Editor's note: Staff writer Connor Smolensky is going to give a daily breakdown of each position group leading up to Georgia G-Day spring game on April 6.
Returning starters: Malcolm Mitchell (junior), Michael Bennett (redshirt junior), Chris Conley (junior),
Key losses: Tavarres King, Marlon Brown
Returning players: Rantavious Wooten (senior), Rhett McGowan (senior), Justin Scott-Wesley (redshirt sophomore)
Key additions: Tramel Terry, Jonathon Rumph, Uriah LeMay
The wide receiver position may be the deepest on Georgia’s roster this season. The Bulldogs return six lettermen from a season ago that combined for 117 catches, 1,731 yards and 18 touchdowns. Yet, while Georgia may display a ton of play-making ability from its wide-outs, it lost two great receivers in King and Brown from last season. King led the Bulldogs in catches (42), receiving yards (950), receiving touchdowns (nine) and receiving yards per game (67.9) in 2012. Brown, who only played in eight games due to an ACL tear, had his best season of his career, collecting 27 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns, while averaging 58.6 yards per game.
With the absence of these two studs, Mitchell will be the go-to-guy this season. Mitchell did it all for Georgia last year, playing cornerback, returning kicks and spreading the field on the offensive side of the ball. Despite playing cornerback for four games, Mitchell returns as the Bulldogs’ leading receiver having caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. The junior from Valdosta appeared in 13 games, making nine starts, and was awarded the Charley Trippi Most Versatile Player Award.
While Mitchell has the big-play capability, Bennett is the team's most reliable pass catcher. Bennett played in just five games last season after suffering an ACL tear in practice on Oct. 2, but through those games he proved to be quarterback Aaron Murray’s favorite target. During his short-lived season, Bennett made three starts, and collected 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Bennett drew praise from his coaches as one of the best blocking receivers on the roster, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with a full season’s work.
Conley, who caught the deflected pass in the weaning moments of the Southeastern Conference Championship game against Alabama that ended Georgia’s national championship hopes, will be back in 2013 and probably playing with a chip on his shoulder. Conley appeared in all 14 games last season, making three starts, and racked up 20 catches for 342 yards and six touchdowns. Conley came on more toward the end of last season and ended it on a high note in the Capital One Bowl against No. 16 Nebraska. He had a team-high 136 yards receiving on two catches, both touchdowns, including a Georgia bowl record 87-yard touchdown catch.
Behind those three wide receivers is Wooten, who played in 13 games last season accumulating 187 yards and two touchdowns on 15 catches. Wooten caught a career-high four catches in Georgia’s loss to No. 6 South Carolina, and looks to build on those numbers this season. McGowan spent his first year on the team as part of the scout team, but has since worked his way up and appeared in every game for the Bulldogs last year. He put up 150 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions, as well as returning nine punts for 75 yards.
Scott-Wesley is a player that many believe can break out for the Bulldogs this year. Scott-Wesley is a burner and is also part of the men’s track team where he led them to the NCAA Championships last year in the 4x100 relay, finishing in 40.03 seconds. The dual athlete appeared in nine games last year, and had just six catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. Scott-Wesley had his best game of the season in the Capital One Bowl where he had three catches for 67 yards.
With all the weapons the Bulldogs have at receiver, it is hard to believe that there are more highly-touted recruits coming in. Terry was probably the most highly recruited wide receiver and has enrolled at Georgia early, but Bulldog nation may have to wait a year to see his skills, as he tore his ACL in the East-West Shrine game. South Carolina's Mr. Football 2012 was regarded as a four-star recruit and the No. 20 wide receiver in the nation by Rivals.com after he caught 48 passes for 792 yards and five touchdowns in his senior year.
Like Terry, Rumph has enrolled early at Georgia, but spent two years at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss. Rumph was regarded as the No. 7 JUCO prospect by ESPN.com, and finished his sophomore campaign with 45 catches for 569 yards and three touchdowns.
LeMay isn’t known for his speed as much as his ability to make tough catches in traffic. During his junior season at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., the brother of quarterback Christian LeMay had 43 receptions for 842 yards and 14 touchdowns.