Catching up on the receivers . . .

 

   With Wednesday’s word that Kris Durham is headed for shoulder surgery – and won’t play again until 2010 – it was time to revisit the issue of who, aside from A.J. Green, will catch passes for Georgia this year.

  For all the talk this spring of replacing Matthew Stafford at quarterback and Knowshon Moreno at tailback, there’s the large matter of replacing Mohamed Massaquoi’s 58 catches last season at wide receiver.

  Durham might have been a significant part of the answer, although, granted, he caught only 13 balls last year. Mark Richt said Durham would have been “a big part of what we’re doing” and “at least in our top four” receivers, and his loss “definitely puts a hole in what we would have had.” Durham will have surgery on his torn labrum next month,  take a redshirt season in 2009 and play in 2010 as a fifth-year senior.

   Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo  frets the loss of Durham’s experience and admits he’s concerned about finding the numbers he needs at receiver.

    “We are a pro-I team that plays the fullback, [but] our next formation involves three receivers, a tight end and one back. So you’ve got to have some guys – at least six that can play,” Bobo said Wednesday night. “There’s what we started doing last year – some four-wide stuff. Depth is a concern for me, for us, at the receiver position.”

  Green, the SEC’s leading receiver as a freshman last year, has vowed to be better this year.  He’s a given. But what about the rest of the receivers? Here’s a quick rundown, with comments from Richt and Bobo after practice Wednesday:

    Michael Moore: The rising senior caught 29 passes for 451 yards last season, had the best game of his career in the Capital One Bowl and has followed up with an excellent spring. “Outstanding, in my opinion,” Richt said of Moore’s spring.  “He has been a great leader, and he really knows what to do. And he is one of the best blockers.” Bobo said Moore “has been very consistent [this spring], like he was at the end of 2007 and all of last year.”

  – Tavarres King: He missed most of last season with an ankle injury and has gotten mixed reviews this spring. King “has got a ways to go yet,” Richt said, “but he’s progressing.”  Richt added that Durham is “really taking TK under his wing right now.”  Bobo said King “has got to step it up and be more consistent. He has shown flashes but hasn’t been as consistent as we’d like.”

  – Tony Wilson: He missed most of last season with a torn ankle ligament after playing in 12 games (two starts) in 2007.  He has participated in spring practice and is steadily working his way back. “Lord willing, he will continue to get stronger,” Richt said. “I see less and less hobbling. Looks like he’s going to be back to normal. And if he does that, it will really help us because he’s a very, very physical football player and has got good hands and is smart.” Richt said Wilson is about 10 pounds heavier than he needs to be.  Bobo said flatly: Wilson “is going to have to play for us.”

  – Israel Troupe: He played sparingly (four catches) as a redshirt freshman last season. In a scrimmage last Saturday, he was part of the day’s biggest offensive play, a 64-yard TD pass from Aaron Murray.  Neither Richt nor Bobo brought up his name yesterday. Will have to follow up about him.

  – Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten: Both remain in high school – Brown in Memphis and Wooten in Belle Glades, Fla. – and will report to Athens this summer.  “I fully expect when those two young guys come in, we’re going to have to get [them] ready to play,” Bobo said.

   — Branden Smith and Orson Charles: Two more members of the 2009 recruiting class who will join the program this summer.  Smith was signed principally as a cornerback and Charles as a tight end.  But Richt said Wednesday both could chip in at wide receiver.  “We could take a guy like Branden Smith and use his abilities,” Richt said. “He’s going to be a corner – we’re not moving him to receiver – but there might be ways we can use him.”  And: “Orson Charles is absolutely qualified to play tight end or receiver,” Richt said.  “So [the need at receiver] may diversify his role a little bit, although we thought about those two guys anyway as offensive weapons.”

    Bottom line: “I think we’ve got a core group,” Bobo concluded, “but we need more consistency.”

    So . . . what’s your take on the receivers?

 

 

 

98 comments Add your comment

ALBDAWG3000

April 9th, 2009
6:45 am

I dont think losing Durham is that big a deal ……I think a Marlon Brown A.J Green duo was inevitable anyway ……but im telling you Rantavious wooten is going to be a real player for UGA from the moment he steps on campus I saw him play last year and he is a true game changer he patterns his game after another great Belle Glades player santonio Holmes…….dont worry Dawg fans you will see…………..

Spike

April 9th, 2009
6:52 am

Losing Durham will hurt. The guy has great hands, maybe the best on the team. But among those mentioned there is a diamond in the rough if they get healthy. What we really need to worry about is the defense and the kicking game.

Dawg4life

April 9th, 2009
7:54 am

Um, I’m pretty sure there’s a guy named A.J. Green that has the best hands on the team. I don’t think the loss of Durham will hurt that much. I think if at least one the duo that will be there in the spring (Wooten or Brown) shows up and proves he can play right away, then we’ll be fine. Having Durham would’ve been nice, but he was inconsistent at best last year (half his yards came in the first game against GSU). It might be best if he can continue to take guys like TK under his wing and help them this year, so that next year when he returns to full strength, we’ll have even more experience returning.

BHAMDAWG

April 9th, 2009
8:00 am

Durham has never been a breakout receiver. We will loose some valuable experience at the position, but the new talent level is better overall. Our receivers slways seem to play too “tight” and maybe the new guys will let it loose for a change. Green, T.K., Marlon, and Wooten are blazers. Moore and Troup are excellent 3rd down guys. The walk on Spellman kid is not that bad either. We will be fine.

yellowblood

April 9th, 2009
8:03 am

Recievers don’t really matter. UGAG has no QB. I feel another great Tickle Pile Cuming.

reality check

April 9th, 2009
8:08 am

It is going to depend on injuries. We have some talent and experience, and even with the loss of Durham we have enough numbers to get by…but losing another receiver or two to injuries would be a problem.

Bulldawg Billy

April 9th, 2009
8:13 am

Here we go with the injury crap again,what is up with our conditioning program ?

godawg

April 9th, 2009
8:14 am

Please follow up on Troupe. He was such a big signee and I know he was hurt most of last year bur surely he is not turning out to be a bust.

Bulldawg Billy

April 9th, 2009
8:15 am

This years QB will be far superior to the over rated M Stafford.

GeoffDawg

April 9th, 2009
8:19 am

If Orson Charles is all he’s cracked up to be, I think we’ll have the depth. Playing a hybrid role was one of the main reasons he stated he wanted to go to UGA in the first place. Hopefully also, this will be the kick in the pants that some of the players like Tony Wilson need to finally step up and fight for significant playing time. In any case, it’s a blow to lose Durham but at the very least, we’re guaranteed to senior leadership and experience next year when we know that we’ll have a new QB starting again.

BHAMDAWG

April 9th, 2009
8:31 am

Mark Richt– take this as an opportunity to be unpredictable. Run some plays with B Smith, Charles, even Rambo or Nick Williams at receiver. Break the mold and go back to the “ROOTS” of FSU!

ALBDAWG3000

April 9th, 2009
8:39 am

I think Branden smith is best served as cornerback looking at his game film i was extremely impressed ,but there is only one champ bailey , he would be best serving Gerogia as a punt returner and a lockdown corner ……but orson charles on the other hand plug him in immedaitely and get him the ball that guy has the potential to be better than Ben Watson and Randy McMicheal and thats saying something ………..

Voice of Reason

April 9th, 2009
8:52 am

I can definitely see B. Smith taking a good reverse or end around to the house this year.

CurlyHeadedDevil

April 9th, 2009
9:09 am

Apparently the author of this blog did not read the blog on recruiting by Michael Carvell. The dawgs are going to be so talented at every position this fall we won’t even notice Durham’s absence. Not until we take the field against an opponent anyway!

we had a great gameplan but failed to execute

April 9th, 2009
9:16 am

i don’t know if any of them will be able to function without matthew stafford to throw them passes.

i’m sure the dropped balls this year by aj green (every year we have a great reciever as a freshman turn in to a headcase his sophomore year – bailey,gibson,momass, and now aj??) will be primarily due to the fact that we don’t have a quarterback that isn’t a highly regarded NFL prospect.

but in the end, to quote coach richt, “as long as the recievers execute the gameplan, we will be fine.” We are 7 time national champion if we execute our gameplan.

And just for fun, I’m starting today to count how many more times chip towers mentions matthew stafford for the rest of the season. So far, he has been in just about every post.

Anyone want to bet on the over/under????

I’m done mentioning stafford. he is gone gone gone – thank god and greyhound. Joe cox is the man.

p.s.- the truth is that we need hines ward and ben watson to come back and spend a little time with our recieving corps….

Otto

April 9th, 2009
9:18 am

Durham has not been the headliner like AJ or MoMass but he is a 3rd wr that doesn’t get double teamed with sure hands. He is a valuable player on 3rd downs. I am still more concerned about UGA’s DL and DBs.

AltamahaDawg

April 9th, 2009
9:28 am

I think we need to bet the over and under of how many times you whine about game plans.

GeoffDawg

April 9th, 2009
9:59 am

gameplan – you do realize this was posted by Tim Tucker today, not Chip Towers? Try to be a little more on top of things when you bash someone.

Brian

April 9th, 2009
10:20 am

Why do we seem to contend with an unbelievable amount of injuries every year? It seems like season in, season out we always have about 20 guys who have lost a limb! What is going on?

Hearing about our “depth” problems due to injuries is getting old! Someone needs to take some vitamins or figure out a better way to train players.

Huh?

April 9th, 2009
10:21 am

Quite frankly, I have never understood all the hub bub about Kris Durham. The coaches have always talked him up alot but on gamedays I don’t see much production. I’m just being honest. I’m sure he’s a hard worker and all. Losing a potential starter is never a good thing, but I think we’ll be alright.

Huh?

April 9th, 2009
10:28 am

Another day and more whining about gameplans and injuries. You whiners are always right, LSU, Florida, and Alabama do not have to worry about gameplans and injuries. They are perfect. So please be my guest and join their ranks. You will not be missed. I can assure you of that.

exNFLplayer

April 9th, 2009
10:41 am

WR is not exactly a problem area for UGA. Plenty of talent at that position.

Cameron

April 9th, 2009
10:46 am

Wooten was going to see the field A LOT no matter if Durham is healthy or not. He will be Mike Moore’s top backup and offers a skill set that no other receiver we have on campus has. He is a Wes Welker type, but faster. Obviously, he won’t have the route running skills that Welker has, but he has the quickness and home run ability. He will see the field.

You might also see someone like Carlton Thomas play in one of the slots for 4-wide sets. But, maybe this means we will run more smash mouth football. I hope so, our line is going to be nasty and we have a good stable of backs.

WR will not be a problem. What is now a problem is we will have one less scholarship available for 2010. There are some outstanding WRs we after. I hope this doesn’t limit us from taking an extra elite WR. I would rather have the guarantee of Durham, but the limitless potential of an incoming, electrifying WR is very enticing as well.

GradyGrad96

April 9th, 2009
10:48 am

I really don’t get all the negativity around Stafford and Moreno. The entire team, including the offensive line was plagued by injuries last season. Prior to last season the team didn’t have a WR who could always be counted on to catch a pass. A cold maybe, but passes were another problem.

It’s as if the insane fan base expected Stafford to bring home championship after championship each year. If Stafford had gotten hurt last year, the best that team would have done is 6-6, maybe 7-5.

I hope Joe Cox turns out to surprise me. I’m not holding my breath. But if Joe is so great, why could he never crack the starting lineup? Maybe it’s just because he is not as good.

This is one instance where the UGA fan base is proving to be as nutty as everyone describes. The team’s QB last year could very well be the number one draft pick, and a large part of the fan base is hoping the door hits him in the butt as he leaves.

Lot of rose-colored glasses in this fanbase. If you fall into the category of Stafford bashers, why not just admit you expected an SEC and National Championship every year, and you need someone to blame for the team’s failings? You felt as though you were sold a bill of goods full of gold and when you opened the box all you found was lead.

It’s obvious to the sane people. Games are not just delivered. And honestly, UGA was not a better team than Bama or Florida or even Tech last year.

To blame Stafford for all he did to make the team successful is just plain ignorant. If you want to point fingers, point them at the coaching staff or injuries. But to point the finger at the one person who put together a great season is just moronic. I guess it was Stafford’s problem the defense was as horrific as it was.

This fanbase has lost connection to reality.

DawgGirl32

April 9th, 2009
10:53 am

GradyGrad- That’s just one delusional person’s opinion….not the entire fanbase. The majority of the fanbase appreciates Stafford.

ALBDAWG3000

April 9th, 2009
10:58 am

I say let Sander Commings play a little reciever have yall checked out his highschool gametape……..

uga_b

April 9th, 2009
11:00 am

I think it may be okay to mention the players exiting and their production when discussing their replacements. It provides context you haters. I also think Georgia football players don’t cease to be Dawgs when they leave campus; therefore, they are fair game for a UGA blog topic.

Tim/Chip, could one of you follow up on Aaron White as an option too? He came in as a hybrid and despite gaining some weight, he is still not a big TE.

Too bad I haven’t seen/heard much about our RBs being able to catch out of the backfield; that could be the attribute of Knowshon’s (FORMER PLAYER ALERT) absence that hurts the most.

David

April 9th, 2009
11:11 am

I think Georgia will be fine at WR but there is no doubt that losing Durham does hurt but hopefully the young guys can step up and be big time playmakers..after all that’s what Georgia does best!

GO DAWGS

Dawgilama Deux

April 9th, 2009
11:14 am

I’m a big fan of Durham…He’s been a good Dawg, but he’s similar to Kenneth Harris. He’s a big target…He’s fundamentally sound (route running/blocking/catching)…He’s a hard worker…He stays out of trouble. BUT, I get tired of hearing about his GREAT hands. Seriously, I can think of quite a few passes that he’s dropped, and should’ve caught (touchdown in the chest against Florida), and he certainly hasn’t made any outstanding catches. He doesn’t have any Gamebreaking abilities, but he’s an experienced, knowledgable and dependable option at WR, nonetheless. He’ll be missed, a lot, but only because we’re so short (in numbers and height) at WR.

As for the freshmen coming in, you people need to slow your roll on Marlon Brown. He’s gonna be good, he’s got talent, but he’s not nearly as polished a receiver as A.J. as an incoming freshmen. Marlon also played against competition similar to GISA in Georgia. But, he’s obviously got the tools, otherwise he wouldn’t be one of the top incoming WR’s in the country. Just don’t think he’s gonna show up this fall and be lining up across from A.J. on Day 1. This doesn’t mean he won’t EVENTUALLY have an impact…just slow your roll.

Dawgilama Deux

April 9th, 2009
11:19 am

Does everyone just assume Durham is “surehanded” because he’s white?

Carlton Thomas in the slot? Are your retarded? One of the reasons Durham will be missed is because we’re now left with a bunch of slot receivers…aside from A.J. and T.K. Why in the world would we put a RB in a slot in a 4 wide set?

Huh?

April 9th, 2009
11:41 am

GradyGrad, Joe clearly has the “it factor” that Stafford lacked. What is the “it factor” you ask? Hell if I know, but Joe has got it. For one thing, Joe is a team guy because he has waited his turn as a backup for 3 years, whereas Stafford is all about Stafford because he was selfish enough to take the starting job when the coaches offered it to him. I really don’t care what happens to Stafford in the NFL because having 1st round draft picks and NFL players doesn’t really help us at all. We don’t want to recruit guys that want to start in college and then go on to the NFL. They aren’t team players.

That was sarcasm of course. These idiots are in la la land.

ALBDAWG3000

April 9th, 2009
11:43 am

Him being white has nothing to do with it ……these blogs are about numbers not race ……….

ALBDAWG3000

April 9th, 2009
11:44 am

and i still believe hes not surehanded as well

Dawgilama Deux

April 9th, 2009
11:49 am

Then please explain to me, with numbers, how Durham has validated being “surehanded”. I just think it’s a very common misconception that all white receivers have great hands. It’s annoying to see people say that Durham has great hands, or is “surehanded”, but have no basis for the claim….other than him being white. So, ALBDAWG, him being white actually has everything to do with the point I’m making. I’m not being a racist or making a racist comment, I’m just pointing out a clear misconception made by sports fans who don’t know what they’re talking about. Apparently, you are one of these fans.

Dawgilama Deux

April 9th, 2009
11:53 am

“…Staffor is all about Staffor because he was selfish enough to take the starting job when the coaches offered it to him.”?????????? That’s easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

austindog

April 9th, 2009
11:58 am

GradyGrad, you are correct, but what fan base doesn’t watch their team with rose colored glasses? And the Bama, Gator, and GT fans in here are just as convinced their teams are instead the true “God’s gift.” If you’re looking for a rational debate, discussing college football is the wrong place.

As for Stafford and Moreno, they are great players, but they never won a title and left early, Moreno after 2 years. You think either of them honestly debated not leaving early for the glory of old Georgia? They satisfied their minimum requirements and they were free.

Their time at Georgia will earn them big dollars, I don’t think they’re owed anything more than that.

I-DOG

April 9th, 2009
12:02 pm

What happened to Walter Hill? Maybe I just forgot that he transferred or something… is he still on the team?

Ben

April 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

Dawgilama…

The reason why everyone says Durham has sure hands is because that’s what all the players, and coaches, say about him. Asher Allen said “He catches everything. That guy catches colds.”

So stop making an issue out of something when it isn’t there. Personally, I had predicted a big year for Durham and Moore because opposing defenses are going to be keyed in on Green. Durham had that one terrible TD drop last year, but other than that I don’t recall any glaring mistakes, and I remember him making two awesome catches in a row against Vanderbilt last year. He’ll be missed, but it will also be great to have him next season.

Johnny DangerDawg

April 9th, 2009
12:08 pm

If we had more tight ends returning next season, I think Aron White (6-4, 225) would be discussed as a potential receiver. His body type is more of a TE-WR hybrid than our other tight ends.

DawgGirl32

April 9th, 2009
12:09 pm

Dawgilama….scroll further down…..it was sarcasm…

AD

April 9th, 2009
12:10 pm

Losing Durham will really hurt. Don’t forget that he was the starter until he hurt his wrist diving after an overthrow from Stafford. I think it says a lot about his skills since Green didn’t move into the starting line-up until Durham went down. Michael Moore went nuts in the Capital One last year, so hopefully he’ll fill in the void until Marlon Brown is ready. It’s going to take so much pressure off of Joe “Suck My” Cox when he just has to thrown fades to either side of the field.

Huh?

April 9th, 2009
12:12 pm

“…Staffor is all about Staffor because he was selfish enough to take the starting job when the coaches offered it to him.”?????????? That’s easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

I agree 1,000%.

Huh?

April 9th, 2009
12:20 pm

austindog, I think they are owed alot more than that. I think they earned everyone’s respect by doing all they could to help Georgia win football games. Stafford was thrown to the wolves as a true freshmen and only briefly had the benefit of an elite offensive line. He never complained. He never threw anyone under the bus like you are throwing him under the bus. He just went to work and tried to get better. And Knowshon was the hardest working player I have ever seen. He was absolutely fearless and risked life and limb for Georgia. Your bitterness towards these guys is an embarassment to us all. If we’ve got guys leaving early for the NFL it means we’ve got some damn good football players on our side. Good luck getting those kind of talents to ever come to Georgia again if this is how they will be treated. Good day.

mo

April 9th, 2009
12:20 pm

plenty of talent on the O-side of the ball…its the D im worried about…SHEESH!!

Dawgilama Deux

April 9th, 2009
12:21 pm

Asher was obviously referring to Durham’s practice performance…or was he reciting some rap lyric. Not sure. Either way, his statement was inaccurate. I can assure you that Durham has dropped more balls than one. But, who cares…He won’t be cathcing any this season. Maybe he’ll catch some of those colds Asher was speaking of.

As for Walter Hill, he was kicked off the team. Actually spoke to a contact on the staff just recently about Hill. He says they haven’t heard anything from, or about, Hill since he was released from his scholarship. Must’ve been on bad terms. Not quite sure where he is now.

AltamahaDawg

April 9th, 2009
12:21 pm

I agree with Huh? who agrees with whatever that name was.

Mark

April 9th, 2009
12:24 pm

I think that UGA will be alright without Durham next year, although I hope his surgery goes well and gets a speedy recovery. They have plenty of depth this year… some young and unproven. Moore had a strong finish last year and I’m sure he will be a starter with Green.

And for Carlton Thomas playing slot receiver? Bobo doesn’t usually put those kind of wrinkles in the offense. I could see Branden Smith playing some because of his speed and experience at wideout in HS, but asking a 5′7 tailback to play full-time wide receiver is a bit much.

MiltonDawg

April 9th, 2009
12:53 pm

We should be ok at WR. Not to mention our RBs to go out for short passes. Anxious to see if Charles & Brown get some playing time right off the bat. We can always line up Lynch & Charles and have Green, Brown, King, etc as wideouts.

Tim Tucker

April 9th, 2009
1:03 pm

uga_b: On your question about Aron White as a WR option, here’s what CMR said yesterday:

“Aron could, but I think Aron has gotten to the point where he’s really playing pretty well at tight end. It’s not like we have a lot of depth there right now. Figgins is hurt. If he comes back healthy, that’ll help. But after that, Ros has no experience and the other two guys have no experience. So it’s not like we’ve got a lot of options at the tight end spot.”

uga_b

April 9th, 2009
1:03 pm

I hate to point this out to the irrational, but Stafford and Cox are best friends. If Stafford never leaves, Joe Cox never starts for the Dawgs. I am not saying that is the main reason he went into the Draft because there are at least 40 million reasons to leave. But it is funny to me that you bash the kid who left that gave the kid you like a shot.

I think what this really does is put more pressure on the TEs to produce so maybe we can stay in more TE sets.