Georgia Bulldogs Kris Durham Is Back, Healthy, and Ready To Play

Kimberley NashSenior Writer IApril 12, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Kris Durham #16 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs for yards after the catch against the Hawai'i Warriors during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 1, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Kris Durham is back. His performance in the Georgia Bulldogs annual spring game, or G-Day, gave notice that he is officially ready to return to his post at wide receiver for the Dawgs in 2010. He caught three passes for 54-yards and a score—the first touchdown of the game. 

It was the capper on an already great spring for the senior wide receiver who missed all of last season with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Furthermore, it eased some of the growing concerns many Dawg fans have over who will help A.J. Green this season. 

2009 saw a lot of wear and tear on Green because there was not a legitimate No. 2 to keep opposing secondaries at bay. Once it became clear that Green was the primary and, in some cases, only target, teams pounced. As the year wore on, Green missed significant time due to injury and the receiving game took a hit.

The Dawgs hoped to address the issue in recruitment this past season but lost
Dar’rick Rogers to Tennessee the night before National Signing Day and that left the team thinner at the receiving spot than they would have liked.

That said, it was imperative that fans saw a guy step up and make plays on Saturday. Some felt Marlon Brown would finally be that guy, but Durham re-inserted his name into the field instead.

It was a welcome surprise to longtime Durham fans who have always felt he was an under-appreciated commodity sitting behind the more explosive names on the roster.
His receiving numbers from 2008 were seemingly insignificant, 199-yards, especially when guys like A.J. Green and Mohammed Massaquoi are touching nearly 1,000 yards a piece playing at the one and two spots, respectively. 

However, the one thing that has always made Durham such a fan favorite was his ability to make the catch when it was needed. His mental toughness and great hands made him a sure-target and there was rarely a time when you felt uneasy about a ball thrown in his direction.

He was always money, and his presence was missed in 2009 when there was no more Massaquoi to take the heat off A.J. Green. At 6’5”, Durham can be an imposing target and he makes for a great safety net on third downs when you just have to get the yardage to extend the play. He was always good for that.

As the Dawgs enter 2010, he will be their most experienced receiver, from a class perspective. He has both played, and succeeded, in SEC games during his career and that makes him an invaluable source of information for guys like Rantavious Wooten and Marlon Brown as they continue to navigate through this tough conference.

Is he likely to be the brightest star? No, but his presence has always been a comfort to the coaches and the quarterbacks who know his value as a gamer. His leadership, although quiet, remains a positive influence on those who play with him and after Saturday’s performance, and a spring which saw him score three touchdowns in one scrimmage, he could be in line for the No. 2 spot alongside A.J. Green.

If that should happen, he may finally have the chance to become the player that his die-hard followers already feel him to be. Keep an eye on him this fall, he could be poised to make some nice moves in this, his final, season at Georgia.