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June 26, 2009An ankle injury against Arizona State basically curtailed Tavarres King's season before it ever began, forcing the freshman from Mount Airy to take a redshirt year.
Now back, King is anxious to pick up where he left off before getting hurt.
He doesn't think it will.
"I see myself filling a big role," King said. "We all have big roles to play with only a few of us here because we are so limited. I think everybody's going to have to step up and learn to contribute."
King will certainly get his chance.
As one of just six scholarship receivers following the loss of Kris Durham (injury) and Tony Wilson (left team), expect King to get plenty of playing time this fall, both from the split end and flanker positions.
"There's always room for improvement but I'm coming out and working hard to get better every day," he said. "Basically, I'm just learning to be more consistent."
King was on his way to being just that until he severely sprained his ankle, forcing the redshirt year.
In the long run, he said it was probably for the best.
The 6-foot-1 King only weighed 176 pounds as a freshman but has bulked up to 184 without losing any of his speed.
King said he gained virtually all extra pounds since the end of spring drills.
"I think I'll be able to maintain this weight pretty well," King said. "I know a lot of guys worry about losing their speed when they get bigger because you always want to be the fastest guy on the field at certain times. It can be frustrating, but I'm still as fast as I ever was."
With so much focus on returning sophomore A.J. Green, King said it's going to be up to the other receivers like himself to take up for some of the slack.
Now that Mohamed Massaquoi is playing for the Cleveland Browns, he knows that Green is apt to see even more double-teams than he did a season ago. The question is, who among the other wideouts will be able to do something about it?
"A.J. got double-teamed a lot last year, so it won't be like it's going to be anything new," King said. "But somebody's still going to have to help take some of that pressure off. It doesn't matter if it's Mike (Moore), Marlon, Wooten or myself. It could be any one of us. We just have to step up."