It would appear Mecole Hardman is carving out a role for himself in Georgia’s offense.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart complimented Hardman for catching up to speed with the offense, just a few months after switching to receiver from cornerback. That kind of transition is never easy, especially for a player who has never competed at receiver before.
In high school, Hardman was a quarterback on offense and a safety on defense. Learning receiver at the college level has taken some time to grow accustomed to.
But based on how Hardman’s preseason has gone, he is beginning to show signs he will be a contributor on offense.
“First of all, it’s not that he’s faster than he was in the spring but he’s more confident, which makes him faster,” Smart said. “He hears the call and knows what to do. He’s had some pretty spectacular plays. I still think he needs to work on his hands and natural catching the ball. But he’s a good athlete. I think he’s found a good home.”
Smart said Hardman is playing the position in a similar manner to former Georgia receiver Isaiah McKenzie. Smart based this on Hardman's “toughness and competitiveness,” which he said is similar to Denver Broncos' fifth-round pick.
Hardman’s athleticism is something the Georgia coaching staff has taken note of, with Smart saying his team needs to find ways to get the Elberton product the ball.
If that means creating some different packages or plays for that to happen, then Smart and company will do so.
“You got to find ways to get Mecole the ball and hopefully we’ll be able to do that,” Smart said. “Hopefully, the better he goes up and catches it, and makes plays vertically down the field, it will take the top off of some of these defenses. We’ve struggled to do that in the past.”