With just six scholarship players listed as wide receivers on hand this fall, Georgia offensive coaches are certain to have their fingers crossed hoping that no more injuries or attrition occurs.
The Bulldogs already knew they were going to be without graduated seniors Mohamed Massaquoi, Kenneth Harris and Demiko Goodman, but during the offseason lost Kris Durham (torn labrum) and Tony Wilson (left team).
Any more injuries could certainly put a damper on the receiver situation, but that's not how redshirt sophomore Israel Troupe is approaching the 2009 campaign.
"The injuries have a damper on it but that just means there's a lot more opportunities for the young guys," he said. "We're all looking at this as an opportunity, which is what we need to do because there aren't that many guys."
Here's another interesting fact.
With the exception of senior Mike Moore and walk-on Vernon Spellman, Troupe has been around the Bulldog program longer than any of the other receivers currently on hand.
"Everyone calls me the 'Vet' now," Troupe laughed. "But I guess after being here for two years I pretty much know the playbook and everything so I think this year is pretty much my time to step up and make a name for myself and help the young guys out, too."
Because of the numbers, Troupe said incoming freshmen like Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, along with tight ends Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch will have to be ready to play.
That's not all.
Troupe also had kind words for Spellman, along with fellow walk-ons Taylor Bradberry (RFr. 6-3, 195) and Marquis Brown (Jr., 5-11, 174) as three players who have stood out so far this summer and ones he believes can contribute come fall.
"I think all those guys will be keys to our success," Troupe said. "They're going to need to be able to come in and play, too."
Troupe has high hopes for himself as well.
At 6-1 and 215, Troupe continues to work at the Z position behind A.J. Green.
"My role is going to change a lot. I've been talking with Coach (Tony) Ball and Coach (Mike) Bobo and they've been telling me they're expecting me to step up and really help out and get the job done," said Troupe, who last year caught four passes for 39 yards. "The main thing is going into camp with a positive attitude and to contribute as much as I can."
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