Through the first three weeks of the new season, Georgia is still dealing with a receiving core and the offense as a whole that is trying to get back to health. In addition, key playmakers continue to miss time with injuries suffered during the pre-season or some injuries that date back even further.
George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock, and Kearis Jackson are just three cases of players dealing with injuries. While Jackson is an active participant on special teams, Coach Smart makes it known that Jackson is yet to reach 100 percent and is limited on offense.
The lack of experienced pass-catchers led to concern following the less than impressive offensive performance against Clemson in week one. However, since then, those concerns have been suppressed following two dominant wins in back-to-back games. Even without JT Daniels, Georgia threw for over 376 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-7 win over UAB. On Saturday, Daniels returned to the lineup and threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns.
Daniels would complete 23 of his 31 passes while throwing to nine different receivers, with one of those being true freshman Adonai Mitchell, also known as "AD." Mitchell was the leading receiver against the Gamecocks, going for 77 yards on four receptions, and recorded his first career touchdown.
Mitchell's performance shouldn't surprise many as, throughout the offseason, the young receiver created buzz with his play in the spring and fall portions of practices. Mitchell's recruitment saw him go under the radar before the Dawgs would flip him from his commitment to Ole Miss. Mitchell's high upside as a route runner and "really good first step" gives Georgia hope for a future number one option in Mitchell, something that Smart said as much in his post-game press conference.
"He's talented, he's learning how to work. It's very similar to Jermaine Burton. Jermaine Burton was a talented receiver last year that we felt like would get better the more he played. AD's got a lot of parts of his game to work on. The physicality, but he does run routes, he does have elusiveness, and he has really good first step quickness. Our coaches felt like, 'If we're going to go where we need to, he's got to play.' He's earned it, he's made plays, he's a good football player. As he's earned that, he's made our team better. I've got to say, Marcus Rosemy and Justin Robinson and a lot of those other guys, Ladd McConkey and Jaylen Johnson, they have done really critical good work, and they've gotten better. Marcus caught a ball tonight and turned and burst down the field. But AD has improved a lot too. As long as those guys are healthy and getting better, we've got a chance to be a successful team."
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