AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Justin Scott-Wesley enjoyed his first taste of success in Georgia’s last game. But asked Thursday evening to name a potential breakout performer, Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo selected the sophomore receiver as a player to watch this fall.
“He had a great spring,” Bobo said at the UGA Days event in Augusta, “one of our most improved receivers.”
Scott-Wesley entered the lineup in the Bulldogs’ Capital One Bowl win against Nebraska only after Malcolm Mitchell left the game with a concussion sustained while returning a kick.
To that point in his first season as an active college player, Scott-Wesley had caught passes only in mop-up duty against Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern. But he hauled in three balls against the Cornhuskers -- including two long passes that pushed the ball into Nebraska territory, one of which was a 31-yard gain on Georgia’s go-ahead touchdown drive at the end of the third quarter -- and concluded a career-best performance with 67 yards.
That performance propelled the young receiver into spring practice, Bobo said.
“I think the confidence level he gained from playing in the bowl game when Malcolm Mitchell went down with a concussion, he caught three passes -- two big third-down conversions -- and him making those plays in a game gave him confidence to carry over into spring ball and get better and make that next step,” Bobo said.
Blessed with sprinter’s speed -- in fact, the former Georgia high school record-setter will compete in the 100-meter dash for Georgia’s track team on Saturday evening at the SEC championships -- Scott-Wesley was a project for the Bulldogs’ coaching staff when he arrived on campus in 2011. Bobo credited receivers coach Tony Ball for molding an SEC-ready receiver out of a player who initially had much to learn about the finer points of his position.
“He can absolutely fly, but he was not a football player,” Bobo said. “He was very raw, and coach Tony Ball does an outstanding job with our receivers and coaching the little things and the details and has really refined this guy’s game to where I think he’s going to have a breakout year.”
Scott-Wesley made some noise last spring, as well, but barely dented the receiver rotation until the very end of the season. He concluded his redshirt freshman campaign with six catches for 135 yards and one touchdown, so it’s far too early to say that another strong spring means he has arrived.
However, Bobo points out that it was a sign of progress -- which is exactly what he wanted to see from a developing player in the spring.
“That’s what you’re looking for and really looking for in the whole offense is taking that next step,” Bobo said.