Georgia last year had an elite special teams unit, but at times people were waiting on that big play.
While Georgia dominated the majority of its games last season, it didn’t really need a significant contribution from special teams to score points. However, everyone knows how much of an added bonus kickoff and punt return touchdowns can be.
Georgia used two players in the punt return game last year in Terry Godwin and Mecole Hardman who brought to different dimensions to the return game. Godwin was the more reliable guy who you could count on to make the smart play, while Hardman was the explosive playmaker when he got the ball in his hands.
Surprisingly, Mecole Hardman led the SEC in punt return yards (271) but never reached the end zone. The closest player to reach the end zone last year was Elijah Holyfield against Notre Dame. The play was flagged and called back, but he still failed to score.
In fact, Georgia hasn’t had a punt or kickoff return touchdown since Isaiah Mckenzie in 2016 who was drafted in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. Luckily, it may have found its guy. Ahkil Crumpton is similar to Mckenzie as he is the shortest receiver on the team at only 5’9 175 pounds and also plays the slot.
Prior to UGA, he attended Los Angeles Valley Community College where he returned 16 kicks for 690 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also brought back 10 punts for 314 yards and 3 more touchdowns earning him all-conference (KR, PR) titles.
Now that Ahkil has been here for a year and is comfortable he may be that much-needed spark Georgia is looking for in the return game. If he is able to add another dimension to the return game it is only going to make the Bulldogs more lethal.
“I feel like this year I’m going to have a big role in special teams, “Crumpton said. “It comes down to just competing out there every day and showcasing that I’m the guy.”