Stacy Searels has moved on to Texas, but Georgia receivers coach Tony Ball sounds like he’s ready to take his place as the reluctant interview on the coaching staff.
Ball met with reporters this morning to talk about his group, but let us know that he probably won’t be available again any time soon.
So I asked him ahead of time how Tavarres King looked in the second preseason scrimmage. Ball couldn’t answer that question but did have some thoughts to share before players officially report tonight:
–On the hype this summer on the fast progress of freshman Malcolm Mitchell from Valdosta in summer workouts: “Like you, I’ve been hearing, but I’ll be honest with you I have not seen one rep of pass skel. …The players seem to be excited about him. He and I have talked on a number of occasions. He seems very comfortable with being here and being away from home. He seems to have made that transition, which is the first thing that has to happen. You don’t really know how quickly someone will come into their own and perform the way you hope they will or the way you saw them perform in high school until they make that transition. He seems to have done that.”
Ball said he’s impressed with Mitchell’s maturity and intelligence, but it’s too soon to say how long it will take for him to get into the rotation.
“He’s a confident young man,” Ball said. “You can see that when you talk to him. He’s certainly a talented young man.”
–Mitchell is penciled in to play split end, the same position that Marlon Brown is listed at as the starter entering preseason camp.
Asked if that will put pressure on Brown, Ball said “I hope so. I hope so. Competition, man. Competition makes everyone better. It makes us better as a group and it makes us better as a football program.”
Brown has 13 career catches in two seasons, including 11 for 133 yards last season with a touchdown.
“He’s got to get better,” Ball said. “He’s got to push himself fundamentally. If he does that, he’ll take that next step.”
–King, a redshirt junior, is the most proven playmaker, but Ball wants him to take another step this year now that A.J. Green and Kris Durham are gone to the NFL. “Tavarres King has been productive, he has some talent, but he really and truly hasn’t tapped into his fullest potential,” Ball said. “He hasn’t yet.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer