Georgia Tech brought in two slot receivers in their 2021 recruiting class including Florida native Malik Rutherford.
One of two wide receivers Georgia Tech brought in during the 2021 early signing period was three-star wide receiver Malik Rutheford out of Miami, Florida. The 5-foot-9 and 165-pound slot receiver comes to Tech after finishing up an extremely successful and productive high school career and will now look to become a star at the next level for Georgia Tech.
Rutheford was a composite three-star recruit and was a three-star recruit by the three major recruiting services in 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals. In 247Sports composite rankings, Rutheford was considered a top-650 player nationally, a top-100 wide receiver, and a top-100 player in the state of Florida.
He committed and signed with the Yellow Jackets over 19 other scholarship offers which included offers from Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, Ole Miss, and Syracuse.
Highlights and What He Brings to The Flats:
First of all, the above is Rutherford’s junior film. He does have some senior highlights available but has not put together an entire senior tape just yet nor will he probably do so at this point. That being said, Rutherford brings first and foremost a legitimate take the top off the defense speed threat to the Jackets offense. The Jackets over the last few classes have brought in quality talent at the position and that continues in the 2021 class with Rutherford and Jamal Haynes.
Size-wise, Rutherford could probably use a redshirt senior to bulk up and add on some more mass. At just 165-pounds, you’d like to see him add at least 10-15 more pounds before seeing consistent playing time. Some may point out that Ahmarean Brown was a similar size during his true freshman season, that being said, the depth at the slot position at that time was not nearly as deep as it is entering 2021.
He shows a good ability to adjust to balls in the air has good body control allowing him to make some seriously tough catches. While I’m not a route running expert per se I would say his route running is quality but improvement is needed for him to be successful at the college level. Additionally, Rutherford is elusive and agile which along with his speed creates a dangerous combination for defenses and an exciting combination for the Yellow Jackets and fans.
His Future on The Flats:
On The Flats, Rutherford could probably use a redshirt season in 2021 but could become a regular starting in 2022. With Jamal Haynes a little more built than Rutherford at this time, it wouldn’t be surprising if Rutherford is the more used of the two freshmen this season. With the departure of Ahmarean Brown at the slot position, Rutherford doesn’t have as many players in front of him to battle out for playing time. He definitely has starter potential down the road towards his junior or senior season. But overall, Rutherford should provide the Yellow Jackets with a quality deep threat in the future and at the least should be a consistent rotational piece in the Jackets offense.