Georgia Tech has versatile, deep group of wide receivers

There will be no shortage of wide receiver options in Georgia Tech’s passing game next season, that’s for certain.

The Yellow Jackets return four of their top five receivers from a season ago, including Eric Singleton Jr., who had a breakout freshman campaign with 48 catches for 714 yards and six touchdowns.

“Really just come back better and do everything better than what I did last year,” Singleton said Wednesday about his expectations for Year 2 with Tech. “I need better stats than last year, for sure. Trying to have at least 1,000 yards receiving this year. That’s my goal.

“I’m just working on my technique, mainly. Of course everybody knows I have speed, but I want the route running part to be down pat. So that’s what I’m working on.”

Singleton and his fellow Tech wideouts are looking to improve this spring with Trent McKnight, the program’s new wide receivers coach who replaced Josh Crawford, who left this offseason for Georgia. McKnight, one of two coaches (Cory Peoples) to join coach Brent Key’s staff from Georgia State, has been coaching college receivers for the past dozen years.

McKnight has been handed a unit that includes not only Singleton but features Malik Rutherford, Christian Leary and Abdul Janneh as well. That trio combined for 77 receptions for 933 yards and eight touchdowns in 2023.

Tech also retained Chase Lane (7-105-1 TD) and hybrid receiver/tight end Avery Boyd, who made six grabs for 81 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Georgia Tech wide receiver Eric Singleton, Jr. (2) makes a catch during their first day of spring football practice at Rose Bowl Field, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz

icon to expand image

Credit: Jason Getz

McKnight, however, was adamant that he went into spring practice with no preconceived notions of how Tech receivers performed last year.

“I made a point to really not go back and watch film from last season. We wanna try to create as much competition as we can within the (group) based off what they’re doing in this camp, not what they’ve done previously,” he said

Tech hasn’t brought any new wideouts into the mix via the transfer portal as of yet but did sign high school prospects Isiah Canion (rehabbing a shoulder injury sustained during the fall) and Trey Horne. The team also is hopeful to get Leo Blackburn (6-5, 220), slowed by injuries for the past three seasons, can get 100% back in the fold.

The top returners, meanwhile, spoke Wednesday about the intense competition among Tech receivers along with a new strategy for improvement under McKnight. Lane also detailed how McKnight went out of his way to meet with each receiver individually when McKnight was hired in March.

Footwork, technique and crisp route running have been some of the focal points of McKnight’s teachings thus far.

“After each play, coach McKnight’s in my ear, just giving me little tips, things to remember, things to keep in my mind when I get to the line of scrimmage,” Lane said.

A former safety at Samford, McKnight was the Georgia State offensive coordinator during the 2022-23 seasons. He coached nine wide receivers that earned all-conference honors and three of the top five pass-catchers in program history. The Panthers ranked among the top 10 nationally in yards per completion in 2022 and completion percentage in 2023.

McKnight joked Wednesday that making the move from State to Tech was about as easy of a coaching transition as possible, one that allowed his three children to retain their friends, youth league teams and schooling.

“It’s been fun to work with this group of coaches, it’s been fun to work with the entire staff and the players we have here,” he said. “It’s been fun seeing guys get better. We got a great receiver room that’s hungry to go out there and get better. It’s been a lot of learning within this offense, but just the people we’re around daily has made it fun each and every day to come in the building.”