Thank goodness for A.J. Green and Orson Charles

The return of Kris Durham will bolster Georgia's receiving corps. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

The return of Kris Durham will bolster Georgia's receiving corps. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Coming out of signing day this week, Mark Richt admitted that Georgia’s lack of depth at wide receiver concerns him, especially after the loss of Da’Rick Rogers to Tennessee left the Dogs with only one incoming freshman receiver this year, Michael Bennett of Alpharetta.

Speaking of his receiving corps, Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald, “We don’t have, at this moment, the number that we would feel comfortable having — and that’s always give or take one or two.” Which pretty much echoes a quote from Mike Bobo last April when it was announced that rising senior receiver Kris Durham would have to take a medical redshirt year because of shoulder surgery.

Despite being thin at receiver last year, Georgia wound up with a pretty decent passing attack, mainly because of A.J. Green. Junior star Green is back this season, of course, for what many think will be his final season playing in Athens, but the Dogs’ second-leading receiver last year, Michael Moore, is gone.

Returning behind Green are what so far has proved to be a middling bunch of wide receivers, with Tavares King the most productive. There’s also Rantavious Wooten, who showed flashes last year but wasn’t consistent; Israel Troupe, who didn’t do much; and the  heavily hyped Marlon Brown, who barely registered on the field in what probably should have been a redshirt season for him but ended up being wasted. It would certainly help if Brown finally started to live up to his potential this year.

On the plus side, the Dogs do get back fifth-year senior Durham, who if he is able to shake off the rust could provide a set of sure hands in possession situations. And, who knows, Logan Gray could even wind up at receiver after the spring quarterback battle shakes out.

Looking ahead a year at Georgia’s receiving corps in 2011, when Green likely will have moved on to the NFL, isn’t a very pleasant prospect right now. But despite the lack of depth I’m not really that worried about the receiving end of the passing attack this season, barring a rash of injuries.

And that’s mainly because the Dogs are well-stocked at tight end, including hybrid Orson Charles, Georgia’s third-leading receiver last year, and Aron White, who was fifth for the year in catches.

“The one thing that I’m excited about and confident about is our tight end position,” Richt told the Banner-Herald. “We’re blessed with four outstanding tight ends; tight ends that certainly are playmakers and we’ve got good solid depth with guys that can really play that position. I think that’s going to a little bit of the burden off the wide receiver corps.”

Like many, I still expect the running game to be the primary focus of Georgia’s attack in 2010, especially early in the year, to take the pressure off whichever inexperienced quarterback ends up starting. But with targets like Green and Charles out there, Bobo and Richt are going to put it in the air a fair amount of the time and should be able to maintain some of the balance that their offense is based on.

I believe the Dogs will be just fine at receiver this year. Beyond that, I’m not so sure. What do you think?

259 comments Add your comment

PHIL

February 5th, 2010
1:26 pm

I’m no D-1 Coach and I know injuries can happen and seem to happen to us alot, but I couldn’t believe the CMR said we were low at WR.

Chris Durham is as good as any possession receiver anywhere. The reason our other receivers like T. King and Wooten are “middling” is that Cox is fixated on AJ and that’s fine, but don’t expect big numbers out of anyone else while he is on the team if we run the ball at all. T. Kings high school highlights were at least as exciting as AJ’s. Then we have Wooten who again, with all the throwing to AJ did about as well as any Freshman could have possibly done. Marlon Brown will live up to his potential, it just takes some longer to get used to college. The other three tight ends will make Orson Charles a WR for all practical purposes. If we run the ball AT ALL, there aren’t going to be enough balls to go around to the WR we have as it is. Why would we need anymore? Da’RIck wouldn’t have played in 2 years here.

Jerry Royster Fan

February 5th, 2010
1:28 pm

Wow, WR is one position I am NOT concerned about… and I doubt CMR is either.

My guess is his comments are bit of misdirection with the goal of taking (some) of the heat of the green QBs, as well as to fire up the young WRs like Wooten and Brown.

But with Orson and AJ, I’m not at all worried about players catching the ball… who is going to be throwing it to them is obviously the real question….

toga

February 5th, 2010
1:29 pm

BabsTolstoy – you missed the point. Saban’s desire is that in the recruiting world, your commitment, even if it’s verbal, should end your recruitment. You don’t continue to pursue other schools, and they don’t continue to pursue you. I think this would be a good written rule and would not be surprised if Alabama does not start practicing it next year. Say what you want about Saban, but you can not argue with the results.

Roll Tide!!!

JB

February 5th, 2010
1:30 pm

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I think the offense will be fine next year. Hopefully we can control the clock to mitigate our young defense. We’ll have more experience than FL, even if their recruits are rated higher. 10 wins is very possible.

JB

February 5th, 2010
1:31 pm

Next year we need 4-5 WR’s 4-5 LB’s and 4-5 OL……….All these lineman will be gone in 2 years.
At least 2 RB’s 1 FB 3 DB’s and 3-4 down lineman.

DunwoodyDawg

February 5th, 2010
1:34 pm

I believe it is going to come down to how CTG does at DC. If he can get the Dawgs defense back into the top 20 in scoring D, then 10 wins is not a stretch. That would mean a top 15 or even top 10 finish. That is one big IF, but that happens and the D will carry the team early while whom ever comes to speed a QB.
I hope it works out.

Reality

February 5th, 2010
1:35 pm

From all this talk, it looks like UGA has the NC wrapped up….no need for the rest of the SEC to show up next year.

Dr M

February 5th, 2010
1:36 pm

I don’t find Bill to be excessively negative. For that, read the comments… Inexperience at QB is my primary concern. And he’s right, success in the running game would allow the new QB to break in without having to carry the offense single-handedly. Opponents will try to stuff the run, of course, and make the new guy throw; so, the play-calling by the OC needs to be very sharp. Another concern is reduction in penalties by the offense, especially movement by the line.

jack bull

February 5th, 2010
1:36 pm

obviously Marlon Brown will need to make an impact this year, but, i think there’s one more guy who really needs to step up and that’s Israel Troupe. He’s got the frame to be one of those guys who can go across the middle and make a play and live to play the next down, whereas, T.King and R. Wooten would get killed. Seems to me like those two are good going down the sideline, but not so great in the middle of the field, and we can’t expect AJ Green, along with the TE’s be the only ones to go there.

one other thing i hope this “problem” leads too, is more of that play we used to see alot when the RB comes out of the backfield to make a catch going down the seam. I liked that play. We’ll be just fine..GO DAWGS!!!

ugaaccountant

February 5th, 2010
1:37 pm

Thin at receiver?

February 5th, 2010
1:13 pm
I believe you are all missing the proverbial “forest because of the trees” – none of this really matters if we do not have a QB who can play……..

First off, the forest is that we have enough quality at every position that we will be in contention for the SEC title every year for the next 4. We’re good and we’re balanced.

This kind of statement is one only a truly blessed team can make. We’ve got 6 WR’s coming back that range form All American level to SEC capable level. Mark has always said he wants 8. He’s not complaining about the 6 he has, he just wants 2 more suited up. Really it will be filled once Bennett is in and Gray or Thomas switches positions. All Richt’s really doing is starting the recruiting process for 2011.

As to your main statement, seriously wth? We have QB covered for the next 4 years. Let’s not be chicken little here. We’ve got 2 stud redshirt freshmen and a parade all-american recruit. There are schools in the SEC that would love to have our “problem”. Sorry, you just gave me a major chuckle thinking of you all stressed out about the position we have well in hand for a long time.

Vol

February 5th, 2010
1:40 pm

UGA fans here me out…You need to lower your expectations…it will only lead to disappointment…take it from someone who knows…both UT and UGA are not great teams right now, and need to get a lot of things fixed…setting your sights too high is what leads to wringing your hands later…Florida and Alabama are the cream right now…you’ve got a good solid coach in Richt who should be commended for the job he has done instead of blasted for what he hasn’t. UGA will be fine…it may take a bit longer than you think, but over-hyping what you don’t have right now isn’t going to help anything.

CatsFly

February 5th, 2010
1:41 pm

Top SC QB to sign w/UNC today. Golson, out of Myrtle Beach: “There have also been numerous comments on my blog questioning Golson’s viability as a recruit. First, I’ll say this: Golson is the most talented prep quarterback I’ve ever seen. As a recruiting junkie, I’ve seen some pretty good ones in person and many others on film. I saw Independence’s (N.C.) Chris Leak, who set nearly every national passing record, several times in high school and he doesn’t even compare to the raw talent of Golson. Leak was more polished but had a much lower ceiling than Golson. Coach Beamer at VaTech said Golson was better at his age than was M. VIck at the same age. Look at Tech!

Sanford Drive

February 5th, 2010
1:44 pm

Will Samuel be playing LB this year?

ugaaccountant

February 5th, 2010
1:46 pm

Toga – It’s impossible for Saban to do that today, but it would be nice if there was either an early signing day or if recruits were allowed to sign binding letters of intent on their official visit.

Chicken Littledawg

February 5th, 2010
1:48 pm

The Sky is falling The Sky is falling. One bad recruiting year and all of a sudden we are no better than Vandy. It looks like 0-12 next year judging by the comments on this board.

GT

February 5th, 2010
1:48 pm

I would rather see them pass, the running was killing us last year.

BabsTolstoy

February 5th, 2010
1:49 pm

toga, the results cannot be argued, the way they are achieved can.

Delbert D.

February 5th, 2010
1:49 pm

How do you “lose” some guy you never had? Does Rogers have to sit out a year because he “transferred”? There’s an old saying about counting chickens…

Preston

February 5th, 2010
1:49 pm

Sanford, yes. CMR made that announcement a couple of days ago.

ghost dawg

February 5th, 2010
1:50 pm

I predicted D. Jackson would be a superstar at tailback. Any guess on how he is doing?

poopdawg

February 5th, 2010
1:51 pm

No doubt the best group of receivers UGA has ever had . Da’Rick looked good on paper but i was surprised and disappointed UGA ever offered him. Not the UGA type . Da’Rick could possibly mature and having Nash Nance will certainly help him. Richt said he was concerned about our wr depth in 2010 , i just don’t understand it. In 2011 we will lose Durham and probably AJ Green, does anybody else understand Richt’s concern?

38 Yardline Dawg

February 5th, 2010
1:52 pm

Samuel will play LB this year, Gray will still be backup QB, we have talented receivers so long as they do one basic thing that eluded most of them last year…CATCH THE BALL. I’m more concerned with who will get the receiver the ball at this point. And let’s at least give a nod to the fine number of defensive recruits we got. If coaching changes foul things up, then why did offensive players go somewhere else????

DawginLex

February 5th, 2010
1:52 pm

i’d say our 2010 receiving corp is better than any other group in the SEC

You can only play 3 or 4 of them plus a TE so having Green, Durham, Troup, Wooten, King and Brown should be just fine thank you.

Mix in an experienced OL and 2 stud RB’s and I’m ready for fall already.

I hope Grantham can coach. If he can, the east is there for the taking regardless of what the haters say.

Halsey

February 5th, 2010
1:54 pm

Tight End should not be a problem at all: Charles, White, Lynch, Figgins

Maybe they will line up in 2 TE sets a lot. Heck, maybe 3 TE’s with Charles being split out like a WR. Running the ball should be the strength with so many lineman and RB’s returning, so the passing game might not have to be stellar.

Dostoyevskiy

February 5th, 2010
1:56 pm

Does anyone out there know if UGa is/was interested in Golson out of MB? Sounds like he might be best QB in country for 2011.

Preston

February 5th, 2010
1:57 pm

Next years class will be MUCH better tan this years so we’ll have several extra scholarships to offer to better players. And no, the sky isn’t falling. When people are saying that their is a serious problem at UGA because of a 16th ranked recruiting class, it only stands to reason that things are going well between the hedges. UGA can compete with anyone this year and I look for them to be competitive.

exNFLplayer

February 5th, 2010
1:59 pm

I agree wholeheartedly ugaaccountant. Also there’s no doubt in my mind that Logan Gray goes to WR. On another note, the move of Richard Samuel to LB will be hailed as brilliant.

Observe & Report

February 5th, 2010
2:00 pm

Not sure why the article says UGA only signed 1 WR this year. What about Outlaw? That makes 2 if I’m doing my math right!

SOGADOG

February 5th, 2010
2:07 pm

The wide receiver position is over rated, the running game and a stout defense wins championships.

Dawg Colonel

February 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

All the championship programs can do two things well…..PLAY DEFENSE & RUN THE BALL.

We we pay attention to those two, the passing game will take care of itself.

exNFLplayer

February 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

Outlaw’s going JUCO or a prep school this year I think. I think Richt is trying to get a leg up on the chase for Nick Marshall next year with that move as someone pointed out on another blog. If I’m not mistaken Outlaw is a big target and possession type receiver.

exNFLplayer

February 5th, 2010
2:09 pm

Amen Dawg Colonel.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

February 5th, 2010
2:10 pm

If memory serves Outlaw will not qualify. That is why he sates 1 signed.

BTW with having Redshirt Frosh at QB, Charles will have a beast of a year. I would say 55-65 catches and about 750-800 yards receiving and 8-10 touchdowns.

Delbert D.

February 5th, 2010
2:10 pm

Bill King is negative? Wrong…he’s directly quoting Richt, who is apparently displeased with the other 6 guys he has recruited who “apparently” haven’t worked out a well as expected.

bo Williams

February 5th, 2010
2:10 pm

I read where Golson signed with SCar yesterday. What’s up?

Jim

February 5th, 2010
2:13 pm

On the plus side, if we are thin going into 2011, we will probably be able to attract some blue chip recruits because apparently depth chart is a major consideration by kids these days.

Ivan Vasilii Vladivostok, aka "Pasha dat a$$"

February 5th, 2010
2:13 pm

Speaking of the running game, who is the RB we signed? Don’t hear much about him even though he is a “CPJ mystical” 3 star.

CatsFly

February 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

How does the Jr. QB, LeMay, out of Charlotte, compare with Golson. I read somewhere that he could be top QB in 2011 class.

ugakev

February 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

Make no mistake about it . . . Aaron murray is our quarterback next year and he will be the best quarterback georgia has had since CMR has been here and that is saying alot since we have had greene shockley and Stafford. Murray not only is an outstanding talent but he is extremely smart and has a work ethic second to none. He is the next great quarterback in the sec. With that said this is the best offense i have seen CMR have at georgia and possibly ever had as long as key players stay healthy. Anything less than a trip to the dome this next season is a disappointment. Also on a side note you can always put Orson Charles at WR and then put Aron white or another one of our TE studs at TE. GO DAWGS!!!

DAWG FAN IN MICHIGAN

February 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

Observe, Outlaw is going to Georgia Military for the first two years

PUP FAN

February 5th, 2010
2:19 pm

I agree with nola dawg. Please get rid of Bill if he can’t be a bit more positive. I thought you were a DAWG fan! Some of your comments are inappropriate, especially when you “call out” these kids for “doing nothing” or being “disappointing” production wise. Get a grip and give us something better in the future. We can hear that crap the other blog geeks!

Dostoyevskiy

February 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

Is UGa recruiting LeMay out of Charlotte? Is he from the same school from where Cox was from? If so, then do we really want him? I heard we had burned our bridges there since he got so much criticism from his performance at UGa.

exNFLplayer

February 5th, 2010
2:24 pm

You’re probably right Jim. Every top recruit thinks the league is waiting for him and he wants to come in, play, make his bones, and 3 years down the road get paid.

SOGADOG

February 5th, 2010
2:24 pm

Maybe the position coaches arent coaching up the receivers to their full potential. Israel Troupe is a great athlete, strong, runs a 4.4 forty. One of the few times Troupe went into a game, (when Green was hurt against Auburn, Troupe went in for Green) he caught a TD pass. Joe Cox didnt know Troupe was in and thought he was throwing to Green. Troupe and some of the other receivers should have blossomed by now. We have a former receiver coaching running backs and a former running back coaching receivers. I wonder about the coaching at the WR position.

Ginger

February 5th, 2010
2:25 pm

Agree….DAWGS are ok with the current group and barring injury…..Need good strength and conditioning to minimize injury….thinking that if Logan ends up at receiver..that will help.

Gotta bring in a good receiver group for 2011 from HS and JC…..The DAWGS had issues this yr with recruiting because of subpar 8-5 yr, and Devin Burns fiasco…..the Burns thing wound up hurting us because we probably lost Burns, Beasley and Crawford because of it…..Burns would have been a good athlete period for QB or Receiver…Crawford would have thrived in the 3-4….and another OL would have been good too….I like Gates just would have liked to have had Gates and Beasley.

Georgia needs to work hard for 2011 recruiting now….we must sign the best players in Ga for 2011. We need to build that Bulldog brand in the state. I think we can…Grantham will do a great job with the defense and we should be winning a good bit next yr…No losing to Tenn or Auburn or Kentucky.

CvilleDawg

February 5th, 2010
2:31 pm

If we put murray at quarterback, were gonna run the spread offense.. not saying thats a bad idea since we have great receivers and ends but it would mess the running game up. Start mettenberger please!

CvilleDawg

February 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

& yes were recruiting christian lemay, were very high on his list.

Steve

February 5th, 2010
2:33 pm

To ALL Those Critical of Bobo’s playcalling:

For the record, CMR said in an interview with Buck Belue on 680 the fan earlier this week that he was planning to be much more involved in the offense next year. He tried to avoid being critical of Bobo by saying that he just missed that part of coaching since taking on more of the CEO role. But he clearly stated that he planned to be in the offensive meetings as well as involved in coaching the quarterbacks. This tells me that he clearly wants to see some changes in the offensive production, and he plans to be directly involved in guiding those changes. He didn’t come right out and say it but I expect that playcalling will be more of a team approach next year between CMR and Bobo.

Ivan Vasilii Vladivostok, aka "Pasha dat a$$"

February 5th, 2010
2:34 pm

Da CvilleDawg, please richt start Mettenburger.

ButlerDawg

February 5th, 2010
2:34 pm

BigDawg,
After watching every game this past season, I would never go as far as describing our O-line as “awesome” — as a group they were some of the biggest underachievers of the season.