July 16, 2009

Brown has chance to make impact

With just six scholarship receivers on hand, junior walk-on Marquise Brown believes his chance for legitimate playing time is as good as it's ever been.

Following a redshirt year in 2007 after initially walking on at South Carolina, Brown saw his first action for the Bulldogs last fall, appearing in games against Georgia Southern and Central Michigan.

The native of Landham, Md. did not catch a pass as Georgia's depth at the position was simply too much for him to overcome.

That's not necessarily the case any longer.

With Kris Durham out for the year with a torn labrum and Tony Wilson no longer on the team, the chances of Brown making an actual impact are in fact greater than it's ever been.

"I think I do have a good opportunity based on the numbers because we are kind of low," Brown said in an interview with UGASports. "Even coming in knowing that Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi), Kenneth (Harris) and Demiko (Goodman) weren't going to be here, I thought I would have a chance, but now with (Wilson) and (Durham), the chances are probably better. There are lots of people who are going to have to step up."

Brown certainly opened the eyes of coaching with his performance in Georgia's G-Day game.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder caught three players for 62 yards and was named the Most Improved Player at the conclusion of spring drills.

"I just went out and focused on trying to control the things that I can control," Brown said. "All anyone can every do is go out and try to be his best and be ready when the opportunity comes."

The son of former Washington Redskins' Pro-Bowler Charlie Brown, Marquise said much of the spring was spent getting used to having Tony Ball as his new receiver coach.

He wasn't the only one.

"It was a little different on everybody because Coach Ball's style is a bit different than Coach (John) Eason," he said. "Because we were all learning a new way of playing receiver, we weren't able to cut it loose quite as much because there was so much we had to learn in the spring."

Come preseason, Georgia's receivers will be expected to perform.
But with just six scholarship receivers - A.J. Green, Mike Moore, Tavarres King, Israel Troupe, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten - others, like Brown, will need to be ready as well.

The same holds true for Zach Renner, Vernon Spellman and Taylor Bradberry, three more walk-ons eying their own shot of increased playing time.

"I think we all pretty much have the mentality to do what it takes to get the job done, from blocking, to catching the ball, whatever we have to do," Brown said. "As for me, I'm just trying to get more polished, work on ball security and getting off my releases."

Based on his performance this spring, Brown appears to be learning his lessons well as he displayed the ability that led Clemson to offer him a scholarship coming out of Maryland's Episcopal High.

But Brown never made it there.

According to the receiver, he was not ready to commit when the Tigers made their offer and after a season-ending injury, wound up walking on with the Gamecocks.

But Brown's affection for South Carolina didn't last for long.

"After Signing Day I got in contact with Coach (Steve) Spurrier) and (Steve) Spurrier Jr. and they told me if I would come then the next year I would be on scholarship. But it just wasn't a fit for me," Brown said. "I had a couple of friends on the team here (Georgia). They (Georgia coaches) had come by my school my senior year and I had always wanted to visit. Coach Spurrier wasn't a bad guy but I was just really excited to get out of Columbia. I just decided to take a gamble, but everything has been worthwhile."

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