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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Time at QB helped Rumph as wideout

By David Ching

ATHENS, Ga. -- Jonathon Rumph has played quarterback -- on both the football field and basketball court. And the new Georgia receiver believes those experiences created a knowledge base and sharpened a skill set that will help him excel at his current football position.

“By me playing both [receiver and quarterback], that was a good thing for me to adjust for the quarterback,” Rumph said. “Then when I was playing quarterback, it was good for me to adjust for the receiver because I understand how it is to come off the line with a cornerback in your face. I understand how it feels to have a pocket crashing down on you. To have two people to work together and understand each other’s concepts, that’s a good combination.”

Former Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo insists that his time playing quarterback in high school helped him read quarterbacks in pass coverage. And he apparently learned the skill well, as he is now the co-owner of Georgia’s career interceptions record.

Likewise, Rumph sees how his learning how to rebound and seal off basketball defenders can help him against SEC cornerbacks. Just like how his time at quarterback helped him better understand what a signal-caller needs from his wideout.

Jonathon Rumph
Jonathon Rumph was a high school quarterback, and he's already made a bond with his fellow receivers at Georgia.
The junior college transfer brings that knowledge base and an intriguing set of positional assets -- 6-foot-5 size, great hands, leaping ability and athleticism -- to the table as he attempts to crack Georgia’s receiving rotation this spring. And Rumph was pleased to report that his new position mates have welcomed him to the team rather than view him as a threat who might take away some of their playing time.

“The bond that I have with them guys, they’ve brought me in like I’ve been here since Day 1. They’re great guys and they help me out a lot,” Rumph said. “If I need anything, they’re coming to tell me, ‘Come on.’ If I’m tired, they’re saying, ‘Come on, bro, we need you.’ It’s great for me to see them guys that you would probably think wouldn’t want me to better myself, they’re always trying to help me better myself.

“I feel like that’s a great group of guys to be around as a receiver. I’m just here to help the team win and they know I’m here to help the team win and they’re trying to help me get in that mix. That’s what it is -- I’m just trying to be part of something special.”

Rumph has not been part of many teams that possessed the potential of the one he just joined in January. His high school team’s victory total was highly underwhelming thanks to a shortage of talent -- which is how he became a quarterback to begin with. After a standout sophomore season at receiver, he shifted to quarterback simply because he was the team’s best athlete and they didn’t have a better option.

In fact, Rumph said he has never played alongside a great quarterback, which is why he is particularly excited about this fall and his chance to catch passes from the Bulldogs’ record-setting senior, Aaron Murray.

“I was very happy to get the chance to play with him,” Rumph said. “I’ve never played with a real good quarterback yet. This’ll be a real opportunity for me to better my game and help him better his stock.”