Bryant looking for breakout in 2006

ATHENS – For A. J. Bryant, the last few seasons have been a series of build ups and let downs.

But Bryant, who could be the best overall athlete at Georgia, is not discouraged and is expecting his best year ever. After moving from quarterback to wide receiver, he has dealt with several injuries over the last two seasons. And just as it seems he's turning the corner, something happens to slow him down.

"I feel better than ever this summer and a lot of the coaches told me to do so. I am working really hard now this year."

Many in the program were impressed by the amount of work Bryant and fellow receiver Mario Raley put in this summer. Some feel that Bryant is just now, two years after switching to wide receiver, learning how to be effective at that spot.

"A.J. really could have a big year," cornerback Paul Oliver said. "He will do some good things for us. Most everything is behind him now. Watching him run routes in the summer – he's really caught on to the little things of receiving instead of just going out there. You have to know how many steps to take, and I think he gets that now."

Making the transition to receiver was difficult enough, but Bryant also struggled because of injuries. In 2003, he suffered a foot injury that kept him out the majority of the season, and the next year Bryant missed several games due to injury as well. Then this spring, he had a shoulder injury that forced him to sit out all spring practice.

"Every time Coach Richt would create a play to use me I would get hurt right before the games," Bryant said.

"Coach Richt said he would like to use me as a deep threat this season," Bryant said. The Bulldogs' top deep-threat receiver, Sean Bailey, is out with an ACL injury and is not likely to return this season. "I have been feeling pretty good about catching the deep balls."

Bryant is currently listed as the back-up flanker behind Kenneth Harris.

"I know what I have -- it's just about me showing up on game day," Bryant said. "I want to make plays and put points on the board for our team."

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