Massaqoui now the elder in Athens

ATHENS – The trumpets didn't sound for Mohamed Massaqoui the way they are for A.J. Green, but there was some fanfare.

Four years after the start of his career, Massaqoui enters his senior season as Georgia's most-dependable receiver. But it didn't seem to be going that way in the middle of 2006. That season the Charlotte native went through the ups and downs that went along with breaking in a brand new quarterback.

"In Mohamed's second year Matthew was throwing to the defense more than he was throwing it to the offense," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt of Massaqoui's inconsistent 2006. "So I think that had a lot to do with it."

Massaqoui got it together enough that season to end the year with 30 catches, 366 yards and two touchdowns – the biggest coming on a game-winning catch in Georgia's 15-12 come-from-behind win over hated Georgia Tech.

"Mohamed knows that you are not always going to get what you want in life, and that you don't just sit there and cry about it. You have to look inside and see what you can do," Richt said.

That play launched the rising senior to an impressive 2007. He started last season off with a bang, but not at his traditional spot. Instead, he blocked an Oklahoma State punt to set up Georgia's first possession of the year. He used that play to catapult himself to a stellar season. He ended the season with 32 catches for 491 yards and four touchdowns.

Massaqoui became a legitimate deep-ball threat for Mike Bobo's offense last season. Two of his touchdown catches – against Florida and Auburn – propelled the Dawgs to giant wins over arch rivals. The nearly length-of-the-field touchdown against Florida answered a Gator touchdown and yanked the momentum back in Georgia's favor.

With the graduation of Sean Bailey and Mikey Henderson, Massaqoui becomes Georgia's best returning deep-ball threat.

"I think the more opportunities that Mohamed gets this season the more chances he is going to get to turn it up another notch," Richt said.

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