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Georgia Tech Football: Position Previews - Slot Receiver

Let’s take a look at an often overlooked, yet very important position.

Georgia Tech v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Yesterday, Robert previewed the team’s wide receivers. Today, I’ll be narrowing the view specifically on slot receivers.

As the name suggests, slot receivers line up in the slot. Traditionally, they are smaller receivers who are more adept at route running. They also tend to be among the faster receivers. Last year, the position was manned primarily by Kyric McGowan. He was Tech’s best receiver last year, hauling in 37 passes for 467 yards and seven touchdowns. He was edged by Malachi Carter in receiving yards, but otherwise led the Yellow Jackets in all receiving categories.

There are no new slot receivers on the roster, so I will just cover the three returning slot receivers.

Nate McCollum

McCollum played sparingly last season, catching just 13 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown. I remember watching his high school film and thinking how good of a slot receiver he would be. He committed to Tech after Ahmarean Brown’s freshman season. Brown never quite had the route running skills to be an effective slot receiver (he is more of a deep threat), but McCollum does have those skills.

Malik Rutherford

Rutherford was a pleasant surprise last season. He filled in for Kyric McGowan against Pitt and impressed mightily. He caught five passes for 62 yards. I happened to be at that game and walked away impressed. Unfortunately, he did not get much more playing time last season, so we really only have the one game to consider.

Jamal Haynes

Haynes didn’t play last season, but that should change this season. I am not as high on Haynes as I am Rutherford, but Haynes is also a pretty talented slot receiver. What intrigues me is Haynes’ ability in space. He is very shifty and controls his body very well. In the slot, that will help him a lot.

Who’s Above the Line?

I’m going to keep this pretty simple. I think all of them are Above the Line. Primarily, I expect to see Nate McCollum be the slot receiver. I only list one because I think Chip Long will utilize the tight end more than the slot receiver, as opposed to his predecessor. With that being the case, I think you could see a guy like Jamal Haynes being below the line, but I don’t see that happening.

How are you feeling about the slot?