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Friday, August 15, 2008

Dawgs to Watch No. 15: Kris Durham

At 6-foot-5, wide receiver Kris Durham looks like an inviting target for quarterbacks. In his first two seasons at Georgia, however, he has caught just 19 passes.

The Calhoun High product has the frame for stardom, but he still needed to build on that lanky foundation.

"I've been working on my speed a lot, and I've gained about 10, 12 pounds," Durham said. "I'm just trying to get my weight up and get a little more physical in my blocking."

Coming into the 2008 season, Durham said he's in far better shape to create mismatches on offenses than he had been before. With Georgia's wide receiver corps lacking significant experience behind starters Mohamed Massaquoi and Kenneth Harris, the new-and-improved Durham may be exactly what the Bulldogs' passing game needs.

"I think Kris Durham is going to step up," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "He had a great end of the year last year. I think he expects it of himself, and we do of him, to play well this year."

Indeed, Durham flashed that potential as last season drew to a close, hauling in a career-high three catches and 48 yards in Georgia's Sugar Bowl victory over Hawaii. Having arrived in the same recruiting class as Stafford, the two have built a bit of a rapport, too.

So when the Bulldogs take the field this year, Durham is hoping to add that potential to his experience and newfound size and strength to become a prime target for Stafford. In fact, it wouldn't surprise him if his career totals from his first two years in red and black are easily surpassed this year.

"There's a lot of balls that are going to be thrown because we've got great running backs and a great quarterback in Matthew," Durham said. "We've all been working extremely hard, and I think you're going to see six or seven of us with 25 to 30 catches."

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