Opposite A.J.?

ATHENS - Which wide receiver will line up beside SEC Freshman of the Year A.J. Green in 2009?

And that is just the way Michael Moore wants it. He is not the only one either. Tavares King and Kris Durham are also not too upset all eyes are on Green.

"All those guys, they have are going to have some chances to make plays,'' said quarterback Matthew Stafford.

See Mohamed Massaquoi 2008.

It's no coincidence Massaquoi had his best year during Green's first year.

"Mohamed had been our go-to guy the last two three years, and we really only had one go-to guy, but you look at this year and we had two guys (Green and Massaquoi) and it really just opened things up,'' said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. "You saw this year guys started to come through (when Green was drawing double teams).''

Massaquoi was the one who came through the most. He finished the regular season with 78 catches. That was second only to Green's 79. Both had eight touchdowns.

But next year Massaquoi is not going to be around. So the big question this spring will be who will fill his role opposite Green?

Durham, Moore and King are the three most likely candidates.

"Somebody has got to step up,'' Moore said.

Moore was the player who appears to have already taken one step. The rising senior had 23 catches during the regular season. He had three catches as a sophomore. The 23 grabs in 2008 was the third highest total among Georgia receivers.

"I can build off what (Massaquoi) did this year because he had the best season he has had since he has been here,'' Moore said. "Hopefully I can step in and make the plays that he made. I know the system. I know every route.''

Moore also knows that he is finally mentally ready to be that player.

"The thing that has helped me out the most is mental toughness,'' Moore said. "All the coaches they said that was how it would be. Now I am able to go across the middle and not think about anything but the ball and just make plays. Third downs I was always thinking ‘The ball is coming to me. The ball is coming to me.'''

In the past Moore was thinking, "What if the ball comes to me? And `What if I drop it?''

He did drop it once in his sophomore season, and it may have cost Georgia the win against South Carolina that year. In 2008, Moore didn't drop a single ball that was thrown his way.

"He has always had all the ability,'' Stafford said. "He really has a great feel for the middle of the field and really gotten tough and made some big catches.''

Moore is not going to be just handed the job of taking pressure of Green.

Tavarres King turned a lot of heads in practice his first spring at Georgia. He turned a few more with his 41-yard reception against Arizona State. Now King is ready to take the next step.

"Mohamed told me ‘It's your show next year,''' King said.

Now King has to perform in that show. And he has prepared himself to do just that. King has put on 22 pounds since arriving at Georgia but has not lost a bit of speed. He also has arguably the best hands outside of Green.

"I feel a lot more confidence in my game now,'' King said. "That is what happens when you get here. You see these guys and they are flying around at the ball with speed and strength, and it takes a shot at your confidence. So you sit back an observe more. But if you do the right things you get right back into it.''

King is now in it. And King knows with Green being on the other side there is a chance for him to be even more involved when the season starts in 2009.

"With him being such a phenomenal athlete and taking on the game as he has it helps me out a lot,'' King said. "You saw later on the in the season teams got more conscious of where No. 8 was on the field and it is going to be that way next year.''

The third player in the triumvirate of player looking to feed off Green's success is Durham. Like Moore, Durham is a polished receiver with plenty of knowledge under his helmet. What Durham lacks is playing time.

Injuries have repeatedly cost Durham playing time. The latest was a broken hand that kept him out of the Georgia Tech game.

"He has still got that ability for sure,'' Stafford said of Durham. "He is a tough guy. It is just stuff you can't play through. Whenever he has had a chance to play through he is in there and done it and done a great job.''

At 6-5 Durham can give the quarterback a big target across the middle. He has also worked on his top end speed and turned himself into more of a downfield threat.

But his game has never gotten off the ground because of all those nagging injuries.

Now he has one more chance. And this may be his best chance because of what Green brings to the table. In fact, 2009 might be all these receivers' best chances to feed off what Green does on the field and how he approaches the game mentally.

"He came in there and said, ‘I am going to catch the ball and I am going to make plays,''' Bobo said of Green. "That is way all of those guys came in here. But along the way they lost a little confidence. We went through some tough times. And other guys tend to be a little bit tough on those guys, and you get down and lose confidence.''

Now because of what happened in 2008 – two receivers with 79 and 78 catches – and because of Green's presence, the confidence is there that Georgia can produce another threat to compliment Green at the wide receiver spot.


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