2019 Georgia Football: Past Champions Have Won With Inexperienced Receivers

Brent Wilson


Some fans have expressed a concern in the receivers, due to the fact that Georgia only has three wide receivers with at least one reception. To all the fans already calling the season off, do not worry. 

We'll take a look at recent champions who have won with unproven receivers heading into the season.


2018: Clemson Tigers

Georgia's offense in 2019 could look a lot like Clemson's in 2018, statistically. Clemson had a 1,000+ yard rusher in Travis Etienne. Swift will fill in that role for Georgia, who also has Zamir White, Brian Herrien, James Cook, and Kenny McIntosh. 

Through the air, Clemson looked to a couple of underclassmen to lead the way. With the exception of Hunter Renfrow, who was there for a gazillion years, Clemson was led by Tee Higgins (Sophomore), Amari Rodgers (Sophomore), Justyn Ross (Freshman), and Derion Kendrick (Freshman). 

What makes their championship even more impressive is that they were led by a freshman quarterback. Georgia will be counting on a solidified field general in Jake Fromm, which improves their national championship odds even more.

Clemson went on to blow out Alabama in the National Championship 44-16.


2017: Alabama Crimson Tide

I should be highlighting Georgia winning a National Championship in this slot, but things didn't go our way that night. None the less, Alabama counted on multiple unproven receivers in the 2017 season. 

The Crimson Tide receiving core was led by Calvin Ridley, with 63 receptions. Ridley is now playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Outside of that, Alabama had to look to Jerry Jeudy (Freshman) and Irv Smith Jr. (Sophomore), each for 14 receptions a piece. On top of that, Henry Ruggs III (Freshman) had 12 receptions, and Devonta Smith (Freshman) had 8 receptions. Smith also caught the game winning touchdown in the National Title game.


2015: Alabama Crimson Tide

In the 2015 season, Alabama was led by a freshman receiver in Calvin Ridley. Ridley, ranked as a 5-star wide receiver in the class of 2015, went on for 1,045 receiving yards on 89 receptions. The second leading receiver on the team was Ardarius Stewart, a sophomore, who had 700 yards on 63 receptions. 

Georgia is bringing in a 5-star receiver in George Pickens, and an almost 5-star in Dominick Blaylock. Georgia probably won't need them to put up numbers anywhere close to Ridley or Stewart to win a championship. But, if they can post numbers half as good as those, I can guarantee Georgia will win a championship in 2019.


2014: Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State was loaded with unproven underclassmen all over the field in 2014. Rather than trying to call the season a "rebuild" year, Urban Meyer called upon unproven guys to make big plays. They would go on to win the first ever College Football Playoff Championship in 2014. 

Ohio State's leading receiver in 2014, Michael Thomas (Sophomore), went for a 799 yards and 54 receptions. Thomas is now one of the top receivers in the NFL, playing for the New Orleans Saints. 

Behind Thomas, the Buckeye's second leading receiver was Jalin Marshall (Freshman). Marshall had 499 yards on 38 receptions as a true freshman. 

Thomas and Marshall made up the majority of the Buckeye's receiving corps as underclassmen in Ohio State's championship year.

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2012: Alabama Crimson Tide

Yet again, this probably should've been Georgia in this slot as the national champion in 2012. However, Alabama was led by a freshman receiver once more in 2012. That guy was Amari Cooper, who is now the Dallas Cowboys' stud receiver. 

Cooper was the leading receiver for the Crimson Tide by a mile. He had 59 receptions and 1000 yards, and was responsible for 11 touchdowns. The next closest guy, Kevin Norwood, with 29 receptions, 46 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Cooper would go on to lead the Crimson Tide to a blow out win versus Notre Dame in the National Championship. 


It's not a far fetched idea of using an underclass receiver as the "go-to guy" in a championship season. Georgia will most likely be led by the more experienced guys like Lawrence Cager, Demetris Robertson, and Tyler Simmons. As long as Georgia gets some production out of the guys on this list, they'll have an opportunity for a national championship. 

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