At the beginning of the 2009 season, Georgia Bulldog fans heard tell of the great, young wide receivers on roster. The guys who would make reliable targets for senior quarterback, Joe Cox.
However, as the season progressed, fans only saw one stand out, freshman Orson Charles, and one beast of a player in an even more matured A.J. Green. The other big 2009 potentials went largely absent and hardly played a role all season.
So, naturally, the question was: “Where art thou, Israel, Marlon, and Rantavious”? After all, A.J. was supposed to have more help, not less, right?
Well, the answer was less about their inability to make good on their potential than it was about Joe Cox’s decision to focus his efforts more on A.J. than anyone else on the field.
Next season won’t change A.J.’s status as the No. 1 guy but the rise of Rantavious Wooten to go along with the steady maturation of Orson Charles will certainly make that Georgia air attack more interesting.
That said, having even more talented hands on deck wouldn’t be a bad idea as we lose another senior leader in Mike Moore and will be looking for a few good men to spell r-e-l-i-e-f for Mr. Green.
Georgia is looking at quite a few guys right now but here are the ones with offers on the table:
Da’Rick Rogers (pictured*), Calhoun High School, Calhoun, GA (verbal)
6’3″, 205 lbs, and affectionately nicknamed Da’ Freak, Rogers is an all-world kind of talent. He’s built like a defensive back but plays wide receiver with as much proficiency as you’d expect from the best of the best.
He gets good separation on post patterns and is a legitimate threat to score anytime his team is in the redzone. Playing in Calhoun’s spread offense, Rogers racked up more than 1,600 yards this season and played a primary role in his teams offense.
His total dominance over the opposition won him the Georgia Player of the Year Award and started a water-cooler debate regarding who the best player in the state may truly be—Alec Ogletree is the other candidate for said moniker (he’s also a Georgia commit).
Rogers is said to be the real deal, drawing comparison’s to not only Calvin Johnson, of Georgia Tech fame, but of current Georgia player, A.J. Green.
I’d say that’s pretty good company.
Michael Bennett, Alpharetta High School, Alpharetta, GA (verbal)
Bennett is tall and lanky. He’s built in that Kris Durham sort of mold where he’s got great hands but not necessarily great speed.
However, don’t let his 6’3″, 187 lb, frame fool you into believing he’s neither elusive nor fast because he is capable of being both at the same time.
He’s smart and does everything with great precision and concentration. He’s the guy you are looking for when you need those key third down yards.
His greatest strength is his route-running and his ability to make the tough plays look routine. His body control and awareness of where he is on the field is exceptional and he will definitely surprise any one who chooses to overlook his talents at the next level.
Christian Green, Tampa Catholic High School, Tampa, FL (prospect)
At present, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will land this talented playmaker out of Tampa. Georgia is in the running along with both Florida and Florida State for his services in 2010 and he won’t say if he has a favorite.
Green played quarterback in high school and did a fine job acting in that role as a dual-threat. That said, he should have no trouble making the transition to wide receiver.
He has tremendous body control and his foot speed is better than average. He’s also got a good grasp on how to read coverages and make smart decisions with the ball in his hands thanks to his experience playing quarterback.
Many feel that Green will end up at FSU due to his family connections but the fact that Georgia is in his final three is a good sign.
Adrian Coxson, Baltimore City College, Baltimore, MD (prospect)
Coxson is currently committed to Penn State but still visited Georgia recently and has stated that on signing day, the Dawgs will factor into his decision—he will choose only one hat and the ‘G’ will be amongst those three.
Coxson has good size, standing at 6’2″, and decent speed. He shines the brightest when locked up against opposing corners, he’s a hard guy to cover because he’s so smart with his feet and always seems to get the best position on the opposition.
He’s a strong player with strong hands and excellent body control. He’s not shy about contact and he uses his body to his advantage on every play. A definite weapon on the field who’s got the goods to back it up.
Ivan McCartney, Miramar High School, Miramar, FL
McCartney is often likened to NFL Pro Bowler, Chad OchoCinco in both his approach and his overall game. He’s not devastatingly fast but he uses his body well and knows how to get open to make the big play.
At 6’2″, he’s got good height and his physical approach at the line makes him tough to jam. He’s explosive with the ball in his hands and once he gets a whiff of daylight, he’s a hard guy to catch from behind.
He’s smart and plays as such by not allowing himself to be caught running imprecise routes and his footwork off the snap is above average.
He’s a bit smallish at 6’2″, weighing in somewhere around 180, so he will need to hit the weights hard wherever he lands so as to be prepared for the physicality of the college game but, overall, McCartney is a solid option as a slot receiver.
It’s not certain where he will take his final two visits but Georgia is among the schools he is listing as a possibility.
The Dawgs are looking to continue their trend of getting big and physical at wide receiver. The SEC is a tough place to play and with the wealth of talent offered at the defensive back position, it’s important to bring in guys who are able to match up with their counterparts and make the air attack more viable.
*Photo courtesy of scout.com