To gear up for 2013 national signing day, DawgNation's Radi Nabulsi is breaking down every commitment in the Bulldogs' 2013 recruiting class.
Vitals: Wide receiver Rico Johnson, Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro | 5-foot-11, 172 pounds
Committed: June 12, 2012
ESPN.com grade: 76. Three-star prospect.
ESPN.com rankings: No. 122 wide receiver, No. 381 in Southeast region, No. 94 in Georgia
Picked Georgia over: Marshall, Appalachian State
State of the position: The Bulldogs lost two of their top receivers in Tavarres King and Marlon Brown to graduation. The returning wideouts are quite talented, though. Malcolm Mitchell led all receivers in catches during the regular season and could again next, as he won’t be splitting time playing defense. Michael Bennett is expected to return after an ACL injury, and Chris Conley came on strong at the end of this past season. Rantavious Wooten will be the only senior, coming off his most productive season so far. Look for track star Justin Scott-Wesley to get more than three receptions next year and for Blake Tibbs to make his debut after a redshirt season.
Pros: “He's a very shifty, decisive open-field runner who creates separation with his burst and sharp breaks. Threatens defenses after the catch with his quickness, elusiveness, vision and top-end speed. Has quick hands and attacks the ball aggressively for a player his size. He's a good leaper who will compete for the ball on deep routes. Appears to have the speed to track the deep ball. He is a player that can be very dangerous on screens, bubble screens, jet sweeps and quick routes where he can use his elusiveness to make plays in the open field.” -- ESPN scouting report
Cons: “Has vertical speed, but may lack the size to consistently win jump balls against bigger defenders. He is not a physically imposing player nor is he going to make a lot of plays in a crowd, but he is a competitive player and he consistently makes plays with the ball in his hands. Johnson is a not a sudden, 0-60 mph guy as an overall athlete. He has a bit of a slow burn that takes time to appreciate.” -- ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Rantavious Wooten. The temptation is to compare Johnson to Scott-Wesley, another state 100 meter track champion, but Johnson’s speed shows up more in his lateral movements and he is not as big as Scott-Wesley. He is much closer to Wooten in size and shiftiness.
Expected impact: 2014. Georgia’s receiving corps has decent depth so a redshirt year seems most likely. Plus, Johnson missed a large portion of last season due to injury, so a year to polish his routes would not hurt either. With his speed and vision, the coaches could give him a look as a kick returner.