The No. 15 Bulldogs’ wideouts, in his mind, were an underwhelming group, and there seemed no need to have more of them on the field than absolutely necessary. Then the receivers started making plays in camp, then they made a few more and a few more.
“Now I’d be much more apt to (use three or four at a time) based on how they’ve performed,” Richt said.
That’s an example of the sixth-year coach’s constant evaluation as he tries to determine and rank his top five offensive playmakers each year. The process starts each summer, Richt said. The players don’t have to be starters, and they don’t have to get the ball a certain number of times. The only requirements for membership in the club are ability and reliability.
Richt’s assessment of his players determines which formations he thinks the team should use predominantly and what plays he puts in the game plan each week.
“This year I would say there’s not an overwhelming group,” he said. “I just think we’re going to be real multiple. When we had (Randy) McMichael and Ben Watson at the same time we were more apt to go two tight ends.”
There’s a consensus among Georgia’s coaches that junior tailback Thomas Brown leads this year’s group of playmakers.
“I think he’s been outstanding,” offensive coordinator and line coach Neil Callaway said. “He’s a Trojan. He’s a hard-worker. He’s a tough guy. He’s a team guy. I think he’s exactly what you’re looking for.”
Sophomore wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi is No. 2.
“Those two have done it on Saturday afternoon,” quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said. “I think we have a lot of other guys with playmaking ability, but we’ve got to kind of find that out as we get going.”
Callaway thinks converted cornerback Mikey Henderson, who has consistently beaten Georgia defenders deep in practice, and senior tight end Martrez Milner should be in the group.
“We all know the history with Trez,” said Callaway, referring to Milner’s inconsistency catching the ball, “but as far as this fall he’s been good.”
Bobo is still waiting, he said, for players to get in line behind Brown and Massaquoi.
“I think we’ve got five, but I don’t want to sit here and say it’s these five guys,” he said. “It’s the same thing as quarterback, it’s easy to go out here and make plays during the week, but when the lights are on and there are people in the stands, who’s going to step up and make some plays?”