By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
King ready to get back on field for Bulldogs
Habersham Central grad forced to redshirt in 2008 with injury
Georgia redshirt freshman wide receiver Tavarres King, a Habersham Central grad, is looking to make a full recovery this season after injuring his ankle in 2008. - photo by For The Times

Young Bulldogs making a big impression 

G-Day Game

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens

On TV: ESPN (Charter channel 32)

ATHENS — University of Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King can believe last year’s season-ending ankle injury at Arizona State was a blessing in disguise, even if at the time, missing the remainder of his freshman season seemed like anything but proper destiny.

At the time of the injury, the Habersham Central High graduate felt like he was on the cusp of emerging as a reliable wide receiver for the Bulldogs, after playing in each of the first four games in 2008. What made the timing that much more difficult to swallow was the fact he had brought in a 41-yard catch just a couple plays prior to getting his ankle rolled on by an Arizona State defender.

And just like that, King, The Times 2007 Football Player of the Year, was in rehabilitation mode preparing for another go as a redshirt freshman in 2009.

"After the injury, I was kind of devastated and kind of angry," King said. "But I talked to my parents and (offensive coordinator) coach (Mike) Bobo, and they made me realize it was a blessing in disguise.

"Now I have a year and some playing experience under my belt."

King’s season started as well as could have been expected last season. He saw playing time against Georgia Southern, Central Michigan, South Carolina and Arizona State, before the injury. His only other reception went for 25 yards against Central Michigan.

King’s road to getting back on the football field was primarily a matter of strengthening the weakened area through training exercises the remainder of the football season, as well as acupuncture treatment around the lower part of his left leg.

Georgia senior wide receiver Kris Durham noticed how the season-ending injury has sharpened King’s mental focus to establishing himself among a deep group of Bulldogs wide receivers.

"Tavarres has a different focus and a different state of mind this season and has really focused on establishing himself," said Durham, who will redshirt in 2009 following shoulder surgery. "I think taking the redshirt kind of hindered him at first with the ankle bothering him and then not being able to play and having to take that redshirt.

"But he started preparing himself to come out here and have a breakout season this year."

Physically, King is still one of the lighter receivers for the Bulldogs at 6-foot-1 and 182 pounds, but he’s 22 pounds heavier than when he enrolled at Georgia last January. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt expects King to continue to work on his blocking ability to be able to hold his own in the SEC.

"Tavarres still has a way to go to really be ready to compete in our league," Richt said. "But he’s got the ability and has absolutely shown that he can do it.

"He’s just got to realize it takes great effort every day and the offseason will be big for him in terms of getting stronger."

Playing time for King this season is going to be a constant battle. Senior Michael Moore and sophomore A.J. Green are going to getting the bulk of the catches this season. Junior Tony Wilson, redshirt sophomore Israel Troupe and King are all emerging targets for fifth-year senior quarterback Joe Cox. Incoming freshman Marlon Brown is also receiving hype near that of Green last season for his pass catching abilities.

"It’s awesome that we have that much experience on our team," King said. "Everyone is out there working hard for that starting job."

Friends to Follow social media