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Georgia wide receiver Tyler Simmons (87) pushes off Alabama defensive back Dieonte Thompson (14) at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, during the 2018 SEC Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. The Georgia Bulldogs played against the Alabama Tide for the 2018 SEC Championship Game. (Photo/Tony Walsh)

In last Saturday’s game against Murray State, George Pickens showed his ability to block as a receiver. The freshman dished out a crushing block that paved the way for a 10-yard D’Andre Swift touchdown in the second quarter.

The block did not go unnoticed by his teammates.

Senior Tyler Simmons said the wide receiver room was amped up when watching through the film from Georgia’s win over the Racers.

“I am pretty hyped about the blocking,” Simmons said. “I love when receivers make good blocks downfield, it just helps bring our other players forward. We were all pretty excited.”

The importance of blocking for wide receivers is often a skill that is overlooked, but necessary. It’s especially critical on a Georgia team that relies heavily on its run game.

The younger players have known this since joining the program.

“If you want to play, this is not just an air raid offense, we run the ball too,” Simmons said. “That requires us to block and for those short runs to become long runs downfield, we’ve got to block those safeties, block those corners and just get our heads on them.”

Simmons said when he came to Athens he was already a good, strong blocker. He still had to become a better blocker, but also had to learn how to play special teams. During his freshman year, players like Jevon Williams and Reggie Bush showed Simmons the Georgia way.

Simmons now looks to do the same for Pickens.

“With me being the senior in the room that’s my job to step up and talk to [Pickens] a little bit,” Simmons said.

Pickens brings a new sense of energy to the group of receivers, but Simmons said he and his teammates sometimes have to remind the freshman to take it down a few notches.

“It is hard for him, I’ll let you know that,” Simmons said. “But we’re trying to keep him a little humble. That’s the advice I would give him. Be humble, just stay about your business. You’re doing a very good job for our team.”

Pickens’ blocking will be a key part of James Coley’s offense for the remainder of the season.

“The emphasis for this year is finding ways to accommodate all our players,” Simmons said. “Looking at each guy’s skillset and figuring out how you can get them the ball based on their skillset. I really like what Coley is doing.”

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