ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley had a good idea of what he was getting in Miami grad transfer Lawrence Cager, and from the sounds of things, the 6-foot-5 receiver has not disappointed.
"(He's) coming to work every day and enjoying the atmosphere of what we have and being positive with learning and the learning curve, because it's definitely different every place you go," Coley said, updating Cager's progress. "He's a veteran and he's learning our culture. The big thing, also, that he brings, he brings experience.
"So where you sit back and you say, well, I wonder if this guy's going to make this play in a particular time'. Veteran guys, you've seen it happen and you know that they've been those spotlights."
That's where Cager entered fall camp with a leg up on Matt Landers in the battle for what would have been J.J. Holloman's starting job.
Landers' inconsistency flustered coach Kirby Smart, who raves about the redshirt sophomore's potential when he's not calling out his drops.
Cager, meanwhile, brings a businesslike approach to the team. Cager led a struggling Miami offense in yards per catch and TD catches last season.
The fact the Senior Bowl already targeted him for a possible invitation is evidence of the NFL scouts' interest and intrigue.
Coley recalled Cager's recruitment coming out of high school, back when he was at Miami, Fla., and Smart was the Alabama defensive coordinator.
"A lot of us recruited him out of high school I did, obviously, we signed him at Miami," Coley said. "I know at Alabama, that crew when Coach Smart was there recruited him. So, we all had some sort of relationship with Cager.
"His skill set when he became available, also made it a very intriguing thing to go after. But knowing a little bit further, working with him for a full year you knew what type of character kid he is."
Cager shared with DawgNation that he was on the verge of committing to Alabama at an all-star game, and then very nearly chose Georgia before then-coach Mark Richt filled his allotment of receivers.
Now, it has all come full circle, and Coley is working with Cager again and Smart ultimately got the recruit he was gunning for.
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