Georgia Football Player Profile: Will Matt Landers Bounce Back
Matt Landers was the talk of the offseason last year. In fact, during the 2019 spring game, all the ESPN broadcast wanted to talk about was this physical sophomore that stood 6'5, 200 pounds out of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Even Kirby Smart talked about how impressive Landers had been throughout the spring practices and how much he was looking forward to seeing Landers step up to the table during the spring game.
Yet, there were numerous drops and missed opportunities that day, and that was seemingly the story for the remainder of the season.
Landers wasn't exactly "highly touted" coming out of high school. A three-star by all accounts on both Rivals and 247's rankings. Though the potential for future success has always been on display.
It's never been a question of whether or not he can get open. He's always been able to create space on the outside, even against some of the best cornerbacks the SEC has to offer. In the SEC Championship game, Jake Fromm targeted Landers multiple times, and each time Landers had his hands on the football but was unable to finish the catch and left the game without a recorded reception.
We saw flashes of this trend begin to change against Baylor, where he caught a highly contested slant route in the redzone for a touchdown with Baylor's secondary crashing down on him. It was his lone touchdown of the season.
Kirby Smart and his offensive staff a year ago allotted Landers every opportunity to be in the lineup and make plays, even with the likes of Lawrence Cager and George Pickens on the roster. But this year? With Pickens going to be in his second season in Athens and posed for a breakout season along with the likes of Tommy Bush, Trey Blount, and Makiya Tongue battling for playing time at both the X and the Z position, he may be on the outside looking in.
Oh and there's this guy by the name of Marcus Rosemy that's arrived in Athens that is nothing short of spectacular. He's the type of player that will demand playing time early on is his career, not with is mouth but with his actions. He's immensely talented, and I've actually compared him to George Pickens.
Even Jermaine Burton has told Dawgs Daily that they've told him he will start out in the slot then work his way back to the outside where he probably belongs.
For Matt Landers' sake, I hope he's figured out the issues with finishing catches from a year ago, because Georgia's wide receiving core — on the outside especially — has suddenly become extremely deep.
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