Georgia Football: Bulldogs Need a Big Senior Season from WR Tavarres King
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Whether it's due to talent or a schedule that's relatively easy, Georgia has been been the recipient of a copious amount of hype this offseason.
But the offseason hasn't been without controversy.
Star running back Isaiah Crowell was dismissed from the team after being arrested on felony weapons charges; cornerbacks Sanders Commings and Branden Smith, safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree are all facing suspensions to start the season; and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was moved to cornerback.
In addition to those issues, the Bulldogs are also replacing three starters along the offensive line and are looking to get some more consistency from quarterback Aaron Murray. Murray set the single-season Georgia record with 35 touchdown passes last season but also tossed 14 interceptions. That's too many.
As a result of the offseason of tumult, all eyes have turned to senior wide receiver Tavarres King to provide some stability on the Georgia offense.
Mitchell got all of the publicity for emerging as one of the top targets on the Georgia offense, but it was King who finished the season as Georgia's leading receiver with 47 catches for 705 yards and eight touchdowns.
King's season culminated with a six-catch, 205-yard performance in Georgia's Outback Bowl loss to Michigan State.
Mitchell will still play both ways, but the early-season suspensions on defense will likely limit him to playing only defense for the first few games, which means that it's up to King to capitalize on the momentum from the bowl game and set the tone for the Bulldog wide receiving corps.
He's saying all of the right things.
King told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Bulldogs have had 100 percent participation in offseason conditioning and that he's ready for the season to start:
I've been extremely eager all offseason to get back out there to continue where I left off. It was an extremely high note personally, but not as a team. So we've been getting after it this summer.
Guys have been participating in drills and workouts. We've had pretty much perfect attendance all summer. Everybody's eager to get back on the field and tackle this thing.
While all eyes will be on quarterback Aaron Murray, the running backs and whether or not the offensive line can successfully replace three starters, King's ability to replicate and improve upon last season may be the most important factor in answering all three offensive questions.
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