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Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Georgia receiver takes on a new role

Tavarres King made sure to pick his old road roommate’s brain when A.J. Green stopped by Georgia football practice last week. It may be too much to ask someone to replace one of the nation’s top receivers – but in a way that’s what is being asked of King.

The rising junior is now playing flanker, which is essentially the featured receiver role in the Georgia offense. King played split end his first two seasons, which meant lining up on the short side of the field; the flanker spot, formerly occupied by Green, lines up on the wide side.

King admitted that he’s “got some things I’ve gotta get used to.”

“You just take on a whole different role when you play the flanker position,” he said. “You’re kind of more of a target.”

That means different routes, and an opportunity to make bigger plays. Green was renowned for that, and when he went pro, and Kris Durham graduated, King was essentially put in the role of No. 1 receiver.

“I’m viewing it that way. I’m excited to have the opportunity to fill (Green’s) shoes and fill the gap that he left,” King said. “It’s challenging, and that’s why I play the game, to challenge myself.”

King isn’t as tall as Green – 6-foot-1 vs. 6-5 – but the Bulldogs hope that his speed, route-running and experience will be advantages. As a sophomore last year, King caught 27 passes for 504 yards and three touchdowns.

Of course with King in the No. 1 role, that leaves a void for the other starting spot. King was asked which fellow receivers have looked good during the first few spring practice; he mentioned freshman Chris Conley, an early enrollee, and 6-5 junior Marlon Brown.

“Marlon’s playing really well,” King said. “Every year that kid gets better. It’s amazing. His first year here he looked like a basketball player. Now he’s a receiver. He looks good.”

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