February 10, 2008

No second fiddle

Tavarres King insists there's no bigger fan of teammate A.J. Green than he.

As one of the pearls of Georgia's 2008 signing class, Green's impending arrival has Bulldog fans almost giddy with anticipation to see the receiver some have compared to a young Randy Moss.

With 137 catches for 2,904 yards and 29 touchdowns his last two years at Summerville High, Green is expected to give the Bulldogs' receiving corps an immediate boost this fall.

What about King?

Most anywhere else, the former Habersham Central standout would be hailed with the same level of fanfare.

After all, King set a state of Georgia record with 1,632 yards and 17 touchdowns on 99 catches his senior year.

At Georgia, however, all the praise heaped on King has occasionally relegated the affable youngster as "that other receiver" the Bulldogs signed.

King laughed at the very notion.

"No, not at all," King said. "A.J. and I have a cool relationship. We're both humble guys. I give him credit, and credit's due. I've never felt that way at all."

King deserves his share of credit as well.

For one, the son of former Clemson standout Anthony King enrolled at Georgia in January, all with the idea of showing coaches just what he can do come time for spring practice.

"I came in to compete," said King, who has been timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. "I think it's going to give us a huge advantage coming in early, going through the summer in preparation for fall."

King's getting bigger, too. Listed at 160 pounds in Georgia's official Signing Day press release, King said he actually weighs 172.

"I check it every day," the 6-1 King said. "I know I've got to get a little bit bigger, and I think I am."

Georgia wide receiver coach John Eason said he plans on lining King up at split end, the position played by Sean Bailey.

"We think that's where he's best suited," Eason said. "We're going to see what he can do this spring."

King said he's looking forward to the competition.

There will be plenty of that as Georgia is loaded at receiver with eight lettermen returning. Still, King is anxious to show what he can do.

"Who wouldn't love to play? I'm going to give it 110 percent," King said. "I'm just going to get after it. If I'm blocking, whatever. It's all good. If I'm catching three or four passes and catching a touchdown, that's good, too."

King is certainly used to being on the receiving end, as indicated by his state record. But when asked what his single-season mark means, King simply shrugged.
"Setting that record really didn't mean anything to me," King said. "I would have rather won the state championship than set the state record. It was a big deal, really."

Neither was it a big deal when King eschewed Clemson, where his father etched his name as one of the finest tight ends in Tiger history.

"I had been a Clemson fan all my life growing up, and I think he might have liked to have seen me go there," King said. "But this was his exact words. He told me he chose his legacy back in 1975, now was the time to choose mine.
"That's what I've done and I can't wait to get started."


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