Durham was preparing for a breakout senior season last spring when he hurt his shoulder, and the ensuing surgery to repair the damage kept him on the sidelines for the entire year. After seeing regular playing time for three seasons, waiting and watching was no easy task.
As it turns out, however, it was just what Georgia needed. The Bulldogs have just five other scholarship receivers on their roster, and Durham will be the only senior of the bunch this season. That makes his extra year in Athens a serendipitous turn of events.
“It’s been a blessing in disguise,” Durham said. “I wanted to come back for Joe (Cox) and all the seniors, and you don’t want to sit out a year. It’s hard after you’ve already played. But I definitely learned a lot, and sitting back and taking a year off makes you appreciate the game more.”
It also gave Durham a chance to work with those younger receivers and develop into a leader among the group that features just two returning wideouts who had more than 10 receptions last year.
But Durham warns that the lack of experience at receiver shouldn’t worry Georgia fans. He thinks the group is ready to take a big step forward in 2010.
“They’re definitely progressing,” Durham said. “Your first year, it’s hard to come in and really contribute because you’re trying to learn the plays and what the offense is. In your second year is when you figure out, OK, I understand what I’m supposed to do, now I’m starting to understand what the guy opposite of me is doing and how everything inter-relates.”