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Brown needs to make senior season count

3/14/2012

To get ready for the March 20 start of Georgia’s spring football practice, DawgNation will do a position breakdown each day and feature one player to watch at that position. Today we look at wide receivers and senior Marlon Brown.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Few players provided more signing day excitement at Georgia in the last several seasons than when Marlon Brown picked the Bulldogs in 2009.

If Brown is going to prove that excitement was merited, the senior wide receiver will have to do it this season.

The good news is that Brown convinced his coaches and teammates last year that such a breakout season was more than possible. After failing to make much of an impact in his first two seasons, Brown was the talk of spring and preseason practices last year before suffering an ankle injury that frustrated him for much of the fall.

Brown flashed star potential in the Bulldogs’ thrilling win against Vanderbilt, catching touchdown passes of 75 and 27 yards and finishing with four receptions for a career-high 121 yards. Otherwise, the season was a bit of a downer, as he caught 11 passes for 113 yards and one score in all the other games combined.

In fact, that one game against Vanderbilt nearly doubled his career totals, as he accounted for 148 receiving yards in his first two seasons.

At 6-foot-5 and 222 pounds, Brown certainly looks the part. He was on every recruiting service’s must-have list -- including ESPN, which rated him as the No. 24 overall prospect and No. 3 receiver among the ESPNU 150 -- but his career has failed to match the five-star billing.

If he can stay healthy, Brown still has the opportunity to show why Bulldogs fans were so excited when he picked UGA over home-state Tennessee and other big-time programs on national signing day.

He can build toward that breakout season by repeating last year’s standout effort this spring.

Sophomore Malcolm Mitchell is moving to cornerback for the spring and will split his time between defense and offense in the fall. There is playing time to be won. Brown still has the potential to win it.