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

Bryan

February 5th, 2010
4:03 pm

I am anxious to see what Arthur Lynch bring to the table!. Charles and Lynch were #1 and #2 TE…or 2 and 3 depending on the which site you look at….. coming out of high school. If he contributes Charles can slide into the slot. add any production by the TENN kid Brown….We will be just fine. I think Logan Gray makes the transition to WR..QB is either Murray or Mettenburger. Dawgs are gonna shock a lot of people!

how2fish

February 5th, 2010
4:05 pm

Dawg8589 most of our problems with stocking players at postions is not coaching its injuries you can only carry so many OL men and if they get really hard hit with injuries there is no quick fix this has happened in the past and will happen again..if you knew that a postion would lose 2-3 guys in a year to injury you could plan for it alas you can’t.

CvilleDawg

February 5th, 2010
4:07 pm

Has anyone heard about this eddie printz kid out of lassiter high school? we’re already recruiting him and he’s suppose to be the next great quarterback and he’s only a freshman I think.

ugaaccountant

February 5th, 2010
4:17 pm

Dawg8589

February 5th, 2010
3:57 pm
I wonder why Georgia has had problems recruiting kids for a certain postion, example O line or WR, when that particular position is showing lack of depth. We had this problem before. You would think if a position is going to thin, that kids would want to come fill the void because of immediate playing time. Unfortunately, I think it is coaching. I don’t know if it is the actual coach who is reponsible for recruiting that player, or it is the position coach.

We’re not actually thin at WR now, not even average. We’re loaded for 2010. We’re going to be a little thin in 2011, pending next years signees. Really more what i’d call average for a top 25 program. Not too bad of a group, but not great. Being average in 2011 won’t help when a 5 star recruit looked at the 2010 depth chart.

But next signing day, when a 5 star recruit sees AJ Greene leaving and projected to go high in the NFL draft, that recruit will see an “open spot” he can come take and he’ll see his path to the NFL.

NCDawg

February 5th, 2010
4:19 pm

Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I really think that Gray could be a ligit receiver. If he were to put on about 10lbs (core and upper body strength) he could become a Wes Welker type of slashing, possession receiver. With AJ drawing double teams he could really open up the short to middle passing game!

1eyedJack

February 5th, 2010
4:20 pm

The officials won’t let you play with but one football anyway.

Todd

February 5th, 2010
4:23 pm

Bill, off the subject, go get the facial, trim the “koon Dawg” beard look.

You do a great job, but everytime I look at your pic, you remind me of one of those 50-60’s guy at a UGA game that yells “Run the damn ball” or talks non stop around the house about how you hate the Gators

Nor do you dare write that Mark Richt has backed in to the 3 SEC title games, lost to UF in all 3 of those yrs. and needed help.

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, Run the damn ball…..

Reality

February 5th, 2010
4:28 pm

My boyfriend is here gotta go guys, can’t run my mouth on the AJC anymore today.

A move in store for Orson? Hmmmm

February 5th, 2010
4:30 pm

Aron White and Figgins AND the Mass kid Lynch? are going to be very excellent as UGA TEs. We are fine there. Now, if we needed to ………we could MOVE Orson Charles over to wide out and that would PUT get MORE top notch receivers ( w/ proven hands ) on the field and then let Aaron White, Figgins or Lynch play TE. This MA kid is the real deal. he very easily will play on Sundays, as he has the body at around 6′5″ and will weigh around 265 annd he can B-L-O-C-K and C-A-T-C-H the ball. As good or even great as O Charles is ……………Lynch is Bigger. Orson Charles might want to be in the wide out spots more often.

Food for thought, as it does put the best atheletes on the field at the same time in certain formations.

Chris

February 5th, 2010
4:31 pm

Bill, I personally think you and Mark Richt are putting way too much emphasis on recievers. So, we have what, 6 recievers, and 7 if Grey flips over to reciever? Then you have 4 Tight Ends. Granted some guys are destined to get hurt but seriously? Championships are not won by having 10 or more wide recievers. Championships are one in the trenches. Having a great defense, a big strong o-line that knocks the other defense off the ball. Having great running backs, and a QB that can manage the game and not make stupid idiotic mistakes.

What scares me is one of your first statements that Georgia will probably come out of the gates running the ball more until our new QB developes. What makes you think that Bill? Because of what happened in 09 when we desperately needed to establish the run because of the fact that we had an unproven QB that made a ton of mistakes??? We went away from the run way to soon as we have EVERY year under Mark Richt. I don’t see that changing, eventhough anyone that can see the light knows that Georgia should run the ball ATLEAST 65% of the time or more.

Recievers! Geez. Quit worrying about something that doesn’t have that big of an affect and start worrying about what really matters. I guess the Ga. Tech game was a fluke. I guess Richt thinks we can’t run the ball like that against other teams. No, we have to have BALANCE! The heck with balance. How much balance did Alabama have? EXACTLY! Shut up an run the ball!!!

WestOfAthens

February 5th, 2010
4:39 pm

In my opinion, the Dawgs will be A OK at receiver. It’s the incoming starter at QB that concerns me. Will he get the ball to the the right person? Or will he throw to the defense…..
The jury is out

HBTD!

fayncdawg

February 5th, 2010
4:42 pm

I actually think even Green underahieved, mainly because the O-line’s performance was very substandard. Green would have had 70 catches and about 13 touchdowns if the O-line had performed up to snuff (and Georgia would have won 10 games). And if this trend continues into the 2010 season and we’re looking at win number eight at somre December Toilet Bowl, Richt, Bobo, and Searels need to be gone!

Dawgs 2010

February 5th, 2010
4:44 pm

T.King, Wooten, and Brown were all freshman last year give them a break. They should be better next year. I see T. King emerging as a really good receiver. I really like our tight ends too. It will also help having a better qb to throw to these receivers.

Old Dawg

February 5th, 2010
4:52 pm

Some of you guys make the running game sound too easy. You can’t
“just knock the other defense off the line” The other teams give scholarships too and they play in the SEC. To win you have to have a balanced run/pass offense. BTW, Alabama had a pretty good QB and a
Heisman running back. Unless Herschel can come back, we need to pass
the ball and run the ball. The good news is we have some really good receivers.

Bremen Dawg

February 5th, 2010
4:58 pm

I think we will be fine too, need to stock up on 3-4 next year.

Einsteindawg

February 5th, 2010
5:06 pm

Don’t judge any of our receivers on last year’s results. How many S.E.C. teams would Joe Cox have started? Even played? For that matter, how many A.C.C. teams? We’ll be fine at receiver with any of our redshirt freshmen QBs passing. I’m thinking Troupe and Brown may have breakout seasons because A.J. will be double and triple teamed. Just my opinion.

Dawg Tired

February 5th, 2010
5:09 pm

Just exactly what is the deal with Brown? I thought he was a really big time recruit (5 stars?). wife receiver is a position where true freshman often step right in and contribute. Needless to say that didn’t happen. Was he, like many of our so-called big time recruits, overrated? On the bright side, he is another example of how the so-called “experts” rating these 18 year olds often don’t have a clue about how good they really are. On the not so bright side, apparently our coaches don’t either. Give me the 3-star kid who wants to work hard and play for the Dawgs over these so-called big-time kids who think all they need to do is show up and they’ll be all-Americans.

JRW7

February 5th, 2010
5:09 pm

UGA just hired Vandy linbacker coach

Old Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:13 pm

What’s the deal on Lonnie Outlaw? I read a statement by one recruiting
service raving about how he dominated in the N/S All-Star game. I know
he’s going to GA Military next yr to get his grades up (I guess). But
is he obligated to us in 2011 since he signed a NOL with us? He could
become a real factor at 6′6″ if he bulks up next year.

Why no JC transfer WR?

February 5th, 2010
5:14 pm

Kenbrell Thompkins has not signed with anyone…why not try?

Tailback U

February 5th, 2010
5:17 pm

Marlon Brown had better step up or in the 2011 season we could
end up depending on too many freshmen getting playing time.
Nothing to base this prediction but a gut feel per se but
got a strong feeling the Bennett kid will develop into a reliable
weapon at some point down the line. Based strictly on talent
the Outlaw kid would seem to be someone to watch for.
But I’m onboard with those who say let’s run the ball like
a Georgia team should run the ball and we wiil be fine.

Afternoon Grab Bag « MrSEC.com

February 5th, 2010
5:21 pm

[...] Kimmel also had a little fun with the controversy last night:7.  This Georgia writer/fan says “thank goodness for AJ Green and Orson Charles.”8.  John Calipari asked his Kentucky team three questions during yesterday’s practice.9.  [...]

Dawg Tired

February 5th, 2010
5:23 pm

I am amused at all this talk about Grey being a great wide receiver. Has he caught one pass? If he is as good as some on this blog think he is, wouldn’t the coaching staff simply move him to wide-out? Why would you let him sit on the bench if he was a great wide-out on a team admittedly thin at that position? Exactly what has he done to make anyone think he would make a great wide-out? Surely it’s not fair-catching punts. Ever notice that he is not the punt returner when we have the return on? He’s only in when we want to fair-catch the punt? Obviously I could be wrong, but I have seen nothing so far to indicate he would even know how to line up at wide-up, much less get open.

Lastly, surely if he is a great athlete, we would have used him more last season at QB. Sorry, I just don’t see him being the answer at receiver. Again, I would love to be wrong, but doubt that I am.

j.cassell

February 5th, 2010
5:39 pm

DuhRick’s pal started at the Darlington school,ended up at Calhoun Hi., went from Vandy to Hillybilly U.Nest move, from Beyonce to Whoopie.

Neubi

February 5th, 2010
5:48 pm

It’s going to take more than A.J. Green and Orson Charles, along with new defensive coaches to save Richt’s job. It’s going to take wins over South Carolina, Tenn, Florida, and Auburn. Actually he better not over look Arkansas or Miss State. Vandy and UK should be wins (but UK should have been 1 last year)

All you have to do is look at Richt’s record to see the decline. His 1st 4 years he was 42-10 or 80.8% and 24-8 in the SEC 75%. His last 5 years 2005-09 he has gone 48-17 73.8% and 26-14 in the SEC 65%.
He can’t afford to go 4-4 or even 5-3 in he SEC next year or he will be in big trouble. Sorry, but the numbers just don’t lie.

Jeff

February 5th, 2010
5:50 pm

I believe Rogers took a hard look at UT due to the lack of depth there. I think that speaks to the depth at UGA currently. So, I would say that losing him was not much of a problem in the long run. Also, deep down after watching him on TV I really don’t see him being as big of a recruit as others do. If AJ gets hurt we are in a hole whether we signed C Green or Rogers. I don’t think this years WR class will hurt us this year. Next year….Who knows it depends on how well we coach and develop our current crop of receivers.

NASH

February 5th, 2010
5:54 pm

I have seen and heard a lot of people saying that this is a down year for the dawgs as far as recuiting goes but I you look at what happen in the Lsu game and the Kentucky game the offense was great but the defense is what let the Dawgs down ( Charles Scotts big Td with 1 min left on the clock and I don’t know where to start with the second half of the Ken game) but but up grading the d line and filling holes and the Lb shot the dawg may not have the sexy class we all wanted but this class could turn out to be just what they really needed a defence heavy class that can turn a lot of thing around really fast and maybe one of the running back could switch over to rec

North Georgia Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:56 pm

The only questions marks we have for next year will be at QB and the new defensive scheme. Other than that, we have a lot of talented players on both sides of the ball from previous top 10 recruiting years. I personally think that Murray will play like Stafford in his sophomore year. He will start out a little slow but gain momentum toward the end of the year. Murray’s not all that tall but has some wheels and an arm to match. That’s pretty dangerous in College ball when you have two good RB’s and too many to count WR & TE’s. That’s way to many people to cover on a football. We will see a lot of mismatches and Aj won’t be double teamed like many belived. Again, Murray will really need to step up in his first year debut. I am looking forward to the Spring Game and to see how everything comes together!!!

Old Dawg

February 5th, 2010
5:58 pm

Neubi, Unless your name is Damon Evans, I don’t think you need
to worry too much about CMR’s job. I seriously doubt you will
make that decision. Some of you doubters need to get behind the
program or go on over and support the Gators or Bama (if you’re
not already there)

Neubi

February 5th, 2010
6:02 pm

Old Dawg

Don’t be so sensitive, just reporting the facts, I hope you can see the decline.

Old Dawg

February 5th, 2010
6:02 pm

Jeff,
Good comment about old “David Ricky” Rogers. I watched Buford shut him down and he didn’t impress at all in the All-Star game. He got frustrated way too easily.

North Georgia Dawg

February 5th, 2010
6:07 pm

Old Dawg. I totally agree! I’ll admit I was pretty PO’d that Richt waited as long as he did to make the D-staff changes I was even talking like most about the proverbial “hot seat” position that Richt was in. However, after thinking about the ramification and the long term effects of the program it’s just plain stupid/ignorant to even consider firing Richt. He’s the best we can get and I would say any program in D-1 ball would love to have him. I think the new staff will bring some new resolve and fire back to the program. After all, isn’t that what we have been lacking most. Good teams can win most of the time but a bad team with a lot of heart and emotion can beat a good team every time!

Denver Dog

February 5th, 2010
6:14 pm

I hear that the Alabama library burned down, no one was hurt,or there, or cared. The books self extinquished with the dust that had accumulated. Meanwhile they errect a statue to a coach!!!!!! Hmmmm?

Jborodawg

February 5th, 2010
6:45 pm

WR is not the weak link this year. It’s QB. As for linemen, we picked up a good bunch this year on both sides of the ball. Coach Searels did a credible job the last couple years…having to juggle due to injuries. In games where there was no offense, it was the line that let down, not Bobo.

#2 BAMA FAN

February 5th, 2010
7:03 pm

Denver Dog, I bet if Mark Richt won a NC the dawgs would give him anything he wanted!! RTR

Spanky

February 5th, 2010
7:10 pm

UgaKev, Man- you are right on the money! Great Post!

BDAWG

February 5th, 2010
7:14 pm

So, if we are lacking depth, lets go out and offer about 20 of the top receivers and see how many we can sign. In order to sign people, you have to offer more than 5 or 6 at each position. When the best players come forward bring your A game to sign them. That also goes for every other position.

Justin

February 5th, 2010
7:20 pm

AJ Green can’t go pro in 2011 if there’s a lockout so here’s to the NFL screwing this up, so AJ stays around another year.

Bill King

February 5th, 2010
7:22 pm

Observe & Report:

Outlaw won’t be playing for the Dogs next year. He has to go to junior college.

N GA DAWG

February 5th, 2010
7:43 pm

M. Brown shows up big in 2010… We also focus on the running game and play action passes to our excellent tight end corp.-everything will be predicated upon a successful running game and an aggressive D. WELCOME BACK BULLDOGS! WE MISSED YOU!

Tim Tebow

February 5th, 2010
7:48 pm

Chilli Dawg

February 5th, 2010
8:02 pm

Maybe…just maybe CMR is planting seeds for the 2011 recruiting class with his comments. 2011 is supposed to be a great year in the state with a lot of talent. Get their attention now for next year.

Clevon Little

February 5th, 2010
8:13 pm

We’ll be fine. The lack of depth at the WR position –especially as much as Richt & Bobo like to throw the ball — will be a catch-all for the 4-5 star WR recruits coming out of high school next year. Last I remember AJ was pretty good his freshman year.

Clevon Little

February 5th, 2010
8:22 pm

123456789: Valid point. It is a shame, and I couldn’t sleep at night if I were in ANY way involved. Judge threw his case out…because he is paid by the same state (GA) that owns the University of Georgia. BIG Government at it’s best. SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT & UGA-AA, which is why the less control we give the Government the better.

Just remember that the next time you go vote.

PeachJam

February 5th, 2010
8:23 pm

we’ll be fine.

GT Dog

February 5th, 2010
8:31 pm

Einstein, are you serious? Which other teams in the SEC would have even let Cox on the field? I know it’s real popular to blast Cox’s performance this past year, but think about this: There were eight QBs who played significant snaps in the SEC East this past season. Only one of those had a QB rating higher than Cox. That would be Tebow. Only Crompton at UT was even close to Cox in QB rating. Cox had too many interceptions, but only Tebow and Crompton had a better TD-Interception differential last year.

Looking at the stats, I think SC, Vandy and KY would have loved to have had Cox on the field last year. UT was fine with Crompton.

I’m not a great Cox Worshiper by any means, but there were times last season that the young man carried the Bulldogs on his shoulders. He deserves a bit more credit than he’s getting.

GT Dog

February 5th, 2010
8:33 pm

Flair! I remember you from Art’s back in the ’80s. I see that you’re obviously still fixated by men’s rectums. I guess you can’t teach and old Yella Jacket new tricks, eh?

mike nance

February 5th, 2010
8:35 pm

if UGA would have gave my son (the greatest QB of all time) a scholarship then ya’ll would have gotten my other son, da’rick rogers to sign. but nooo, i had to pull some strings and buy da’rick a new car. i had to lay off 20 employees just to afford da’rick a new escalade. AJ green can’t outplay da’rick because he isn’t rich now like da’rick. Its all about money baby

NFL scout

February 5th, 2010
9:06 pm

AJ Green is the next Terence Edwards = NFL practice squad

GAJetFan

February 5th, 2010
9:51 pm

Mark my words and you will hear this alot throughout the season….

Murray to Charles,Murray to Charles,Murray to Charles,Murray to Charles, BullDogs Score woof woof!!!