiver that we will see lined up outside in the new offense: big, strong receivers that are more possession-based that aren’t really burners.

Jalen Camp and Malachi Carter will be the main two outside threats, as they were the two holdovers from Johnson that received considerable playing time. Camp didn’t play much until last season, but he was a solid threat opposite Brad Stewart. He caught 11 passes for 186 yards. Carter added five catches for 65 yards and a lone touchdown.

Joining these two will be Stephen Dolphus and Adonicas Sanders. Neither has much in-game experience, but they are the next two on the depth chart. Jair Hawkins-Anderson (who is listed as a WR/DB) and Peje’ Harris also join this group.

Newcomers

The biggest newcomer at receiver is Marquez Ezzard, who is transferring from Miami. At the time of writing this, he has still not received a waiver, but personally, I fully expect it to go through. The more time that passes, though, the more concerned I become about the waiver not going through. Even if he isn’t ultimately eligible, I fell pretty good about Tech’s outside receivers.

The other newcomer I’ll mention here is Zach Owens, a 6-foot-3 true freshman from Marietta.

Slot Receivers

Already on the Roster

This is a little more tricky, since Paul Johnson never truly utilized slot receivers. Looking at the roster, the only one that really fits in this category is Josh Blancato, a walk-on receiver. Blancato will see time mostly due to lack of competition here. He also saw some time during the spring game, bringing in an 18-yard pass.

Newcomers

The big name here is Ahmarean Brown, an early enrollee. Brown brings some incredible speed to the slot receiver position and is likely the fastest receiver on the roster right now.

Nazir Burnett and Kalani Norris will also be joining Brown at slot receiver. Burnett is a guy who could play in the slot or outside.

Tight Ends

Already on the Roster

Just like slot receivers, Georgia Tech never used a tight end during the Johnson era. Because of that, Tech does technically have tight ends that were on the roster last year. They just weren’t at tight end. Tyler Cooksey will be the main guy in this category. Moving over from linebacker, Cooksey will likely be the second tight end behind UConn transfer Tyler Davis. Joining him are former linebacker Josh Tukes and former B-back Joseph Macrina.

Newcomers

In his first season, Geoff Collins brought in two new tight ends: the aforementioned Davis and true freshman Dylan Deveney, who stands at a monstrous 6-6, 255 pounds. Like Blancato in the slot, I expect Deveney to get some decent playing time, though I think it will mainly be as a blocking tight end.

Projected Depth

Outside Receiver

1. Jalen Camp

2. Malachi Carter

3. Adonicas Sanders

4. Stephen Dolphus

LINE

5. Marquez Ezzard (above the line if he’s eligible)

6. Jair Hawkins-Anderson

7. Peje’ Harris

8. Zach Owens/Nazir Burnett

Slot Receiver

1. Ahmarean Brown

2. Josh Blancato

LINE

3. Kalani Norris

4. Nazir Burnett

Tight End

1. Tyler Davis

2. Tyler Cooksey

3. Dylan Deveney

LINE

4. Josh Tukes

5. Joseph Macrina


This will be an interesting position group to watch this year. I think there is some decent talent here and a surprising amount of depth. My main concern is to see how they adapt to a more complex route tree and if the offense line will block well enough for the quarterback to get them the ball.