Massaquoi moving up receiving ladder

ATHENS - As the weeks of the season slip by, true freshman receiver Mohamed Massaquoi is gradually moving up Georgia's receiving ladder.

"When a true freshman comes in and moves up the charts and is getting close to becoming your leading receiver, I think it's obvious to everybody out there why, and the main reason is he will catch the ball," Coach Mark Richt said.

Mohamed Massaquoi, who is third on the team with 26 catches and 376 yards, isn't a starter and still makes some mistakes in his route-running and blocking, but he is the exception on a team where too many players don't catch the ball consistently.

"That's why they call them wide receiver," Richt said. "You have to receive the ball. You've got to catch it. That's the No. 1 job."

Quarterback D.J. Shockley says all the right things about believing in all of his receivers, but Massaquoi clearly is his favorite target. No player on the team has caught more passes than Massaquoi in the last four games (14).

"Mohamed has shown he has that little extra thing in him to go after the ball," Shockley said. "I really didn't know how good he was. I saw some highlight tapes of him, but you're always like, ‘That's high school.' For him to come on as fast as he's done has been huge and has been a surprise to me."

Massaquoi, who is as soft-spoken as he is sure-handed, is also surprised.

"I didn't expect this at all," he said. "Just to be out there and be able to contribute in any way shape or form means a lot to me."

He added there's no special reason he catches the ball so much more surely than most of his teammates.

"It just comes fairly naturally," he said.