Georgia Recruiting: WR Position in Danger?
I don’t know what to make of Georgia’ recruitment of the wide receiver position.
I already regret that wording as it implies that the coaching staff has done something wrong in talent evaluation and pursuit—which I don’t think is the case. More aptly: I don’t know which wide receivers will sign with Georgia.
I wrote about the position group at Bleacher Report yesterday morning and the situation has already changed with Shaq Wilson’s flip to West Virginia. In theory, Georgia could still hold on to Terry Godwin (5-star), Darius Slayton (4-star), Jayson Stanley (4-star) and Michael Chigbu (3-star) while adding someone (perhaps 3-star Terrell Chatman). But at this point, that’s the best case scenario.
I wrote about the significance of Van Jefferson’s decommitment a few weeks ago and critics bemoaned my “overreaction.” I get it: Commitments aren’t contracts and they’re subject to change. But they still hold more often than not. As such, losing the No. 11 receiver in the country (per 247Sports) was not a good thing then and it’s still not a good thing now. And my fear at the time (a disconnect between the new coaching staff’s expedited efforts to get to know recruits) could be coming to fruition given Wilson’s defection.
Shaq Wilson, an athlete who could play DB or WR, was going to get a chance at WR at Georgia. So, the fact that West Virginia “wanted” him at wide receiver doesn’t necessarily equate to an excuse for “understanding” why he flipped. I’ve said this before, teenage kids should be able to play football wherever they damn please. If Morgantown made more sense for Wilson, he should be there. I’m not questioning his decision. I’m questioning—or perhaps just wondering—what contributed to his decision. And I’m fearing that there may be something thematic there.
Recruiting is, at least in part, about momentum. I’m not sure Georgia has much momentum as national signing day approaches. Godwin is getting the full court press from little-man Nick Saban, and that’s never a good thing. Auburn is after Darius Slayton in a big way, and he probably hasn’t had time to realize that the Bulldogs have outscored the Tigers 155-57 over the past four years and won nine of the last 13 battles in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Those things make me nervous.
I’m not completely convinced Georgia is in trouble at the receiver position, but if Godwin and Slayton go elsewhere things could get really thin for wide receiver group that returns the following:
- Just 57 total receptions in 2014 (26% of all Georgia completions)
- One player with more than six catches in 2014 (Malcolm Mitchell with 31)
- No players with more than 250 receiving yards in 2014
Godwin, Slayton and others will be counted on to help out immediately. But Van Jefferson would have been equally depended on. And given that immediate need, it seems like Wilson would have had a legitimate chance to compete early on as well.
That’s all I got/