Georgia is a national title contender in 2021, but in order for that to happen, the Bulldogs have to keep their playmakers on the field. So far, that hasn’t gone according to plan.
First, star wide receiver George Pickens, the former five-star talent who may be an eventual first-round pick, tore his ACL in practice just over a week ago. It’s possible he could miss the entire season.
And as most of us know, when it rains, it pours.
On Tuesday, Georgia lost another top receiver for the spring. Fellow pass-catcher Jermaine Burton had to be carted off the field with a hyperextended knee, the severity of which is not yet known. Burton may just miss the spring or he may miss time beyond that. We just don’t know yet.
Early word last night on Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton is hyperextended knee, which could range from minor to worse. Should get more word today.
Analysis on the latest painful news from Georgia spring camp: https://t.co/wg3RQHfF4V
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) March 31, 2021
Either way, this is another big loss for the Bulldogs — at least in the immediate.
Burton is former top-100 prospect who made a sizable impact in Year 1. Though he had limited play at the quarterback position, he finished third on the team in receptions (27) and yards (404) and was second in receiving touchdowns (3).
His best performance came in a close game against Mississippi State. It was JT Daniels’ first start at Georgia, and Burton helped his quarterback by hauling in eight catches for 197 yards and two scores — as a true freshman. Burton also hauled in four catches for 58 yards and one touchdown against the eventual national champions, Alabama.
He brings physicality and toughness to the position and even enjoys doing the dirty work like blocking.
Combine this development with the loss of a talent such as Pickens, and the Bulldogs really need some other guys to step up. Leading receiver Kearis Jackson remains in fine form, but Kirby Smart and company need to figure out depth.
Dominick Blaylock and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint are two who come to mind, but they’re both still coming back from season-ending injuries in 2020.
Hopefully, Burton will be back at some point during the summer or in fall camp. If not, this Georgia offense has lost a lot of its luster before the season even kicks off.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.