Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Inside Track; WR Massaquoi Set for New Role, Georgia Coaches Say

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Inside Track; WR Massaquoi Set for New Role, Georgia Coaches Say

Article excerpt

Byline: MARC WEISZER

ATHENS, Ga. -- The guy who threw passes to Mohamed Massaquoi during an undefeated run to a North Carolina state high school championship in 2002 believes there are still plenty of big catches ahead for the Georgia wide receiver.

"He's a fighter. He's a warrior," said former Florida quarterback Chris Leak, a teammate of Massaquoi at Charlotte's Independence High School. "He's going to have a great and successful career."

Massaquoi went from a promising and up-and-coming freshman to slumping sophomore last season.

From sure-handed to drop-prone. From cheered at home to booed. From starter to backup.

"I play this game for the love of it and just for the fun of it, and I didn't have fun last year," Massaquoi said. "This year, I'm going to have fun, no matter what."

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo saw a more upbeat attitude and more smiles from Massaquoi this offseason.

"He's got a different bounce in his step going into that third year," Bobo said.

Georgia coaches said Massaquoi has embraced his new role as an inside receiver in three-receiver sets with Sean Bailey and Mikey Henderson. They believe the 6-foot-2, 198-pound junior is better suited lining up in the slot.

"Mohamed Massaquoi is a guy who's ready to have a great year," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "It fits him better, maybe, than being an outside receiver."

Added Bobo: "He's a big body. He's not afraid to be physical. It seems like he's got a renewed energy about himself practicing through the spring and into the fall. I'm excited about it. He's going to cause some mismatch problems, and he understands coverage in zone and man."

Wide receivers coach John Eason said coaches had concerns about Massaquoi's releases coming off the ball last season.

"With Massaquoi inside, I feel like it's maybe more suited for his talents, being inside and working in traffic," Eason said. "The dropped balls, I just don't see that being him. I know he did it last year, but he was not completely healthy. You cannot make excuses."

Massaquoi is not making excuses. He missed one game because of a hamstring injury. …

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