Sept. 1, 2012
ATHENS -- Throughout preseason Georgia's senior receiver Tavarres King has been referred to by teammates as a leader. On Saturday - in the Bulldogs' 45-23 victory over Buffalo - he led by example.
King caught six passes for 117 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown grab. The TD came after King had previously been overthrown in the end zone on a similar post pattern.
"Every time I got behind them I was just smiling because I knew it was coming," King said. "I didn't get upset, didn't get mad about anything. I just kept my cool and let it all play out."
Eventually it did play out as the senior from Mount Airy, Ga., escaped the single coverage created by Georgia's effective run game and hooked up with quarterback Aaron Murray for the score that put the Bulldogs up 24-6.
"We knew earlier they were going to single cover us when the running game got going," King said. "I got behind them on a couple of plays before, and I knew on those plays that I had the opportunity. When this one was there, me and Aaron never lost it."
The fact this was King's final opening day wasn't lost on the receiver who said he took a little more time pre-game to enjoy the occasion.
"It's crazy I was thinking about that on the bus ride," King said. "I was thinking 'Man this is my last go round.' That's when it finally sank in that I'm a senior and this is it. On the Dawg Walk I was extremely happy, hugging everybody. It was a pretty emotional day."
He also said that he appreciates the small things more at the start of his final campaign wearing the red and black.
"I feel like it takes a while for you to understand what the 'G' means to you, what this tradition and this Georgia pride is all about," King said. "I think the older you get and the more you mature, the more important those kinds of things matter to you."
Sophomore flanker Chris Conley said that King's success is the result of the work he put In before Saturday's season opener.
"TK's been doing a great job of just preparing himself for this season...a lot of things behind closed doors that a lot of people can't see...putting in that time and that work and that effort," Conley said. "He's been doing a great job of preparing here and at practice, and it's showing up on the field. "
Conley also said that he has seen a change in King's demeanor at the start of this season as he prepares for the last season of his collegiate career.
"He's taking this year very seriously," Conley said. "Not that he hasn't taken past years seriously, but he's doing what it takes to go out strong and do it the way he wants to."