Bryant and Raley get a shot

A.J. Bryant

ATHENS – It's been three years since A.J. Bryant felt like himself.

Georgia's junior wide receiver will get a chance to feel that way again Saturday night against South Carolina. Bryant, a junior, and Mario Raley have been moved into the Bulldogs' starting lineup in place of Mohamed Massaquoi and Kenneth Harris.

Massaquoi and Harris slipped slightly in their catching, route-running, assignments and effort against Western Kentucky, wide receivers coach John Eason said, enough so that he thought they needed a little motivation.

"That's my intention," Eason said.

Bryant, a 2003 graduate of Peach County High School, is one of the beneficiaries of Eason's tactic. Saturday will be his first collegiate start.

"This is what I've been wanting since I've been here," he said, "but I know I have to do something now. It's time to perform. I'm kind of in a business mode. I have to get something done. I don't want to go back."

Bryant came to Georgia as a quarterback but moved quickly to receiver, where he has had eight catches for 142 yards in the last two years. He didn't have a catch against Western Kentucky last week but showed great effort, according to Eason and Coach Mark Richt.

"I've just got to go out there and play because I know I can do it," he said.

Bryant's senior year with the Trojans is the last time he felt he was playing to his potential, he said.

"I'm trying to make that happen now at a collegiate level," he said.

Raley, a senior who had one catch for 18 yards against Western Kentucky, will be making his second career start.

"No disrespect to him because I love Mario but Mario spent more time telling us how he was going to do, and he finally started showing us what he was going to do," Richt said. "That made all the difference in the world."

Bryant and Raley will remain starters if they play well against the Gamecocks, Eason said.

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