September 9, 2010

King return big for Dawgs

For the second straight week, Georgia's receiving corps will be without its most recognizable star.

But even with A.J. Green back home in Athens for Saturday's game at South Carolina, redshirt sophomore Tavarres King is back and anxious to make an impact of his own.

"Words can't describe how excited I am," King said. "I'm really excited about coming back, really excited to get back and play with the receivers and hopefully fill in the gaps."

His timing couldn't be more perfect.

Kris Durham, Marlon Brown, Logan Gray, Rantaviuos Wooten and Israel Troupe drew plenty of praise from head coach Mark Richt, but it's this week's addition of King who figures to give quarterback Aaron Murray his best opportunity to stretch the field.

Last year, King caught 18 passes for 377 yards and one touchdown, including a long catch of 50 yards against Arkansas for his only score.

"I'm just going to follow those other guys' leads that played in that first game," King said. "Kris played awesome in the Z spot, A.J.'s spot while Marlon played awesome in mine. Logan, Woot - all of them played awesome."

Durham led the Bulldogs with five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown - both career highs.

"It was pretty much like I thought it was after looking at it on tape," Durham said. "I probably played a little better than I thought originally, although there were some little mistakes, things I should know better off."

Gray's debut as a receiver was a success.

The former quarterback caught two passes, including a 26-yarder on Hutson Mason's first collegiate throw late in the third quarter.

It was the first career touchdown for both players.

"Logan is a receiver right now. He'll get just a couple of reps (at quarterback) here and there, mostly in the ball-handling at quarterback. We got some for him last week, just a little bit, maybe five or 10 minutes worth. The good news was he looked good doing it. He didn't forget anything. He has three years of reps at quarterback, so it would be hard for him to forget everything because he is a real bright kid. He has proven to be a very good receiver," Richt said. "I think last week's game gave you a little indication of what he looks like as a receiver. He was a little bit hobbled from an ankle injury, but I think this week, unless he has a setback, he would be as healthy as he can be."

Richt said Gray will continue to be a fixture in Georgia's receiving corps.

"He's earned playing time regardless of Tavarres' or A.J.'s situations last week. He's a guy who we all believe can play," Richt said. "He knows what to do, he runs good routes, he's got good hands and he's a physical blocker. He's definitely going to play."

So will King, who before his suspension was drawing raves from his fellow receivers for having a strong summer, improving several aspects of his game.

"I really pushed myself to the max," King said. "I tried to improve in all aspects and I'm glad to finally be getting my chance, especially in a game of his magnitude."

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