Tavarres King makes no bones about it. He wasn't that happy when he learned that the ankle injury he suffered would lead to a redshirt season his freshman campaign.
But that's just what happened.
After playing just briefly in each of the Bulldogs' first three contests, King grabbed one pass for 25 yards against Central Michigan before a 41-yard catch-and-run two weeks later at Arizona State.
It was on that play where King came up limping, favoring a severely sprained ankle that led to the decision that nearly drove him out of his mind.
"I was pretty bummed," King said. "But I realized I had to think of the team first and me second. Yeah, I was disappointed, but that's when I started to see that I still had four years ahead of me with a little bit of experience already under my belt. I started looking at it as a good thing."
With Georgia into its second week of preseason drills, King is expected to play an integral role with the Bulldogs this fall.
Much has been made of the fact that Georgia only has six scholarship receivers on hand for this fall, but that kind of opportunity has King excited with what the future might bring.
"It's very exciting and warming to know that I can be that guy that we're looking for," King said. "I realize there's a lot of work to do, but I'm ready to go."
But King admits the future wasn't always on his mind when he was lamenting his redshirt campaign back in October of last fall.
"I wasn't thinking about the future," King said. "I was just worried about the present and I was bummed about that. But as the weeks went along, I started getting excited again and the smile started coming back to my face. I knew this was going to be my time."
Physically, King said he's in the best shape of his life. He's also bigger.
When he arrived in Athens a summer ago, King was barely scraping 170 pounds. According to the former Habersham Central star, he now weighs 182.
"It's one of those things where I can lose weight just like that so I've got to stay on it," King said. "I've got to keep grinding in the weight room and make sure I eat lots of grilled food, greens and bunch of eggs. Mainly, I just need to make sure I get every meal in."
The extra weight has brought on added confidence as well.
"I feel I can be more physical and that's made me a lot more confident when I run the ball because I can get behind my pads," King said. "I've also gotten real confident in my blocking. I feel like my game has taken another step."
Having Tony Ball as his position coach has also paid dividends that King believes will help him reach a higher plateau.
"He's very technical and really helps me to focus on the finer things of playing the position," King said. "There are a lot of athletes that can do things easily, but it's those who can do those little things and do them right that's going to enable them to become better football players."
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