Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King has never played a game in Knoxville, Tenn., but he’ll get that opportunity Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to take on Tennessee in a critical game in the SEC East.
King was recovering from a concussion at home with his family the last time the Dawgs were in Neyland Stadium. That day, the Vols took care of business with a 45-19 win.
We caught up with King to get his thoughts on Saturday’s game and what this season has been like for him.
Edward Aschoff: What does it mean to you know that you’re going to be able to play in this game, at Tennessee, considering the magnitude of it?
Tavarres King: I’m excited. I view every game that we play as a big game because we’re playing in it. I’m very excited about the position we’re in right now. It’s going to be high energy.
Does anything change for you this week, like the mentality for you guys heading into a critical game like this?
Absolutely not. Our goal has been the same since Day 1 and that’s winning the East and that’s priority No. 1.
How do you feel about the rivalry between you guys and Tennessee?
It’s strong. It’s really strong. There’s a lot of tradition there. I’m excited to be a part of this. It’s pretty neat to be a part of something that’s way bigger than you, so I’m extremely excited to be a part of it.
I know you guys probably don’t like to talk about the future, but if you win this game, a lot of people might start considering you the favorites in the East. Have you guys thought about that at all?
Not really. I haven’t. I just focus day in and day out on what I gotta do. I get better on Tuesday. I get better on Wednesday, Thursday, get mentally prepared on Friday and go out and do what I do on Saturday. You can’t think down the road.
Switching gears a little, how do you think you’ve played so far this season?
I’ve done what’s been asked of me so far. After that first game I definitely stepped up and got back to being me. I feel good. I feel good about my performance and I’m excited about playing. It’s a blessing to be able to be out there. Hopefully, I can make a lot more plays as the season goes on.
With you being one of the older guys, have you taken on that teacher mentality with some of the younger receivers?
It’s awesome. I’ve said it before, but it’s good that these young guys, Malcolm [Mitchell], [Chris] Conley, that they want to be the best. They want to learn and they wanna help this offense. Along with helping this offense they wanna grow into a great receiver and they’ve done that and they’re doing that. It’s awesome, it’s fun to watch and it’s fun to be around. It’s fun to fight with them.
Where have you seen the most improvement in some of these guys?
Confidence. I think that’s huge in this league. I think that’s huge in football. Those guys’ confidence has gone way up since fall camp started.
As far as confidence with the whole team after starting 0-2, where are you guys right now after this three-game winning streak?
We feel good. We know that we gotta keep moving and we gotta keep pushing and pushing on. We take it one week at a time; take it one day at a time. If we do that and keep playing how we’re playing and keep focusing how we’re focusing, we’ll be fine.