One of the good things to come out of a college football spring game is that fans get to see some of the new players and find out which one will make a difference in the fall.
For the Georgia Bulldogs, wide receiver Jonathan Rumph was the star of the game as he caught four passes for 98 yards and two scores.
Rumph was working with the second-team offense and going up against the second-team defense. But the coaches and Rumph’s teammates feel that he can be an impact receiver once the Bulldogs kick off the 2013 season.
But just like any new receiver coming to a new team and a new system, mistakes will be made. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo told the Red and Black after the game that Rumph missed some opportunities in the G-Day game.
Even head coach Mark Richt told the press after the game that Rumph needs to be more physical and he needs to take advantage of his height. Rumph is 6'5'' and weighs 215 pounds.
This is where Michael Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell come into play. Both have made a lot of plays for the Bulldogs over the last two years, so Rumph can learn a lot from the two rising junior receivers.
From Bennett, Rumph can learn how to be physical during jump-ball situations. Bennett is not the most physical receiver in the SEC, but standing at 6’3’’ and 204 pounds, Bennett uses his height well to make impact plays on offense.
As for Mitchell, whenever there is an opportunity to make a big play, the receiver from Valdosta, Georgia makes it.
The most recent one was in the Florida game, where he scored on a 45-yard reception from Murray to help the Bulldogs defeat the Gators—a victory that helped them earn a spot in the SEC title game.
Both Bennett and Mitchell have had their share of medical issues this spring. Mitchell just recently underwent knee surgery, but should be ready to go for the opening game against Clemson. Bennett tore his ACL last season and did not start fully participating in practice until the next-to-last spring practice session (georgiadogs.com).
Because of the health issues with the two starting receivers, it’s essential that Rumph builds on what he did in the G-Day game and continues to improve. Rumph has been compared to former UGA receiver Marlon Brown because of the way he looks from a physical standpoint.
Before Brown tore his ACL midway through last season, he was leading the team in yards and receptions, which was a good sign considering his three previous seasons did not live up to expectations.
Like Brown, Rumph is expected to come in and be a key contributor on offense. He does not have to play like he did in the G-Day game all season long, but with the help of Bennett, Mitchell, the rest of the receivers and the UGA coaching staff, Rumph can be another weapon for Aaron Murray. That will make the offense much stronger moving forward.
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