The Marlon Brown case: Will he blossom in 2010 after a quiet freshman season?

It’s a frequent question on the blog: Why didn’t Marlon Brown play more last season?

He hears it, too.

“Oh yeah, all the time,” he says. “I either avoid it or just go, like, ‘I don’t know.’”

Marlon Brown: catching on? (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Marlon Brown: catching on? (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Brown, of course, signed with UGA as a much-hyped recruit out of Memphis in February 2009, a Parade All-American who was ranked the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com. And then he caught just two passes, both against Tennessee, in extremely limited playing time as a freshman.

The adjustment from a small school (Harding Academy) to SEC football went slower than the recruiting rankings would have suggested, but not necessarily slower than Georgia coaches expected.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Mark Richt said this week. “People have their rankings and expectations because of rankings and all that, but I knew Marlon was going to take a little time to get used to the speed of Southeastern Conference football. He really made great strides.”

By all accounts, the strides continued this spring until Brown was sidelined for a week by an injured left shoulder -– a sprained AC joint.

“I felt bad when he got hurt because he looked so much quicker to me and just a much smoother route runner in the spring than he was in the fall,” Richt said. “I thought he had great improvement, and I think he’s going to really help us a bunch.

“He’s a very physical football player. He’ll block. He’ll get after you. He’s got strong hands. He’s going to help us. I’m really looking forward to seeing him blossom.”

The 6-5, 200-pound Brown returned to practice on a limited basis Tuesday, wearing a green non-contact jersey. Georgia didn’t practice Wednesday and holds its 10th of 15 spring sessions this afternoon.

“We were pleased with Marlon’s progress last year and pleased with him early in spring ball,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. The shoulder injury, Bobo said, cost Brown important practice time last week. “Marlon needs this time tremendously. . . . He’s got to be on the field to get better.

“Hopefully he can practice the rest of the way,” Bobo said. “Just get him out there running around, it doesn’t have to be contact, but getting out there running routes and learning how to run routes. Not in a negative way, but he was a lot of times a little bit raw and has to fine-tune his skills and is getting close there and just needs practice.”

Brown said he was “frustrated” by the ill-timed shoulder injury, but if he was frustrated by his quiet freshman season, he never showed it in a negative way.

“All these guys tend to get a little frustrated if they don’t come in and play like a recruiting service or somebody ranks them and thinks they’re going to be instant impacts,” Bobo said. “But that’s just part of the process, going through that.

“And sometimes I think it’s good for those kids to go through that and have a little adversity and learn how to fight and push. Marlon is a kid who has accepted that well. I haven’t seen anything [to indicate] that, hey, this guy is sulking or disappointed. He’s working hard.”

130 comments Add your comment

jimmy

April 1st, 2010
10:09 am

the kid is a winner

Worm

April 1st, 2010
10:11 am

If he starts producing, we could be hell!

TuckDAWG

April 1st, 2010
10:16 am

Good for you Marlon keep working good things are coming GATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just wondering

April 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Not sure if we would be number one or not, but with AJ, Marlon, Wooten, Troupe, Durham….. Where do we stand on having the tallest receiving core in the nation? Has to be top 5.

zulucanbial

April 1st, 2010
10:18 am

BUT WHY WASNT HE REDSHIRTED???? Ive always seen Marlon as an unpolished gem…just needing more time to catch up to SEC speed. why didnt someone ask MRC about why Marlon wasnt redshirted????

BigMike Said...

April 1st, 2010
10:21 am

A.J. Green, Marlon Brown, Orson Charles. Rantavious Wooten, Aaron White, T. King,Israel Troupe, and the return of Kris Durham, UGA’s starting QB shouldn’t have many adjustments. Washaun, and Caleb will be freezing guys in play action. We should look like that 1999 St Louis Rams team.

beachdog

April 1st, 2010
10:24 am

Why wasn’t he redshirted?

AJ Greene was injured remember.

UGA fans are so ...

April 1st, 2010
10:28 am

This is why you can’t put too much stock in these recruiting services.
BigMike: You better hope they look like the 1999 St Louis Rams, because they won’t be stopping many people.

Just answered

April 1st, 2010
10:32 am

Avg. WR height is about 6′1″, but going 6 deep (only guys that matter) the avg. height is 6′2″. That doesn’t factor in White and Charles who would push the avg. height to 6′3″. It all looks good on paper, but let’s not forget the ongoing maturation of play-caller Bobo… If anyone could mess this advantage up, he could…
And Big Mike… If you want to see good playaction watch some tape of the Colts when they had Edge, Peyton in his prime, Wayne and Harrison.

WonderDawg

April 1st, 2010
10:35 am

Yet another shoulder injury. Jeez…

AceDawg

April 1st, 2010
10:39 am

Let’s just put it out there since I do every year…. UGA is still talented enough to compete for the national title!! They just need to pick the quarterback with the right winning attitude and show a mean, opportunistic defense once again. The rest will take care of itself.

WonderDawg

April 1st, 2010
10:46 am

Don’t forget Arthur Lynch, 6′5″.

HungryDawg

April 1st, 2010
10:46 am

Brown will be fine. I do wish he had been redshirted, just like I hope we redshirt Samuel this year, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.

Sorry Guy!

April 1st, 2010
10:50 am

beachdog – First it is AJ Green not AJ Greene and Green didn’t get hurt until later in the season after Marlon had already stepped on the field and lost his redshirt. So your reason would be incorrect!

Sorry Guy!

April 1st, 2010
10:52 am

Just wondering – I wouldn’t include Wooten in the tall receiver conversation. He is only 5′10

Delusional Dog

April 1st, 2010
10:58 am

The 1999 Rams offense? Why, they’ll be MUCH better than that!! I’ll bet you they’ll score 60 points a game, probably over 70 against Florida and all those new coaches down there! After all, wasn’t Aaron Murray All Pro in his 8 years of playing AAAAAAAAA high school football?! And that Brantley, who can’t throw running to his left anyway, he only played like maybe C middle school level competition. Murray should have 8,000 yards passing this season and you can take it to the bank and while you’re at it, book it! And with our DC, don’t be surprised if not a point is scored on us all season! That’s right, I’m saying it…0 points. That’s unless somebody just gets LUCKY and scores a rouge touchdown on us. Don’t doubt it, book it! Take it to the bank! Woof Woof!

Otto

April 1st, 2010
10:59 am

People ask why Marlon wasn’t and why Moreno was. You never really know until they get on the field.

jp

April 1st, 2010
11:05 am

Totally agree with you delusional dog. This dawg team is going to be hard to beat. Wouldn’t be surprised if we went 12-0.

Doubt it!

April 1st, 2010
11:11 am

Delusional Dog – I like the enthusiasm but I don’t think we will score that many points a game and we won’t shut out anyone but you can guarantee that we will be better than last year on both sides of the ball. I am sure that is what you meant by your over exaggerated stats.

Delusional Dog

April 1st, 2010
11:18 am

AceDawg…I agree with you and patrick (when he decides to chime in) 100%. There is MORE than enough talent here to win the NC. And if it wasn’t for those crooked refs and paid off SEC commissioner, we would have won it the last five years. Just look at the record for the last 185 years, it speaks for itself. The only problem is that that LUCKY Meyer and that CHEATIN” Saban somehow got in the way. And Miles, I don’t know how in the world HE slipped in there! But now that Willie’s gone and Bobo’s halfway out the door you can book it!… things are gonna change around here! Look out SEC, THE DAWGS ARE ON THE RISE!!

Casey

April 1st, 2010
11:19 am

Moreno had stories written about him all the time as far as his ability and practice efforts. The upper classmen always complained about his non-stop motor and hustle. His back flips in full pads, along with some runs that even amazed the coaches should have been enough to let you know he was ready. Marlon Brown had none of that in practice. He is going to be great, but hasn’t stood out like Moreno did once he was on campus. I foresee a bright future for him, especially this year if he can get going, and A.J. Green can stay healthy and let loose like we know he can. Having the best receiver in the country on the far side of the field should open up plenty of area for Marlon and allow him to bust out.

Of A Superior Bloodline = UGA Alumni

April 1st, 2010
11:23 am

I think Delusional Dawg is a jealous bumble bee!

Doubt it!

April 1st, 2010
11:29 am

Delusional Dog – Wrong again. There were many reasons why we didn’t win the NC over the last 10 years but none of them include the crooked refs, Meyer being lucky, or Saban cheating. Once again I like how you think positive but you are reaching here.

Nick

April 1st, 2010
11:33 am

I still think his freshman year was wasted. I also think the Vols fans are total trash for booing him when he made it on the field and after his catches. But then again, I knew that going into it.

Delusional Dawg

April 1st, 2010
11:35 am

jp…12-0? 12-0?! Don’t short sell this Dawg team, son! After we destroy Bama in the SECCG (hell, they probably won’t even show up), were going to vanquish Boise State in the BCS NC game. It will probably be the first time in history that the opposing team doesn’t bother to come out of the locker room after half time. That’s OK though, we’ll just have CMR give a big ‘ol prayer service for the second half. But we’re not stopping there my friend! Oh, no! Not by any means! We are gonna march right on to the Super Bowl vs the Cowboys and show those 99 Rams what a real offense looks like! BULLDAWG NATION TAKING OVER! WOOF! WOOF!

Delusional Dawg

April 1st, 2010
11:39 am

And “Doubt it!”…DON”T DOUBT IT! You can book it! In fact, while you’re at it, take it to the bank!!

G

April 1st, 2010
11:43 am

Yeah Aj , T King , Woot and Brown i like it.

Perk

April 1st, 2010
11:48 am

Durham was injured too. UGA is loaded at WR. Brown will blossom this year

hello newman

April 1st, 2010
11:52 am

Delusional – the Cowboys???? The chances of Romo making it to the Super Bowl are about as good as Jessica Simpson scoring a 1600 on the SATs (or the chances she actually uses Proactive Solutions).

Flo-Ri-Duh!

April 1st, 2010
11:53 am

The puzzle is Israel Troop – he is a physical stud but hasn’t shown it on the field yet…. hopefully this will be the year.

bobbydawg

April 1st, 2010
11:55 am

james carpenter, chance warmack, darius mckeller, ed christian, jujuan james,maurice hurt,sergio render, ray dominguez. No more coaches from S. Georgia at Uga.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

April 1st, 2010
11:55 am

I for see a 9 win season for the Dawgs… pretty good with a rookie QB at the helm…. and a new defensive scheme.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

April 1st, 2010
11:57 am

I also see Florida losing 4 games – including one to the Dawgs.

Nolabigdawg

April 1st, 2010
11:57 am

Hey Delusional,Your obsessive interest in the fortunes of the Dawgs is quite comical. What’s the matter, nothing of interest happening in your beloved Gator Land? What you can BOOK is that all true Dawg fans will remain that way, no matter what changes and trevails come our way.

Any way, A Happy and Blessed Easter to you and all the Faithful out there!!!

Delusional Dawg

April 1st, 2010
12:00 pm

And another thing…I am sick and tired of hearing these Bammer Jammer and Gaytor fans talk about this and that. How everbody “fears” Nick Satan now and how he’s gonna run all over the conference. Blah blah blah. Well I can tell you that CMR is not only a classy guy, but he fears nothing and NO ONE! Did you know our coach once spent 12 hours in a tanning bed? Yep, that’s 12 hours STRAIGHT, Jack! No water breaks, not even to adjust his goggles! And Florida fans love to talk and talk about the Meyer and CMR head to head record. But THIS is a new day and a new Dawg team that’s going to Jax to win! Even if the plane runs out of peanuts! Even when it’s hot! So they need to stop livin’ in the past. Besides, don’t they know of the overall record and how we used to dominate them 30 years ago! Dumb reptiles!

dawgfan

April 1st, 2010
12:03 pm

Its absolutely assinine that this is even an issue. The guy was a true freshmen. RELAX. People, particularly haters, talk out of both sides of their mouths about these recruiting rankings. On the one hand they claim they are meaningless. Then the second a highly rated recruit doesn’t light the world on fire right out of the gate these same people want to label him a bust. But I thought all those stars didn’t mean anything? Why do they mean so much now?

I digress. It didn’t help Marlon that AJ had such a huge freshmen season the year before he came. That is not the norm. And I’ve always said that my fellow UGA fans sometimes put a little too much emphasis on the younger guys while ignoring the talents and contributions of the veterans. We’re always looking for the next Herschel Walker to come out of nowhere and save us from ourselves. Ain’t happening. Most of these guys take time to develop. Marlon has 3 more years. That is a long time. Be patient.

Thanks

WonderDawg

April 1st, 2010
12:04 pm

Flo-Ri-Duh, have you even looked at UF’s schedule? If so, which 4 games will they lose?

Doubt it!

April 1st, 2010
12:10 pm

Delusional Dawg – you are out of control. None of what you said is possible, but I love the enthusiasm!

[...] Tim Tucker of the AJC writes that Marlon Brown is catching on at receiver at Georgia. [...]

Tdawg

April 1st, 2010
12:13 pm

Nick, you think that Brown was booed. Wait until whats his name steps between the hedges.

BZ

April 1st, 2010
12:13 pm

pick your poison GREEN or BROWN

[...] According to this writer, Brantley has had a good spring, “not a great one.”5.  Will receiver Marlon Brown break out in 2010 after a quiet freshman season?6.  Second-team offensive lineman Chris Burnette is earning [...]

Overconfident Hater

April 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

Georgia will be down again this year. They have to find a quarterback and learn how to play defense. Ain’t no way son . . . I say ain’t no way son this team wins more than 5 games if they can even get to 5 wins. Hell we won’t even prepare for Georgia this year . . . we’ll just rest our starters and play second and third stringers. Ain’t no thang! Richt has peaked and is rapidly sinking. It’ll be the middle of the season before they even come together as a team. Florida will dominate them again and should they, heaven forbid, get lucky and make the SEC Championship game, Bama or LSU will treat them rough and prove once and for all that the Dawgs are over-rated.

WARNING: Continued thinking like this can be dangerous to arrogant SEC rivals who underestimate the changes currently taking place in Athens. This can lead to upsets on game day and serious eating of crow by delusional loudmouth fans who seek to sow grief among the Georgia faithful.

Well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! I don’t know for sure how good we’ll be this year but it won’t surprise me a bit if we’re a hell of a lot better that our detractors are expecting. Go Dawgs! GATA!

[...] Tim Tucker of the AJC writes that Marlon Brown is catching on at receiver at Georgia. [...]

run the ball

April 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

I hope Marlon does well, but if we’re going to beat Florida we have to establish a power running game. No delayed handoffs. No misdirection runs. Line up, pull your guards and tackles, and run behind our 2 (not one) all american fullbacks. What is CMR’s record when we have a back rush for 100 yards? We got crushed in time of possesion last year. Let our 2 (not one) all american fullbacks touch the ball 10 times a game.

We could seriously play for the NC this year. Tenn is falling apart and the Gayturds are in “transition”, although are still very talented. If we beat Tenn and Fla we will play in the Georgia Dome. The winner of that game plays for the crystal ball. I’m just sayin.

Tim

April 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

I’ll give delusional dawg credit, he’s actually pretty funny. Obviously not a UGA fan, and nothing wrong with that, but pretty funny none the less.

Unfortunately, marlon suffered from the recruiting services overhyping him and fans expecting him to perform like AJ. It’s not often players come along as far advanced as AJ was as a freshman, so for him to live up to those expectations wasn’t realistic. The competition he played against in HS wasn’t the best, but in time I think he can develp into a great player. Should he have redshirted last year? In hindsight, yes. Unfortunately, you just never know with these kids, some develop much faster than others. Wish him the best, we sure need him!

How2fish

April 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

Overconfident Hater good post !

Halberstram

April 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

Sorry if already asked, but Tim can you ask Richt why Marlon played last year if the coaches expected such a hard transition from high school to college? It’s either a failure on the coaching staff for getting him in there or on Marlon’s part for not being better prepared.

1eyedJack

April 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

Remember after last year with Moreno leaving as a redshirt soph that CMR said that any skill position players who could possibly help the team would not be redshirted.

Delusional Dawg

April 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

Overconfident Hater…that has to be the post of the year! No, make that the Century! You are so right man, those who underestimate what’s going down at UGA do it at their own peril! Just because we’ll have a new QB whose never taken a snap in the SEC, because we went 7-5 last year, just because we lost alot of defensive players and will be playing a whole different scheme this year , just because we have a Bobo calling offensive plays, just because they beat the dog out of us LAST YEAR (that is SO last year), they think that this team is not championship material. And I’m not just talking SEC championship here. What a bunch of clowns! And oh yeah, almost forgot…they just LOVE to bring up our bowl game in Shreveport last year, which we won but I can’t quite remember the team we played…anyway, they just love to joke about how we spent our holidays in SHREVEPORT but it’s obvious they have never been to the downtown Shreveport Holiday Inn so what would they know!!