August 10, 2009

Cox says receiver numbers are just fine

Joe Cox isn't worried.

Truthfully, he probably wouldn't tell you if he was.

But even though the scholarship number of wide receivers (six) aren't quite what they were a season ago following the graduation of Mohamed Massaquoi, Kenneth Harris and Demiko Goodman, Cox said he believes there are still enough weapons at his disposal to get the job done.

There's no questioning what sophomore A.J. Green brings to the equation.

The 6-foot-5, 207-pounder is one of the top wideouts in the SEC after last year's breakout campaign.

Senior Mike Moore brings a dependable set of hands, but after that the proverbial jury remains out regarding the impact returnees Tavarres King and Israel Troupe have with the group.

Cox, however, isn't at all concerned.

"As far as between last year and this year they've learned so much more. They've really started to understand what they're trying to do. I think both have done really well so far this camp," Cox said. "They are underneath the radar. We have some guys that everybody wants to talk about. But those two guys, they've been working hard for the past year or two years and I expect them to play a lot."

Troupe is no stranger to playing time.

The former Tift County standout played in all 13 games for Georgia last fall, but caught just four passes for 39 yards, but showed out in the G-Day game with five grabs for 38 yards.

King, meanwhile, played in Georgia's first four games before an ankle injury curtailed his season forcing the former Mount Airy native to take a redshirt.

Although King admits it took him a while to get over the disappointment of having to miss the rest of the season, the opportunity to bulk up (he said he weighs 182 pounds) has enabled him to become a more physical player.

"I feel like I can be more physical. I have a lot more confidence in running the ball, getting behind my pads," King said. "I feel confident in running, blocking. I'm ready to go."

Cox has taken notice as well.

"With him being so light last year when he came in, on blocks he was a little unsure, but both of them (King and Troupe) are getting to the point where they're trying to be more physical," Cox said. "They're getting off the ball better when they're going against press coverage."

Naturally, true freshmen Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten will have their chance to shine as well.

Some of the accolades heaped upon the pair have come from none other than head coach Mark Richt.
Last week, Richt commented that Wooten "looks like he's been running routes all his life," while mentioning Brown's "extremely strong hands" and that on a particular day that nobody was "able to rip the ball away."

Cox concurred.

"He's (Brown) a freak athlete. He knows how to attack the ball. He's got really good ball skills when he's in there as far as going up for a catch, but you can tell he's still trying to get to the point where he can just run non-stop full speed without thinking what to do," Cox said. "But that's what every freshman goes through. He definitely has flashes of being a great receiver. He was a good grab for us."

Wooten expects to play a big role as well.

During an interview last week, the Florida native talked some about what coaches have in mind.

According to Wooten, that includes bubble plays, quick screens, deep routes and shallow routes.

"I feel I run all those plays very well," he said.

Cox certainly likes what he's seen.

"I've been really impressed with all of the freshmen on offense, because those are the guys I see all the time," Cox said. "They're all eager to learn, they all want to contribute as soon as they can and they've really caught on faster than I originally thought. They're pushing the older guys and once they get where they understand the offense they are going to help us a lot."


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