Next up in our Georgia Tech 2019 position previews is the wide receiver group that has low expectations from those outside the program but has a ton of potential entering the 2019 season.
Georgia Tech’s wide receiver group for the first time in over a decade will be a major focus of the Yellow Jackets offense. That being said, the Jackets wide receiver group entering 2019 is highly inexperienced and is unproven which is going to create a ton of question marks entering the season and within the first few weeks of the season as well.
Heading into the 2019 season, the Jackets have 10 scholarship wide receivers which when compared to other programs is rather low but if they stay healthy, they should be able to redshirt at least two of their four freshmen receivers. In this preview, we’re only going to preview the scholarship receivers the Jackets have in 2019.
Let’s get started.
Jalen Camp (SR):
Camp has patiently waited his turn to be the No.1 wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets and luckily for him, it comes at a time where he will be the no.1 receiver in a pass-happy offense unlike the triple-option offense that he’s spent the last three season in. He’s the Jackets best and most complete receiver entering the season, at least on paper. Camp figures to be the Jackets top target this year thanks to his experience, speed, and size at 6-foot-2 and 220-pounds. He’s not the biggest wide receiver but he is big enough to get the job done.
Malachi Carter (SO):
It’s hard for freshmen to come into Paul Johnson’s offenses and make an instant impact but that is exactly what Carter did last season. While he didn’t light the world on fire, Carter showed last year he could be a quality all-around wide receiver. He didn’t get to show too much in terms of catching the ball but there’s a lot to like about Carter including quality speed and good hands. In the spring, we said that he’d be one of our players to watch and a candidate to be a breakout player this fall and we still fully believe that. It will be fun to watch the Lawrenceville (GA) natives development this upcoming season.
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Ahmarean Brown (FR):
It’s not often that a player comes around and as a true freshman, you could already tell they’re going to be a sparkplug on offense and a player that a team should try to get the ball into their hands at all costs. But that is exactly what Ahmarean Brown is, he’s a future star for the Yellow Jackets and he could be in for a huge freshman season on The Flats. He is on the smaller side at 5-foot-10 and just 155-pounds but he has the speed and elusiveness to run past every defender.
Jair Hawkins-Anderson (RS JR):
Hawkins-Anderson only played in three games last season and has yet to record any stats in his career but that should change in 2019. He’s not an outstanding athlete and he’s not a player that is going to light up a secondary but he’s a guy who looks to have enough quality traits that should allow him to have at least a small presence in the offense. It’s truly hard to judge Hawkins-Anderson’s potential with such little time seen of him on the field so far in his career.
Stephen Dolphus (RS JR):
At 6-foot-5, Dolphus is the Jackets biggest wide receiver and therefore will look to be a redzone threat and possession receiver for the Yellow Jackets. He doesn’t have tremendous speed but does have enough to get by especially as someone with his size. For him, a lot of his success will come down to being able to run routes well and make the easiest catches. He won’t have a ton of deep balls his way but he’ll need to be able to make catches in traffic quite a bit in 2019. Like Hawkins-Anderson, he’s truly an unknown at this point but he’s an intriguing prospect to say the least.
Peje Harris (RS FR):
One of the bigger-bodied wide receivers the Jackets have in 2019, Harris redshirted last season but could become a nice outside receiver and redzone target for the Jackets this upcoming season. He’s not a flashy wide receiver by any means but he has the potential to be a reliable target for the Jackets as he showed solid hands during his high school days. He won’t light up the stat sheet but he’ll get the job done.
Adonicas Sanders (RS FR):
Sanders like Ahmarean Brown is a speed threat and has the chance to be a tremendous slot receiver for the Yellow Jackets. Last season, he was out with a collarbone injury he suffered during fall camp after looking like a freshman who could potentially see time last season. Now, Sanders has a full year on campus under his belt which helped him bulk up but also develop his game. He could be a nice weapon for the Jackets at times throughout the season.
The Wild Card:
Marquez Ezzard (RS FR)
The Miami transfer is the true wild card in 2019 and it will all depend on his eligibility. At this juncture, there’s been no word about Ezzard’s eligibility for 2019. If the NCAA grants his transfer waiver, Ezzard will be immediately eligible. If they do, he will have to sit out the entire year and also lose a year of eligibility per ACC in-conference transfering rules. If Ezzard is eligible for the Jackets this season, he’ll add a huge boost to the Jackets receiving core and would potentially become their best receiver in 2019. Either way, once eligible Ezzard will play into the Jackets game plans in big ways for the foreseeable future.
The three remaining scholarship wide receivers on the roster that we haven’t covered are three true freshmen who if all goes well injury-wise for Georgia Tech, will probably redshirt in 2019. Those three true freshmen are Nazir Burnett, Kalani Norris, and Zach Owens. Burnett is an intriquing and underrated recruit out of Pennsylvania who has the chance to be a versatile weapon for the Jackets in the future. Norris is on the smaller side especially at just 170-pounds and will some pretty good speed, he is probably destined for an inside receiver role in the future.
One of Burnett or Norris may not redshirt in 2019 but it wouldn’t be shocking if both were able to redshirt. Finally, the tallest of the freshmen is 6-foot-3, 210-pound Marrietta (GA) native Zach Owens. The Jackets have more depth on the outside than the inside right now so Owens will definitely be a redshirt candidate in 2019. He has a great skillset and skill base which should make him a strong receiving option in the future but he could also use a developmental year that he would get from a redshirt season.
Overall, the Jackets wide receiving group has a lot of potentials but there’s a lack of evidence that they will be able to perform up to the level that will be expected and needed. The lack of experience will definitely be evident at times and will hurt them at times. It will be a work in progress to say the least and the finished product may not be seen in 2019 but the potential is there for this group to outplay their expectations in 2019.