The Georgia coaches got big news Friday afternoon when Warminster, PA (Archbishop Wood) wide receiver Mark Webb committed to Georgia over Alabama, Penn State, Miami, North Carolina and others. Rated the #19 wide receiver in the nation by 247Sports as well as the #5 player in the state of Pennsylvania, Webb brings a lot to the table. I could tell you what, but I’d rather show you. Let’s take a look at Webb’s junior highlights:
Some high school receivers do one or two things well. Webb’s value is that he has the versatility for collegiate offensive coordinators to use him in a variety of ways. That first play demonstrates Webb’s ability to make things happen in the open field.*
The second demonstrates what I believe to be one of the 6’3, 200 pounder’s greatest strengths, his ability to burn up the turf and threaten defenses deep. Georgia has guys on campus who can create yards after catch in the quick passing game (Isaiah McKenzie and Terry Godwin, for example). But the Bulldogs are still looking for guys who’ll be able to allow Jim Chaney to fully utilize the arm cannon Jacob Eason brought to Athens. Webb may be one part of the answer for that.
Another thing I love about Webb is his footwork. Two plays illustrate this well. The first begins at the 1:28 mark. Webb is matched up in press coverage and uses a quick step and head fake to draw the defender outside before ducking under him. Webb then flares back toward the sideline to catch the ball in stride between the corner and the safety coming over. It’s a little thing, but that ability to influence the defender to open up a route that might otherwise have been jammed is a college level move.
Also note the play beginning at the 2:27 mark. Webb is matched up against a much smaller corner (opposing defensive coordinator either didn’t get his guys where they need to be or have a truly malevolent sense of humor, I guess). Webb does two things well on this play. One, he gets to the corner of the end zone without having to break stride and allow the defender to catch up to him. Two, he gets a good foot tap down to ensure that he catches the ball inbounds (it’s a pretty nice throw by his QB as well).
If I have a criticism of Webb based on this video it’s that he does sometimes let the ball get into his body more than I’d prefer. As Michael Chigbu will tell you, that’s a good way to have Eason’s passes bounce off your body and fall to the turf. Gotta flash those hands out away from the body. That’s a coaching point that Webb should be able to pick up either once he gets to Athens or before, and it’s a trait that just comes with hard work. No amount of JUGS machine time can teach a guy Webb’s height or acceleration.
Mark Webb gives Georgia another college-ready receiver for the class of 2017 to go with Trey Blount (a guy who’s risen in the rankings since committing as expected) and Matt Landers. The ‘Dawgs are still pursuing big receivers Jeremiah Holloman and Nico Collins, and if they can add one (or both) to this group it could be one of the best receiver classes in recent UGA memory. Until later . . .
*For an even more stark example of Webb’s ability to take any pass to the house, head to the 4:43 mark and watch him turn on the afterburners. He has a short, powerful stride which allows him to accelerate quickly.