Bulldogs’ King of talk keeps team loose

Tavarres King is the youngest from a family of talkers. So he learned early that he had to make noise to get some attention.

King and his high-octane verbal skills have become a key component not just on the field but in practice and the locker room. He has become a mentor for a young group of receivers and takes much of the responsibility for keeping the team loose.

?I?ve got two older sisters and they talk a lot,? King said. ?My mom, she talks a lot. So it?s just natural that I?d talk a lot too just to keep up with them.?

The person at Georgia who probably knows King best is center Ben Jones, who has been his roommate since they were freshmen. Although you don?t see a receiver-offensive lineman buddy combination very often, the two have become as close as brothers, and their fun-loving attitude has a lot to do with it.

?T.K. is always good with his words,? Jones said. ?We joke around 24-7, going back and forth. We?ve always got something to say to each other. Even out there in the huddle, I?m trying to break down the huddle and he?s over there putting in his two cents in just to make me look at him. He?s a good guy, and I?m glad he became a part of my life and one of my best friends. The relationship we made here in college will always stick with me. He?s a great, great guy, and I can?t say enough great things about him.?

King is notorious for telling jokes and making up nonsense words. He found out that Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo?s childhood nickname was Goo and routinely calls him that in practice.

?He cracks me up,? Georgia tight end and fellow world-class talker Aron White said. ?He?s always got something to say and it doesn?t matter if we?re in the middle of a game or what. He?s definitely a guy who doesn?t get worried about his stats or what he?s got in the game. He?s always focused on keeping everybody loose. We?ll be coming off the field and he?ll just say stuff that doesn?t make any sense. Like the other day we came off and he said, ?Man, we was on that thing ? bee-da-bop-boop ? we was on that thing.? I don?t know where that came from or what it means, but it makes me crack up every time.?

King?s ability too loosen the tension has become a vital component in Georgia?s locker room. Whenever the mood gets too serious, King is often the person who breaks up the tension and gives his teammates a reason to relax.

?T.K. just makes practice fun,? Rambo said. ?He?s always got something to say, and it?s usually funny. He likes to talk a lot and that makes the practice seem to go by fast. There?s a lot of those kind of guys out there who make the game so much fun. He makes going to practice every day fun, and he definitely makes you step your game up.?

King?s influence on the team is not limited to his vocal skills. After Georgia lost Kris Durham and A.J. Green to the NFL, King was the only returning receiver with major game experience, so he had to become a leader for a green group.

?Tavarres has been really good in the development of those guys,? Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. ?I think that started in the summer. He did a nice job of helping those guys along and not having any selfishness and saying, ?I don?t care about those guys, it?s about me.? He did a great job of tutoring those guys so they had a good base line when the camp started, and he?s done a great job of continuing to work with those guys so they can be better.?

King has responded with 17 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. Last year, King had 27 catches for 504 yards and three scores.

?I think T.K. has played great,? Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said. ?I know last week we missed on a couple or he would have had two or three more touchdowns. I know the first game he had a couple of drops. But he?s really put that behind him and had some great games.?

King?s season started with a couple of those drops in a 35-21 loss to Boise State on opening night. Instead of spiraling into depression, King regrouped and caught three touchdowns the next two games.

?It was tough knowing that I had demanded so much more of myself than what I showed in that first game,? King said. ?It happens. The best still drop balls, and I?m not Randy Moss or Jerry Rice or anybody like that, so I know I?m going to drop a ball. I had to have a short memory span. I had to keep helping my teammates and they helped me. My family helped me, and I just kept working. It felt so good to start catching balls again. I think everybody knows I can catch so it felt great to bounce back and put that behind me.?

 

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