June Observation: Lawrence Cager's Breakout Is Upon Us

Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

While player turnover in college football is a yearly occurrence, there are always some examples of teams going through massive overhauls at certain positions. This year, one of those positions is the University of Georgia’s pass catchers.

The Bulldogs top 5 leaders in receiving yards from 2018 have moved on: wide receivers Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, Terry Godwin, Jeremiah Holloman and tight end Isaac Nauta. For a team that threw over 350 times last season, that’s a natural cause for concern.

All signs are pointing to University of Miami graduate transfer wide receiver Lawrence Cager as being the top target, as he’s easily the most experienced and accomplished in the room. 

Cager suffered an ACL tear during his freshman year that forced him to miss the following season in 2016, before returning to the field in 2017. Apart of a wide receiver depth chart that included Braxton Berrios, Jeff Thomas and Ahmmon Richards, Cager was actually the one making the highlight reel plays. 

Those highlights turned into more consistent play in Cager’s first full collegiate season last year, leading Miami with 6 receiving touchdowns. Listed at 6’5 and 220 pounds, Cager is one of the few taller wide receivers who has the footwork of quicker slot types while still maximizing his catch radius.

Cager is a superb athlete, having won multiple high school state championships in the high jump with a mark of 6’9. At the Penn Relays as a junior, he cleared 6’11. That explosiveness and leaping ability constantly shows up when Cager is tasked with high pointing the ball or adjusting in mid-air. Throw the ball up and see who comes down with it.

While Cager hasn’t had his true breakout season just yet, he’s currently in his best position to do so as the senior member of the wide receiver room and playing as a clear top target. The number of targets he sees will undoubtedly increase this season, and they’ll be coming from the arm of Jake Fromm, the best quarterback he’s ever played with. 

Back in 2017, Miami had a strong season en route to a berth in the Orange Bowl. However, Georgia is clearly on the shortlist of teams who should be competing for the national championship this season, likely placing Cager against the best competition. 

Cager’s breakout feels imminent, as does a rise up NFL Draft boards. If he proves to play with more consistency in the SEC, teams will take extra notice and we’ll be discussing Cager come next spring.