Given how many of you are fingering the receivers as the main cause for Georgia’s stilted offense last season, you might be interested in hearing Terrence Edwards’ take on three members of the 2020 class, Justin Robinson, Ladd McConkey and Jermaine Burton. All of them are currently working with Edwards at his wide receiver academy, so it’s not some long-distance analysis.
“I was impressed. There are a lot of things need to continue to work on no. He’s real green at the position, but he’s a great athlete and I was impressed with his ability to run,” Edwards said. “His straight-line speed is good and he has a burst, a short to immediate burst that’s something he’s going to need.”
Edwards projects McConkey as playing slot for the Bulldogs.
“I think he’s going to be able to change the game slot, because he can control the middle of the field because he does have good straight-line speed,” Edwards said. “But he also has that ability to get in and out of break points in your short to immediate routes. What’s the best thing that he did for someone who hasn’t played the position. He caught the ball very well. He was very comfortable catching the football.”
However, considering he is basically learning a new position, Edwards said McConkey’s impact may not be made this fall.
It might take him a year.
“Honestly, just my honest opinion, I think he’s about probably another year away, I think a redshirt year would be good for him,” Edwards said. “But he has ability and this is a really good late pickup in the recruiting process because he has some tools in the toolshed that can help Georgia win some games.”
A project, in other words, which is not a bad thing in and of itself. Also, a year in the program will give McConkey some time to develop physically.
Edwards has been working with Robinson since he was in middle school. He is very high on him. (It’s a shame that Robinson won’t get as much out of being an early enrolled because of the current situation.)
“Justin has the ability to high-point footballs, he’s got the ability to track footballs. He has a large catch radius being so tall and big,” Edwards said. “He’s going to be able to do like Kirby wants on the outside, and that’s to have dogs out there on the perimeter.”
Physically, Edwards believes the former Eagles Landing standout is ready to make an early impact. He also believes Robinson will be physical enough to perhaps play a couple of different roles for new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
“Now that he’s added a lot of good strength, he’s ready to compete on an every-down basis with SEC corners. He can come into the slot and block linebackers. You won’t have to put a tight end in the game because you can put Justin in there. He can control the edge with his abilities,” Edwards said. “He’s going to bring a lot to the table that no one in that room has right now for being such a young receiver.”
However, there are some adjustments Robinson will have to make.
“If we had to play tomorrow, I’d say he’s got a lot of things mentally he needs to continue to work. He has to adjust to the speed of the game coming from a Class A Private,” Edwards said. “He’s got to understand what college football is all about, that’s why this spring was going to be big for him. But I do think – and this is just from the physical aspect of it – he has the ability to compete.”
Like I said, it’s a shame.
Edwards is also bullish on Burton, with whom he’s also worked before now.
“Jermaine is special. He has a burst, he has loose hips, he has everything that you need to be successful in the SEC,” Edwards said. “Physically, he’s ready. Mentally, he has to get in there and understand – just like every freshman – that there are some things he’s got to learn on his own. So how fast can he transition from high school to college, physically he’s ready to go.”
Knowing Burton as long as he has, Edwards doesn’t think he’s going to take him long. Getting to school in May might not be as much of a detriment to earning playing time as perhaps it would be for others.
“Jermaine has been here this whole semester since coming back from California. He’s done with school, so right now he’s just taking his time,” Edwards said. “He’s training every day with a weight trainer, a speed coach and he comes to me three times a week. So technique-wise and being the best receiver he can be, physically he’s going to be ready.”
One thing this offseason is going to put a premium on is the ability of any of the newbies to adapt to college play as quickly as possible. That is, assuming some of them have the ability to adapt as quickly as possible…