Following the dismissal of third-year wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman in June, the Georgia Bulldogs are heading into the 2019 season without their top five pass-catchers in terms of receptions from last season.
In fact, the Bulldogs are returning just one wide receiver who recorded a single touchdown last season, with senior Tyler Simmons grabbing two in 2018.
Simmons said he and quarterback Jake Fromm have been building chemistry all summer, and that he is ready to take the next step and be a key part of the offense.
“It means a lot to know that my quarterback has a lot of trust in me and trusts me to be his No. 1 guy,” Simmons said. “I kind of feel like a No. 1 guy.”
Simmons is a very reasonable candidate to take the reigns as the leader of a receiving corps with a lot of fresh faces. The senior from Powder Springs, Georgia, is the only receiver with more than one year of experience as a starter, with transfer Demetris Robertson entering just his second season with the Bulldogs. But with highly touted freshman like George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock and the arrival of Lawrence Cager from Miami, there’s plenty of competition at the wide receiver position.
“Of course there’s going to be a lot of competition when there are so many guys in that wide receiver’s room and everyone wants to play,” Simmons said. “We teach each other different things and everybody has different skills. We pass everything we learn to each other to make everybody better.”
The loss of Holloman certainly hurt the Bulldogs at wide receiver, but with such an abundance of talent coming in this year at wideout, Holloman’s departure just serves as motivation.
“We’re taking it as motivation,” Simmons said. “We have a lot of talent, young guys and older guys. I’m really liking George [Pickens], [Lawrence] Cager, Dom [Blaylock] and Mikaya [Tongue]. Everybody is stepping up and learning their playbook and coming together as a unit.”
Simmons also said he immediately noticed the height that these new guys bring to the team, and how they can use their size advantage to open up the offensive playbook a bit more this season.
“I do feel short,” Simmons said. “They’re pretty long compared to me but like I said everybody has their own skillset and we use that to our advantage. We have a lot more long guys so we can probably go for a couple more jump balls in a game.”
It will certainly be exciting to see how first-year offensive coordinator James Coley will use this talented group of receivers in his first season running the offense. Simmons said to expect a lot of changes to the offense this year that will take advantage of the wide range of skills within this receiving corps.
“[Coley’s] trying to balance the offense a bit more,” Simmons said. “We can open up the offense a little more with the receiving corps we have. You’re going to see a completely different offense this year. It’s going to be fun.”