ALBANY - Shaquery Wilson was the lone member of Georgia's 30-man class whose position status - offense or defense - had yet to be announced. It's official now: Wilson will be a receiver.
It's not a major surprise. Wilson's size (listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds) makes him a better fit for receiver than defensive back. And Georgia needs more bodies at receiver than in the secondary.
Plus, Wilson's desire is to be at receiver, head coach Mark Richt indicated.
"He started out as a receiver in (Georgia's recruiting) camp then (Jeremy) Pruitt wanted to see him do DB work as well, because he liked what he saw. We all liked what we saw," Richt said. "But he’s slated to start out at wide receiver for us.”
Last year after spring practice there were several position switches from receiver to defensive back, and vice versa. Richt said he didn't foresee any movement between now and preseason practice beginning.
“I think everybody’s going to pretty much stay put," Richt said. "Part of it was just Jeremy coming in and looking at what we had at DB and also us trying to see, instead of trying to recruit to (defensive back) maybe there was someone we also had.”
Speaking of position switches, Quayvon Hicks is staying right where he has been. Sort of.
Hicks came to Georgia as a fullback and has basically remained there. But he worked at tight end last spring in preparation for an H-back role. This spring he was with the running backs - but was getting work at tailback.
Richt said that was in order to get Hicks ready to play there if he's needed.
“Sometimes you do get injury issues, and Verron Haynes and some guys who play fullback all of a sudden have to play tailback," Richt said. "And as you know there have been some times where we got low on backs and you’re either playing Brandon Harton or Kyle Karmepelis, or you’re playing a fullback who could go back there and do it.”
Georgia will have six scholarship tailbacks this season, including incoming freshman Tae Crowder. But Hicks is the lone fullback on scholarship, so he figures to get most of his work there.
As for H-back, it's still an element of new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's system. But in addition to Hicks, tight ends Jeb Blazevich and Jay Rome could be used in the role.
One package that Schottenheimer apparently hasn't put in yet, but may eventually, is the Wildcat.
Last year star tailback Nick Chubb was the up-back on the Wildcat late in the season. Richt, asked if Chubb would do that again, indicated tailback Sony Michel could be the guy, if he's healthy. Michel was in the role prior to his shoulder injury last year.
“We haven’t talked about it much, but if we do Wildcat it, I think Sony was the guy that we thought had better passing skills,” Richt said, with a laugh. “Then when those guys were gone we still used it some with (Chubb). But I don’t know how prolific a passer he is.”
Richt continues to talk up Rodrigo Blankenship as someone who could be a factor in the kicking game. Blankenship is set to join the team this summer as a walk-on, with the possibility of a scholarship the following season.
Richt said Blankenship has "a very powerful leg," and could give Marshall Morgan a "run for his money" as the kickoff specialist.
"But he’s got the ability to punt a little bit too, and Collin Barber has got his work cut out for him to become a consistent performer again and do what’s gotta get done, as far as punting is concerned," Richt said.
Elsewhere on special teams, Georgia also needs a new holder on extra points and field goals. Faton Bauta was the only candidate Richt mentioned, but he said they weren’t sure who it would end up being.
Richt said he felt good about the talent base for all special teams, however.
“The good news is signing a class of 30 players and the majority of them being on defense is a lot of these defensive players are good special-teamers," Richt said. "So we’ll have runners and hitters who will add to what we already have, and we’ll be even better in that area.”