April 23, 2009

Breakdown: Wide Receivers

As UGASports continues its post-spring position breakdown, we take a look at the wide receivers where sophomore sensation A.J. Green is the unquestioned leader of the Bulldogs' wideout corps.

Green was remarkable in 2008, catching 56 passes (a Georgia freshman record) for 963 yards and eight touchdowns while teaming with Mohamed Massaquoi to form one of the better tandems in the entire country.

No doubt Green will be good once again, but the Bulldogs will need some more help.

It doesn't help that Massaquoi, along with Kenneth Harris and Demiko Goodman have graduated and moved on. But the recent news that Kris Durham won't play this fall after tearing a labrum doesn't exactly qualify as good news, either.

Senior Mike Moore enjoyed a solid season and finished 2008 as the third-leading receiver, but there's no doubt that several players will have to become factors for the Bulldogs come fall.

Head coach Mark Richt does not seem particularly concerned, but the fact remains that several individuals will need to step up their play in order to help make Joe Cox's transition to starting quarterback as easy as possible.

UGASports on A.J. Green: Solid, self-confident, one of the best in the SEC. Whichever adjective you choose, it fits Green to a T. There's still a question how Green will react t seeing more double-teams now that Massaaquoi is moving onto the NFL. The guess here is he'll do just fine.

UGASports on Mike Moore: Moore slides into Massaquoi's spot at split end and hopes to build off last year's breakout season which saw him catch 29 passes for 451 yards and two touchdowns. Moore is quite adept at going over the middle of the field, and as indicated by his average of 15.6 yards per catch, knows what to do with the ball once it's in his hands. Look for Moore to play an even bigger role for the team this fall.

UGASports on Tony Wilson: Wilson is the best blocker among the receivers, but questions remain about his speed following the foot injury that forced him to miss the second half of last year. Richt also suggested that Wilson needs to drop about 10 more pounds, which shouldn't be a problem. The key for Wilson is just staying healthy. If he can, he'll still play a big role in the rotation.

UGASorts on Israel Troupe: Troupe had an excellent spring and with the exception of one dropped pass at the goal line in the recent G-Day game, finished as the leading receiver that afternoon with five catches for 38 yards. Troupe was hampered with blisters on both his feet last year, although that doesn't appear to be an issue any longer. The former Tift County standout has been down on the depth chart, but after losing three receivers to graduation and Durham to a torn labrum, there will be ample opportunity for Troupe to make a name for himself in 2009.

UGASports on Tavarres King: An ankle injury against Arizona State knocked King down in the pecking order, eventually forcing him to redshirt. Although he's now 100 percent healthy, Richt still wants to see improvement from the Mount Airy native when it comes to running consistent routes.

UGASports on Marlon Brown: Some claim that because Brown comes from a private school league in Memphis that his adjustment to big-time football in the SEC may a take a bit more time than originally thought. While this may be true to a certain extent, Brown's physical skills (6-foot-5, 200) are such that as long as he can quickly pick up the offensive scheme, he'll have a chance to make an immediate impact.

UGASports on Rantavious Wooten: Elusive, great hands, excellent route runner, all descriptions suit Wooten who has a penchant for making big plays. As a senior last year at Glades Central High, almost half (14) of Wooten's catches (33) went for touchdowns as he averaged a tad over 30 yards per reception.

Others to watch: Richt has said that speedy freshman defensive back Branden Smith will get some looks at wide receiver. … Four walk-ons - Marquis Brown, Zach Renner, Vernon Spellman and Taylor Bradberry will add depth.

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