August 10, 2013

Patience a virtue for Rumph

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Jonathon Rumph from Anthony Dasher on Vimeo.

Patience is apparently a virtue that Georgia receiver Jonathon Rumph understands quite well.

After signing with Georgia in February, the former Holmes (Miss.) Community College standout struggled to pick up the Bulldogs' intricate offensive system, before flashing his potential in April's G-Day game when he caught four passes for 98 yards and two scores.

Apparently, that outing was just the boost Rumph needed.

With fall camp wrapping up Saturday, it seems the South Carolina native is starting to establish himself in a way coaches hoped that he would.

"I understand about being patient with a lot of things going through JUCO. I understand the whole process of being patient, so I never got discouraged or down on myself," Rumph said. "I might have got down on myself but I never wanted to quit. It was just one of those things I knew was going to take time, so I never kept my head down and they kept me lifted."

Head coach Mark Richt said he's seen a huge difference in the wide receiver so far.

"I see a big difference in him than I did in the spring. You could really see his gears turning in the spring, trying to figure out how to line up, what route to run, how to run a route," Richt said. "Now, he had a tremendous summer, he's in great shape, he has a better working knowledge of the system. He knows how to run routes versus certain looks. He's certainly not perfected everything but he certainly looks so much more confident."

Richt said he believes the G-Day performance helped spur Rumph to where he is today.

"I think so," Richt said. "Anytime you have success, especially out in public and people start talking about it, writing about it, it can't help but help your confidence and I'm sure it motivated him throughout the summer."

Rumph agrees about that.

"When you know the plays you understand things better. When I got here in the spring I didn't know anything. Coaches told me just to go hard, we just want the effort," he said. "Now that I know what I'm doing, I know the plays like the back of my hand I can add my own twist to things, have my own feelings now. I understand a lot of things better now."

As a result, it appears Rumph could well be a popular target for quarterback Aaron Murray this fall.

But when it comes to carving his niche in what appears to be a very deep receiving corps for the Bulldogs, he just wants to fit in and be part of what the team is trying to achieve.

"Everybody's got to know their role, that's why I came here. I knew that coming here," Rumph said. "I wanted to be part of something great and this is a great place to be. I just want to be part of something great, play my role so we can get a national championship."

So, what will that role be?

Physically, Rumph bears some of the same characteristics as former Bulldog receiver Marlon Brown.

"My role is to just do my job, not be an outcast and stick to the team plan and that's to make plays when I get in the game, block for the player next to me and go hard every play," said Rumph, who claims he learns something every time he steps on the practice field.

That includes the occasional tip from teammates, both on the offensive and defensive side.

"I just try to grasp everything. Since I've been watching film I try to take aspects from everybody's game, look for people who probably do things a step better than me and try to add it to my game," Rumph said. "If somebody has a tool, use their tool to put in your toolbox and that's what I've really been doing. So I've been watching film, watch my stride, and watch my stride frequency … keep my pad level low."

Competing against cornerback Damian Swann has had a positive effect, too.

"All of them (cornerbacks) are great players, but one guy who I think is a very patient cornerback is Damian Swann," Rumph said. "I watch everything that he does because it will make me better, and I'd think guarding a big receiver like me will make him better. It's a learning process. I've just got to keep working my technique."

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