Georgia receiver Marlon Brown is still waiting to have a catch that will produce cheering.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder from Memphis was among the top five receivers nationally in the 2009 signing class and chose the Bulldogs over Tennessee. He caught just two passes for the Bulldogs last season, both coming in their 45-19 loss in Knoxville.
Tennessee fans, thoroughly enjoying the blowout, booed Brown after each reception.
"Last season was very frustrating," Brown said. "It was real disappointing to me, my family and pretty much everybody I know back home."
Brown's output as a freshman was a far cry from 2008, when he tallied 1,785 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns for Harding Academy, including 338 yards and four scores in the state championship game. He was a Parade All-American, becoming the first from a Memphis private school to attain the honor.
There were five games last season in which he didn't even play, which was a jolt to the morale.
"We felt Marlon turned the corner a little bit in the Tennessee game," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, "but then he had a hip pointer that sidelined him and his development and just his work in practice for a couple of games."
The Bulldogs went through their fourth spring practice Saturday and their first in full pads at Sanford Stadium, concluding with an 11-on-11 scrimmage. It was the first time the offense went full speed against the 3-4 defense being installed by new coordinator Todd Grantham.
"We had a lot of energy out there during the first portion of practice, which was the different tackling drills," head coach Mark Richt said. "As the day went on, I thought we lost a little steam. I think this was mostly about not being sure of what we were doing defensively, which is natural at this point."
Said quarterback Aaron Murray: "It's been hard to figure out the defense so far. Guys are moving and shifting, and it's hard to know where they're going right now, but the more we practice, I think we'll get a little better handle on it."
Brown, who bruised his shoulder during Saturday's workout, is glad he played instead of redshirting last season. He considers this an incredibly important spring and said he has been practicing at several spots, mostly at the inside slot.
Brown still envisions himself the next great Georgia receiver after A.J. Green, a scenario that may have been aided when Calhoun High's Da'Rick Rogers chose the Vols over the Bulldogs last month.
"That's definitely how I see it," Brown said. "To be honest, my only goal right now is to get in the game more."
No decision yet
Richt had planned to announce his punishment for redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger by Saturday but did not. Mettenberger was arrested March 7 on five misdemeanor charges.
The Bulldogs will resume spring practice Tuesday.