UGA football notes: Brown beginning to blossom

Georgia players are asked by reporters daily about which teammates have caught their eyes in practice.

As his junior season approaches, Georgia receiver Marlon Brown has been one of the Bulldogs’ most productive playmakers thus far in preseason camp.
David Manning

Quarterback Aaron Murray got the question not only from media members, but coach Mark Richt recently concerning which receiver stood out.

His answer: Marlon Brown.

The junior from Memphis “has done a tremendous job, turning everyone’s head,” Murray said. “He’s fluid, just really consistent. I don’t think he’s had a bad day yet.”

The 6-foot-5, 222-pound Brown has 13 career catches, including 11 for 133 yards and a touchdown last season.

“Marlon Brown has probably had the biggest increase in production from last year to this year,” tight end Aron White. “This camp he’s just making play after play. He’s a guy to me who has stuck out. He’s split guys and run for 60 yards.”

Brown was considered the top prospect out of Tennessee in the class of 2009, when was rated the No. 5 overall receiver by Rivals.com

Georgia needs receiving threats to blossom now after the departure of NFL first-round pick A.J. Green.

“I’m just way more focused this year because I know A.J.’s gone and (Kris) Durham is gone, so I have to be dependable to my team and the coaching staff,” said Brown, who is working as the first-team split end. “I just came out with the mindset that it’s my year. I’ve been patient. I’ve waited my time. I’m trying to be a valuable part to the team right now.”

Brown said he’s running smoother routes, has improved his knowledge of the playbook and can read defenses better.

“He’s always been a big guy who can run,” White said. “He came in kind of raw because he’s a big basketball guy.¬† I think it took him a while for him to get it translate all the way over to where he’s making a lot of plays.”

Remaining top tailback doesn’t consume Samuel

Georgia will hold its first preseason scrimmage today at Sanford Stadium, the closest Richard Samuel will have been to a game situation playing tailback since the 2009 season.

After moving back to the position from linebacker last month, Samuel and freshman Isaiah Crowell have worked 1-2 in the tailback rotation.

Whether that order sticks, Samuel said, isn’t his focus.

“It’s not really important to me at all,” Samuel said. “He goes in, he makes his plays. I go in, I make my plays. I go in and I get tired, I can say I’m going to tap out and he can come in and vice versa. We’re all going to be sharing it. Whoever coach wants to put in. We just want somebody fresh in there. If he’s No. 1 or I’m No. 1, it doesn’t matter.”

Big John makes big play

Brown was running a downfield route during 11-on-11 work in Tuesday morning’s practice in shorts and helmets when he heard players on defense screaming with joy.

He turned back and saw junior college transfer nose guard John Jenkins rumbling into the end zone.

“He picked a screen and took it the house,” White said. “It was probably only 12 yards, but still it’s a touchdown.¬† He jumped up there and tipped it to himself with one hand and there was nobody left and he just went to rumbling and ran into the end zone.”

White said it reminded him of the Packers’ B.J. Raji last season.

The 6-3, 351-pound Jenkins is said to have good speed for a player his size.

“He can move, now,” offensive guard Kolton Houston said.

This and that

Former Georgia tailback Caleb King is eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, according to a memo sent to the teams by the league, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reported. The draft is on August 17. … Cornerbacks Derek Owens (neck) and Chris Sanders (shoulder) returned to practice, but cornerback Brandon Boykin, safety Jakar Hamilton and outside linebacker Cornelius Washington remained out with pulled hamstrings. Tailback Brandon Harton (concussion) was also out again. Defensive end Derrick Lott (leg) and offensive tackle Xzavier Ward (knee) remain out.¬† Georgia held a second practice Tuesday with a focus on special teams. Senior DeAngelo Tyson is one of 35 players on the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation’s top defensive end.