Habersham Legend Tavarres King Cracks NY Giants Roster
It wasn’t so long ago that Tavarres King, or “TK”, was hauling in pass after pass for the Raiders during the mid-to-late 2000s. From Habersham Central to UGA, and through his journey in the NFL, King has found success regardless of where he’s playing and who’s throwing him the ball.
A strong showing by TK in camp earned him a roster spot for the NFL New York Giants, where he’ll have two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning targeting him. He’ll have the opportunity to play alongside Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepherd, as well as Victor Cruz. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, King figures to see “decent” playing time in Sunday’s opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
TK made a strong push to be fourth on the depth chart, as it appears, and could rise from there should injury strike one of Beckham, Shepherd or Cruz. King, a 2008 Habersham Central grad, went on to the University of Georgia, where he had a solid career. After putting up nearly 1,000 yards his senior season at UGA, King was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
TK’s journey in the NFL
The journey of TK in the NFL saw him bounce around from the time he was drafted until now. After being selected as the 161st overall pick in that draft by Denver, King was waived by the Broncos and claimed by the Carolina Panthers on October 21 of that year. Less than a year later, TK was cut by the Panthers during the final roster cuts prior to the 2014 season. However, Carolina signed him the next day to the practice squad.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him off the Carolina practice squad just weeks later, adding them to their 53-man roster. However, they waived him about a month later when they promoted another player. King was quickly picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three days later. They signed him to their practice squad after working out several receivers.
King saw his first NFL action with the Bucs, getting time in two games. After not getting targeted once in a loss to Green Bay in December 2014, King got three targets in a 23-20 Bucs’ loss to the Vikings, collecting his first two NFL catches for 13 yards. That was the final game of the season for Tampa Bay, and TK was part of the final cuts the following September when the Bucs entered the 2015 season.
The Giants picked up King a couple of weeks later, again adding him to the practice squad. He saw no action in the NFL since his two games in 2014, but his latest camp resonated with New York and offers him another chance on the big stage.
A career to be proud of
Looking back on TK’s career, he’s had much to be proud of. He collected 3,270 yards receiving and 37 TD as a Habersham Central Raider, which still keeps him sixth in state history. When he graduated, he sat fourth on the career list. He still holds one of the top single seasons all-time in the state of Georgia, hauling in 100 passes for 1,641 yards and 17 TD during his 2007 senior season. At the time, it was the top single season in history, but has since been surpassed by two others. His senior year performance earned him the RISE Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year. His junior year was quite impressive as well, where he caught 42 passes for 700 yards and 10 scores.
A four-star recruit by Rivals, King was ranked the nation’s 15th best wide receiver in his recruiting class. He picked UGA over such schools as Florida, Clemson and Georgia Tech. As a Bulldog at UGA, King played five seasons. He redshirted his freshman season, but saw enough time to catch two passes for 66 yards. With each season at UGA, King became a more valuable part of the offense, going from 66 yards as a freshman to 377 yards (1 TD) as a redshirt freshman, 504 yards (3 TD) as a sophomore, 705 yards (8 TD) as a junior and 950 yards (9 TD) as a senior. He finished his UGA career with 2,602 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.
What really propelled King to where he is now was his two-touchdown game on August 28 for the Giants. He finished the preseason with seven catches for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Considered a “26-year-old journeyman” in the NFL, King seemingly has found his place with New York, where he’ll be provided the opportunity to show them what he’s already shown us in the state of Georgia.
The Giants kick off their 2016 season on Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys at 4:25 pm ET.
(feature photo courtesy: PureSportsNY)