King a little better than you thought?

ATHENS - Maybe Habersham Central's Tavarres King is a little better than some are aware of.

In case no one heard, Georgia recruited two pretty good wide receivers for the class of 2008.

However, from the moment A.J. Green of Summerville, S.C., gave his verbal commitment on October 7, 2006, many Bulldog fans didn't need to hear anymore. When Tavarres King made his verbal commitment on May 18 last year, it barely made a ripple compared to the splash Green made.

It's not as if King doesn't have an impressive resume himself. In fact, the 6-foot-1, 160-pounder from Habersham Central set the Georgia state record with 1,632 receiving yards in his senior season. He set the record on 99 catches and scored 17 touchdowns through the air.

Still, when fall practice arrives in a few months, King still will be the "other receiver." And, if that's how people want to think of him, that's fine with King.

Just don't expect him to agree with the assessment. King has never considered himself the other guy, and he's never been treated that way by Green, he said.

"I've never felt that way at all," King said. "Me and A.J. we have a cool relationship. He's a humble guy. I give him his credit where his credit is due. He's awesome."

It doesn't even bother King that his state record got very little attention from the media.

"Setting that record really didn't mean anything to me," he said. "I'd rather have won the state championship than set that record so it wasn't a big deal for me."

King was not overlooked in the recruiting world. ranked him a four-star prospect and the No. 22 wide receiver in America (20 spots behind Green, but who's counting). He was the Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AAAA offensive player of the year, and he finished his career with 3,726 yards and 37 touchdowns on 207 catches.

King led Habersham Central into the third round of the state playoffs before it lost 30-0 to Ware County.

"He's a pretty good player," Ware County head coach Dan Ragle said of King. "I'm not going to down the kid at all, but we had one who ought to be at Georgia who is every bit as good as him."

Ragle is talking about Cedric Jones, who is now at Valdosta State. Ragle's Gators held King in check but preparing for him caused some nervous moments.

"I know we were very concerned," Ragle said. "He was somebody we had to know where he was at every snap. We were just fortunate that most of the balls that he caught were little dumps and underneath. I think he ended up catching fiver or six balls against us, but it wasn't for about 40 yards."

Alan Chadwick and his Marist team had a very different experience with King, who caught 12 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a first round victory over Marist.

"A couple of times we had the wrong person on him, and it hurt us," Chadwick said. "He's a good player, a big-play type of player that seemed to be very disciplined. He had a certain degree of toughness about him as well. He also could be a good go-to guy."

King's father was a tight end at Clemson, and the dad and the Tigers tried to use that to get King to wear the orange and white of the Tigers. Dad, though, eventually backed off, King said.

After initially trying to convince his son to go to Clemson, King's dad "told me he chose legacy back in '75, and now I have to choose mine."

For King, that was Georgia. He fell in love with the Bulldogs as soon as he began making unofficial recruiting visits to the school.

"When I started coming to the games, I got so happy about the atmosphere and what they were doing with this program," he said. "I've been a Georgia guy for a while now. I grew up a Clemson fan, but I've been a Georgia fan since my first game here."

By the time Green gets to campus, King will have had a month of practices. He enrolled at UGA early so he could participate in spring practice.

He plans to go back to Habersham Central only for his graduation ceremonies.

"It was tough (leaving home) at first," he said. "They move so fast here. There's a whole lot more to know, a lot more to do. Just being on your own is kind of different."

He and Georgia's three other early enrollees "came to compete," he said. Maybe by the time Green arrives, King will make Green feel like "the other guy."

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