Jackets will have deep group of WRs

It’s ironic, really.

Georgia Tech, which ranked dead last in completion percentage last year but is one of the nation’s top rushing teams, might be the deepest it has ever been at wide receiver since Paul Johnson brought his option offense to the program in 2008.

Both starters -- senior DeAndre Smelter and sophomore Micheal Summers -- return this spring. Smelter, who came to school on a baseball scholarship and played for coach Danny Hall’s team the past three years, has decided to focus on football. His presence at spring ball will only help an already talented position.

Smelter, also a pitcher, was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins. He played in just two games this spring. Last year, in his first season with the football team, Smelter had 21 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns.

He’ll be joined by senior Darren Waller, the most experienced receiver with 38 career games and more than 500 receiving yards, and Anthony Autry, who played well as a true freshman in 2012 before being sidelined with a knee injury in 2013. Autry will compete for a starting role this spring. Waller is suspended for the first two games of the season for a violation of team rules, but that won’t affect his practice time this spring.

Senior Corey Dennis also returns, along with Antonio Messick and Ricky Jeune, who both redshirted last year.

Georgia Tech’s receivers are one of the team’s answers this year. The question is whether Justin Thomas can get them the ball. He attempted only 17 passes last year, but he also didn’t get many meaningful reps.

The good news for Georgia Tech is that Thomas has at least four dependable receivers who can help him make the transition to a full-time starter.