Stephen Dolphus fits the Georgia Tech wide receiver mold rather snugly. The incoming freshman measures 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. He has a long reach and a willingness to block and play a physical style.
“He’s very angular like Stephen (Hill), a lot of leg and really athletic,” wide receivers coach Buzz Preston said.
One distinctive about Dolphus, from Westside High in Macon (alma mater of former Tech star Julian Burnett), is his drive. His high-school coach described him as a “workaholic.” Watching him practice, Preston said he noticed his focus on the work at hand. Dolphus arrives at Tech with a desire to succeed and lift his family.
“It just hasn’t always been good,” he said. “I want to just push to get my family to a better place.”
Dolphus is part of a class with two other incoming freshmen at wide receiver, Jair Hawkins-Anderson and Jalen Camp. While Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart return as starters, there is plenty of room on the depth chart for Dolphus, Hawkins-Anderson and Camp to find playing time this fall.
“I always want to come to work every day, like, I’ve got to get better every day,” he said. “I just want to keep that attitude.”
Dolphus’ game video reveals a player with soft hands, strong ball skills and a taste for blocking. At 6-5, he is the tallest receiver on the roster.
“My goal is to come in and play,” he said. “I’ve got to go in and work to do it. I can’t just go in there and it’s handed to me. I know I’ve got to go in and play as hard as I can.”
Dolphus has an older brother, Shannon Smith, who is three years ahead of him. He was at two seasons at Middle Tennessee State, at a junior college for one and is now at Southern Mississippi.
“He has seen everything,” Dolphus said. “He’s seen all kinds of things. He has really helped me since I started, I would say.”
The two played one season together at Westside and had hoped to attend the same school, but Dolphus said it seemed to both like schools were recruiting one to get to the other, and not both, so they decided to make their choices separate of each other.
Dolphus, who was recruited by special-teams coordinator Ray Rychleski up until his departure from Tech, said he knows the game will be faster and more complex. He has an ambition to play in the NFL, but also intends to earn his degree.
“I’m ready to get started and see how things are going to be,” he said. “It’s going to be very different, so I’m ready to experience it.”
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