Wide receivers: No A.J. Green, but plenty of options

We’re about one month away from the start of preseason football practices in Athens, so it’s time to start taking a closer look at Georgia’s 2011 football team. This is the second in a series of articles in which I’ll be breaking down each of the Bulldogs’ position groups to give you an idea who are the projected starters and what the expectations might be for this season. Then, as always, we’ll throw it open for your commentary and analysis. There are only 63 days until Georgia’s season opener against Boise State. Let’s get busy. . . .

Tavarres King hauls in one of his three TD catches last year in a game against Mississippi State. (AP photo)

Tavarres King hauls in one of his three TD catches last year in a game against Mississippi State. Georgia hopes to see more of this in 2011(AP photo)

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Projected starters: SE Marlon Brown (Jr., 6-5, 222), FL Tavarres King (Jr., 6-1, 192), FL Rantavious Wooten (Jr., 5-10, 185)
  • Others to watch: Israel Troupe, Michael Bennett, Chris Conley and Malcolm Mitchell will likely get a chance to show their wares early as Georgia operates in a six-receiver rotation.
  • Key losses: They don’t get any more significant than A.J. Green, who was snapped up by the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth pick of the NFL draft after his junior season and left as arguably the Bulldogs’ best receiver of all time. Green and fellow NFL draftee Kris Durham were the Bulldogs’ top two pass catchers last season with 89 between them.
  • Key fact: A fairly experienced group returns. King, Brown, Wooten and Troupe have played in 103 games between them, so knowing what to do and how to do it should not be a issue. King proved to be a solid secondary option opposite Green, hauling in 47 catches the last two seasons at a hefty 20 yards per catch. Brown, a former five-star prospect and No. 1 player in Tennessee, is poised for a breakout season. He had 11 catches and his first TD in 2010 and the Bulldogs named him Most Improved Receiver.
  • Key question: Are multiple good options better than one great option? With Green on the field, quarterback Aaron Murray understandably had a tendency to throw the ball his way despite what coverages might have dictated. With no clear dominant force at wideout, Murray will likely need to be more reliant on his ability to read the defense and find the open man.
  • Recent developments: Expect young players to have an impact as the Bulldogs search for a big-play threat during preseason camp. Conley, an AJC Super 11 selection out of North Paulding High School, enrolled early and impressed in spring practice. And the late recruiting victory for Mitchell, who had more than 1,400 yards receiving as a senior at Valdosta, could be a real X factor. He’ll be given every opportunity to prove himself and earn playing time.
  • Outlook: Fair to good. Losing a mega-talent such as Green would seem to indicate an overall downgrade. But the Bulldogs have several players who have been toiling in his shadow and are eager to prove their worth. With a first-rate group of tight ends already in the fold, Georgia needs only two or three reliable targets out of this group to be effective and it says here it will have that and then some.
  • Your turn: What do you think about Georgia’s wide receiver corps?

PREVIOUS POSITION BREAKDOWNS:

July 1 — Offensive line

346 comments Add your comment

greg

July 2nd, 2011
9:41 am

I’ve never did this before, but….1st?

italian_29

July 2nd, 2011
9:43 am

First and I think the Recievers will be Good this year.

italian_29

July 2nd, 2011
9:44 am

I guess I shouldn’t have read the article and made a comment in addition to FIRST. LOL

greg

July 2nd, 2011
9:44 am

Ok…There are a lot of good options at WR. It’s time for MB to step up to the plate and be the receiver he was touted to be. Wooten still plays for us? After last year I wasn’t even sure he was on the team any more. TK will be a good first option. He has great hands. Out of MB, MM, and CC if one steps up that will be enough. With Troupe anything we get will be gravy at this point in his career…

Dawg in the Northwoods

July 2nd, 2011
9:48 am

Add in the TE’s and I hope Murray gets enough time from the O-Line to find an open receiver. IMHO we will have open receivers; but, you can’t throw the ball from your back.

gg

July 2nd, 2011
9:51 am

Running backs out of the backfield will be another option, too. Murray’s mobility will also be a great asset in finding the open receiver. Dogs are in good shape here!

mcg dawg

July 2nd, 2011
10:03 am

Well said Dawg in the Northwoods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ga Peach

July 2nd, 2011
10:04 am

Love this breakdown you are doing!!!! Dawgs will be there when it counts the most – GO COACH RICHT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxg1I1jA29c

john

July 2nd, 2011
10:08 am

Considering that Orson Charles also will spread out a lot this year due to his phenomenal athleticism and the incredible depth at tight end, this position will be good to very good barring unforeseen injuries. What a lineup: Aaron White TE, Charles in the slot and King and Brown at split and flanker – Wow! Go Dawgs!!

Wooten looked like he was about to break out in the spring 2010 and preseason last year. I believe King’s emergence, and Durham’s play is what limited Wooten more than anything. Look for Brown and Wooten to become big time threats this year with Green and Durham exiting the scene.

Dawglasville

July 2nd, 2011
10:12 am

Orson is the man. I hope that Murray doesn’t lock into him. Spread the ball around and keep them guessing.

dawgfan

July 2nd, 2011
10:17 am

We could have Jerry Rice and Randy Moss at receiver and it won’t make a damn bit of difference until the O-line grows a pair.

That is all. Thanks.

Jacket Man

July 2nd, 2011
10:22 am

Bad news, Bulldog fans. You already have a running back, who just showed up campus, who has proved himself a “problem child.”

Since he’s been on campus, he’s already racked up nearly 20 parking tickets and, since he’s already started missing morning workouts, has had a coach “assigned” to him to make sure he’s up and there.

PJ's Saucer Nipples

July 2nd, 2011
10:24 am

Aaron Murray is a stud. Not too worried about the receivers. Watch out for Bennett.

Dirty Dawg

July 2nd, 2011
10:27 am

I keep beatin’ the drum for The Camilla Comet, Justin Scott-Wesley…trouble is nobody seems to be hearing it. I mean he was a 4-Star guy, in the top 30 receiver prospects in the country and is probably the fastest kid on the ‘Dream Team’. Maybe it’s because he’s ‘listed’ as ‘only’ 6′ even, but according to folks whose opinion I value he’s got great moves, is a strong runner after the catch and, as the top 100 meter and past 200 meter state track champ, obviously has superior top-end speed. Then again, most of my comments have been to ask why he shouldn’t be tried at running back – he’s over 200 pounds, and by the the season could probably be pushing 215 if they wanted to go that way. That combination of size, running ability, elusiveness, power ‘and’ speed hasn’t been seen around these parts since….let me see??? Well, I won’t go there, but I sure hope they, at least, give the kid a shot at something.

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
10:40 am

Not to say that AJ didn’t make some big plays but It’s not like there were a bunch of victories that you’d have to say wouldn’t have happened without him.

footballfan-365

July 2nd, 2011
10:43 am

Jacket man its still the summer time dont you have an elementary school to break in to? With marlon brown’s size and speed he could force some huge mismatches this year I hope everything comes together for him this yr.

line

July 2nd, 2011
10:47 am

ITS NOT THE RECIEVERS OR QUARTERBACK–IT IS THE O-LINE. THEY WANT BE GOOD ENOUGH TO GIVE QB TIME TO FIND ANYONE OPEN. THEY PROBABLY WANT BE ABLE TO OPEN HOLES FOR THE RUNNING GAME. THE YEAR DEPENDS ON THE THE O-LINE

line

July 2nd, 2011
10:48 am

Enter your comments here

Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

July 2nd, 2011
10:50 am

Our little brothers posted this on Youtube that I got a kick out off.

An empty stadium….long-forgotten ancient history against an unidentifable foe memorialized in grainy black and white….the litany of coming losses which looks all the world like a 3-9 season….a really poor facsimile of a never-won Heisman.

This gem is priceless!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYbyHuaj3B4&feature=player_embedded

Maybe you guys, too, will enjoy it.

Jacket Man

July 2nd, 2011
11:08 am

You guys can slam me all you want, but it won’t change the facts. Just remember, you heard it here first.

CHDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:10 am

Dirty Dawg,
I am very interested in Wesley-Scott, too. He is very fast and he is bigl. I think he ran a 10.3 100 meter in HS! I’m going from memory and could be off a little, but that is blazing fast. The problem with all of these guys is that you never know who will step up and who won’t make the jump. Everybody at the SEC starter level has great ability and it takes some players longer than others to adjust. AJ seemed great from the day he stepped on the field, as did Orson Charles. Massaquoi, on the the other hand, could be painful to watch at times until his senior year, when he almost never made a mistake…he became an outstanding receiver, and a great contributor in team leadership, too. In a sense, he helped make AJ a success. I have also always had my eye on Troupe, but he shows a flash of brilliance, and then he drops one, or fails to reach something a great baseball player (like he is) should reach. I feel like he could wake up and make a huge contribution at any point. A couple of other big points: we operated without AJ for the beginning of last season, but that was with a brand new QB, and AJ’s loss was a bit of a late shock. Bobo was trying to protect Murray from being in demanding situations, and that made the opposing DCs jobs much easier, imho. All of the receivers are a year older, we have a lot of very talented new receivers, Murray is much more confident and capable. Most importantly, Bobo has a lot of confidence in him, and that should lead to more aggressive game planning, so the receivers will likely look much better, as long as they catch the ball. Also, we should have much improved running backs. Last year we had King and Thomas and King got hurt right off the bat. Ealey was suspended. This year we have a bigger and better King and Thomas, but we also have several potentially good new guys. Unlike the masses, I am most interested in Malcome. I am just going on G-Day, when he was dealing with a sore groin, but he runs very tough. He reminded me a little bit of Danny Ware, only get him healthy and he might even be a better back. Offense comes down to the O line again. If they can block, we will likely put up a whole lot of points this year. We put up a lot last year even with the issues we had to deal with that I alluded to above. In summary, I’m excited about our receivers. They will be pushed by the new guys, and they will be helped by a much more confident QB, and better RBs.

dawgfan

July 2nd, 2011
11:12 am

Jacket Man, it doesn’t seem to matter how many parking tickets our football players get when we play Tech. To hear the typical crybaby Tech fan tell it, half of our football players are either in prison or fleeing to Mexico by seasons end. So why can’t your joke football program beat us? I just don’t understand Techie. You Techies love to run your mouths about all of our supposed problems but refuse to acknowledge that despite all of Paul Johnson’s infinite genius he can’t figure out how to take advantage of them.

ugab

July 2nd, 2011
11:13 am

MR is not good at replacing players. We needed a FB the last 3 years and MR did not get one ready. Now we are SOL. We need OL and DL. MR failed big time one that one 2. Everyone is sick of it. We have seen enough. MR is making millions of the Un. of GA.. Not having players in waiting is inexcusable

P-Man

July 2nd, 2011
11:17 am

I, too, believe Justin Scott-Wesley could be a big asset. I hear he has bulked up (which slowed him down a littel on the track), but he is still very fast.

And people keep forgetting we finished at #2 just 4 short years ago, so stop saying Georgia has been pitiful for decades (or years, or centuries). Geez folks. The best indicator of future success is past performance, and based on Richt’s 10 years here, I’d say the past performance has been pretty good. Of course, if you only want to look at the last 2-3 years, that’s your prerogative. Just hope your boss looks at your overall performance, and not just the last month, when you get your performance evaluation…

Lasso

July 2nd, 2011
11:18 am

Tech is excited, they think they’re finally going to give Grady a run for their money in their Fall scrimmage.

Destin Dawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

with the Super T.E.’s we’ll be fine…. Richt needs to coach offense.. Bo Bo coach Q.B.’s.. open it up !! it;s all about THIS YEAR.. hurry up play calling.. Trickeration at times.. maye a fake punt or onside kick once a game ??? Grantham’s Junkyard defense will win field position turnovers.. great kicking game… Go Dawgs !!

P-Man

July 2nd, 2011
11:25 am

Watched the video, WOG Dog. Lots of highlights against Duke and Wake Forest, only one against the Dogs. Not much to see…

jaglaw

July 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

Enter your comments here

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

Is it me, or does everybody else roll their eyes when they hear “you heard it here first”. As if YOU know something that nobody else in an Internet blog has ever muttered? Tell us your source if you really want to pretend to be some insider. (and if you did, what do you want to bet your source would question your maturity to run and try to stroke your own ego in a blog with thier info?) Otherwise you go down with all the other punks that say that about 3 times a week.

Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

July 2nd, 2011
11:31 am

P-Man,

I especially liked the litany of the NATS’ 2011 season. Win, win, probably loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, maybe win, loss.

The funny thing, they see it as motivational.

rabundawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

Enter your comments here
Chip, you overlooked the importance of Durham last year. He was the one that stepped up and broke the back of defenses when Green was gone and was an almost equal to Green when he came back……Throwing the ball to Durham was money in the bank…

jaglaw

July 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

Georgia’s biggest issue is its medical staff and strengthening programs. We can’t keep kids healthy and CMR continues to extend offers to injured linemen. Honorable yes…..but dumb. This also affected the search for a DC last year. We rank last in SEC in returning injured players to the field. Bama is first. This problem will cost CMR his job. His.refusal to.fire Vanhalenger will.cost him. I hate this.but.its true.

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

Interesting (tech) video. Seemed to be made from a fan who wants to imagine them as a passing team though.

Tossed Salad

July 2nd, 2011
11:35 am

So the silly nerd claims that Crowell’s been averaing 1 parking ticket per day since he arrived on campus earlier this month. I think he’s got that number confused with the number of wins Tech steals over its rival every decade.

CHDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:36 am

Great points P-man, and oops on the hyphenated Scott-Wesley. Maybe Flash would be easier. WRT Richt–just like investing, the minute a great stock has a bad year there will always be a crowd that wants to jump out and start riding last year’s big winner. We have a great football coach and program. Support it and him and hang tough. If the negative trend continues this year, then we can look again, but right now it looks like we should do quite well. We only have to wait a couple of months to see what we have. Constantly carping about Richt is for losers and opposing fans pretending to be Dawgs, imo.

just a fan

July 2nd, 2011
11:50 am

I hope they do like they say they will and slide Orson Charles into the slot more often than not he seems like a mismatch for either a linebacker or a safety. He should have 50 plus catches this year without breaking a sweat.

CHDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:50 am

Jag,
I think I read recently that they have added nutrition specialists and done a lot of work in the health area. I don’t agree with your conclusions about personnel, but I do agree with your basic point: UGA’s consistently high injury rate shows we could have very real problems in stretching, conditioning, and nutrition. The coaches need to address it. The big indicator for me is pulled muscles. We have had a bunch over the last few years, and this is almost a completely preventable injury. You have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to stretching, flexibility, and prevention, but they need to get on with it! The attitude that these are just nagging injuries we have to put up with is a big mistake. They are indicators of a poor stretching program.

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

“Continues” to extend offers to injured linemen? Didn’t realize we had a long history of that.

Not sure I would be categorizing the Georgia medical staff as a “biggest issue”. That’s a pretty impressive investigative piece of research on the returning players, But there might be some factors. Last in the league, also below every other SEC team, always? are you sure?

The guy that heads our medical staff Ron Courson, is one of the most qualified guys around, including being the director of rehabilitation at Alabama for 4 yrs. It would seem that if they have some methods that the guy who put them in place for them would know what to do here.

strengthening program apparently took step back, but I don’t recall that big an issue till very recently. Not sure when Richt “refused to fire him”. I’d say there was never a coach in the past at any school, that got fired till he had a couple of rough seasons. Everyone gets fired “too late”. PLus I’m pretty sure the UGA admin are wll aware of Richt’s methodical timing, who do you assume that going to cost him him his job. Do you assume they are going to have a bad year this year? Next year nobody is going to rememebr who Vanhalenger was.

Joey

July 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

What’s funnier than the choir-music is the caption below the video:

“A fan-made trailer for the greatsest team IN ALL OF EVERYWHERE… GEORGIA TECH!!!!!!!!!!!”
**************************************************
Greatsest?

IN ALL OF EVERYWHERE?

Dang, what a nerd . . .

Joey

July 2nd, 2011
12:01 pm

Lots of MDs and sports therapists in the gang this morning.

Hey, while y’all are here, everytime I do lunges, I get a pain in my ass. Is this common?

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:02 pm

IC parked in the from of Creswell one night, and got a ticket every hour. You heard it it first.

azdawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:03 pm

the best receiver GA has is the man that will catch the ball, not drop it and score TD’s much the way AJ Green did it. That’ll be the guy to go to.

Destin Dawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:06 pm

Scott, Mitchell, and Marshall… need to use these speedy weapons somewhere .. Go Dawgs !!

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:07 pm

Joey, I laughed at that too. Not the idea of being the greatest, that’s fine, but the wording. IN ALL OF EVERYWHERE. I can see the high fives now. NO, bro, high tens, yea!

Joey

July 2nd, 2011
12:10 pm

About half of which awkwardly missed, AD!

AltamahaDawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:13 pm

Give the guy credit though. He was able to pull together the 17 forward passes completed by tech last year.

Rabid Dawg'84

July 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

I saw Scott-Wesley at the state track meet, my guess is he weighs 225. He is huge! He ran like a 10.7, but after a false start by someone else. He won his class, but not the fastest at the meet. As a junior, he was the fastest. If he improves his hands, he could terrorize d-backs. Ray Drew looks like a monster also – both great specimens.

RabidDawgFan

July 2nd, 2011
12:34 pm

We’re going to be fine with the receivers we have. Orson Charles is the new go to guy in my opinion. T. King will be a very explosive player for us. Not having Green won’t be as big a deal as we’re making it seem. Murray won’t lock on him and if it’s not there, panic. He can look around and find the guy that’s going to move the chains. I also think Green was a cancer to the team.

Joey

July 2nd, 2011
12:55 pm

I hope Drew is who we think he is – we could really use somebody who could be Houston-like. I read all of the, “Houston disappeared at times” stuff, but when a player gets in the backfield as much as he did, one does start getting extra attention – like TEs or RBs helping out. Anyway, I thought Houston was great and I hope he has a great NFL career.

Back to Drew, similar size and reportedly as fast – a guy like that can sure make our pass-protection better. I remember Grantham saying before last season started, that his biggest worry was that, in a major change (from 4-3 to 3-4), players, not fully knowing their responsibilities, tend to not play at full speed – they play tentatively.

Well, guess what? This is year TWO! I can’t wait to see Grantham’s D – I think the it’s gonna be fun to watch.

Also can’t wait to see Oglethorpe at LB – probably the fastest MLB in the country.

Hopefully, we’ll have one of those ballhawking defenses like some in the past, that scores points – I have a feeling the O is gonna need it . . .

suwaneedawg

July 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

There is more concern at line given our lack of depth then there is at WR. We will be good to go at this position.