There have been a lot of position changes for the Bulldogs this offseason. James DeLoach has moved from outside linebacker to defensive end, Quayvon Hicks will play some tight end this season along with fullback, and J.J. Green will be a defensive back for the Bulldogs after playing running back in 2013.
But the most interesting position change is Brendan Langley, as he will play wide receiver this season after playing cornerback last year.
The move helps strengthen an already deep receiving corps, but it also makes the secondary thinner, especially with Shaq Wiggins, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews no longer with the team.
DB Brendan Langley to WR. Richt confirmed to @Dawgs247 MT @KingLang4: Gonna be fun going back to my roots on offense!— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) May 12, 2014
This move was made for the present as well as the future. The Bulldogs will lose Chris Conley, Michael Bennett and Jonathon Rumph after the 2014 season, so they will need some experienced receivers ready to go in 2015, especially with the Bulldogs replacing Hutson Mason next season as well.
Not only that, but Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley are also coming off of season-ending injuries, so adding Langley will give the Bulldogs insurance just in case Mitchell and Scott-Wesley aren’t 100 percent this year.
Langley won’t be expected to be a Day 1 starter because he has to learn the playbook as well as getting the routes down before he can be a major contributor. But once he learns that, he will be a very dangerous player for the Bulldogs. Head coach Mark Richt told Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Langley is fast and can change direction well. Richt also said that as a staff, they thought he would be better suited at receiver than at quarterback.
Adding Langley to the offense will add another deep threat. As for Mason, he told Gentry Estes of 247Sports that he’s excited for Langley to be part of the group, and he can’t wait to see what Langley can do when they hit the field.
As it was mentioned, Langley will be behind when it comes to learning the playbook. But because he played a lot of receiver in high school, he will have no issues making the transition from defense to offense.
In fact, during his senior year at Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, he caught 34 passes for 770 yards and 14 touchdowns. He did that while picking off six passes on defense and tallying 318 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. So Langley brings diversity to the offense, which is good, because teams will focus on stopping Todd Gurley but will have no answer for a player like Langley.
And with a diverse player like Langley, he will have a chance to return kicks. Green and Sheldon Dawson handled the majority of kick returns last year, and both were solid. But the Bulldogs need that breakaway player who can change the field, and Langley could be that guy if the coaches give him the opportunity, especially if he won’t see too much time at receiver this season.
When push comes to shove, Langley has a great chance of being an elite receiver. He was a starter at cornerback for the first four games last year but was replaced by Shaq Wiggins. Langley won’t be the starter at wide receiver by the beginning of the 2014 season, but if he learns the playbook quickly, shows off his speed and makes plays when his number is called, he can be an All-SEC receiver when his career in Athens is all said and done, and the Bulldogs offense will continue to be one of the better offenses in the country.