Cloninger Soundoff: Ellington, Bennett primed for big days

Posted by DAVID CLONINGER on September 3, 2013 

USC wide receiver Bruce Ellington

JEFF BLAKE — jblake@thestate.com

Bruce Ellington has returned to full health, and with Georgia’s Michael Bennett also fully recovered from a knee injury that cost him the last half of last year, Saturday’s game will feature two of the most exciting wide receivers in the SEC.

Yes, guys such as Alabama’s Amari Cooper and Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews are great stretch-the-field receivers, the ones who out-run poor safeties and stretch out magnet hands to catch a dropped-in spiral. But Ellington and Bennett are receivers who can do that, plus get open in the middle of the field and drive defenses nuts trying to cover them.

Bennett was Georgia’s top receiver when he went down last year, and he returned against Clemson last week, catching five passes for 60 yards. Ellington, laid up with a hamstring injury through most of preseason camp, caught one pass for 17 yards against North Carolina but was USC’s leading yardage man in 2012.

Each receiver is such a gift to his quarterback because the throw doesn’t have to be perfect and they can run any route. If Connor Shaw and Aaron Murray call for a five-step drop and throw to the right flat, they each know that Ellington and Bennett will be there, no question.

Bennett’s role is increased since Georgia lost Malcolm Mitchell for the season, and Ellington is looking to get back into his team-leading role after limited action against UNC. Each should scorch a defensive back or two during a heat-stocked day in Athens.

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