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The Daily Recap: Arik Gilbert will be a 'matchup problem'

Here is the July 8 edition of The Daily Recap presented by JFQ Lending.

Gilbert should aid in Pickens’ absence

Georgia suffered a major blow when go-to receiver George Pickens went down due to an ACL injury this spring. However, the Bulldogs were able to add to an otherwise strong receiving corps to help make up for his absence by adding former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert through the transfer portal.

Dayne Young and Brent Rollins noted that Gilbert ranks 16th on Georgia’s roster in terms of Pro Football Focus ranking, based on how he fared in 2020. As a freshman with the Tigers, Gilbert graded out at a 70.7 overall, which included a 73.0 for receiving and a 61.5 for run blocking.

“Arik Gilbert's arrival in Athens has been the talk of the offseason,” Young wrote. “He brings a unique blend of size and speed for a receiver. His playmaking ability is needed as George Pickens is sidelined. Questions of Gilbert's off-field dedication may have been answered with his recent honor of Academic Player of the Week. Should all of that be in order, and should Gilbert be in a healthy place personally, he has every opportunity to become a superstar for the Bulldogs.”

“I was confident the Bulldogs were going to set school records this fall for points and yardage per game prior to Gilbert's arrival,” Rollins wrote. “I'm even more confident now. No matter how they use him, whether primarily on the outside or a little bit of everywhere, he's going to be a matchup problem. While he—and the remaining receiving group—might not put up eye-popping individual numbers because of the numerous weapons at JT Daniels' disposal, Gilbert's presence is a game-changer and gives offensive coordinator Todd Monken even more options for creativity.”

Will UGA find its second-ever 1,000-yard receiver?

In 127 prior seasons, Georgia has only produced one 1,000-yard receiver. That came in 2002, when Terrence Edwards recorded 1,004 receiving yards, which still stands as the best in program history.

With offensive coordinator Todd Monken expected to further open up Georgia’s offense, perhaps this is the year a second wideout joins Edwards in totaling 1,000 receiving yards.

In this column, the best odds were given to receiver Jermaine Burton.

“Burton figures to benefit the most with Pickens sidelined for the majority of the season,” the column states. “He turned into a good deep threat for Daniels, highlighted by his eight catches and 197 yards against Mississippi State. With the Bulldogs going deep more often with Daniels behind center, Burton should have plenty of chances to put up some big plays.”

UGA well positioned for Nation

Eric Nation, who is the father of cornerback Ethan Nation (Roswell/Roswell, Ga.), explained the jump Georgia made in his son’s recruitment after the family visited the program on June 1, with Ethan making a return trip a day later.

"Georgia went from a school that was outside of his top five to one that's probably now in his top three," Eric Nation said. "That impression and him actually getting to see it, his exact words, ‘Dad, it feels like home.’ He’s like, ‘Those guys were by me,’ with Coach Addae, all those other guys, Coach Dell McGee, Coach (Kirby) Smart. They really make him feel like this is a place that he can be for the next three or four years."

Re-ranking the 2006 recruiting class

Patrick Garbin took a look back at the 2006 recruiting class and re-ranked it based on how the prospects produced during their time at Georgia. When they arrived, the top five players, in order, were quarterback Matthew Stafford, safety Reshad Jones, linebacker Akeem Hebron, running back Knowshon Moreno and tight end NaDerris Ward.

Garbin’s re-ranking, in order, were Stafford, Moreno, Jones, defensive tackle Geno Atkins and linebacker Akeem Dent.

While Atkins moved up 11 spots, the one who made the biggest jump was defensive tackle Chris Davis, who jumped from No. 26 to No. 7.

Gorney talks UGA recruiting

National Recruiting Director of Rivals and Yahoo! Sports Adam Gorney joined the Recruiting Every SECond podcast to update some of the top recruits in the midst of SEC recruiting battles. Gorney gives the latest on what he has heard on priority targets for Georgia. IMG prospects Kamari Wilson and Tyler Booker are covered, along with talented defensive tackle Walter Nolen and surging wide receiver prospect Jayden Gibson. Find out which of these prospects Georgia has momentum with in the videos below on the UGASports YouTube channel.


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