Georgia Tech sophomore wide receiver Darren Waller is ready to play a bigger role in the Yellow Jackets' offense as they prepare to take on the USC Trojans in the 2012 Sun Bowl from El Paso, TX.
Waller only recorded eight receptions for the Yellow Jackets this year, but in an interview with Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, it was his involvement in the ACC Championship Game against Florida State that has his confidence soaring.
The 6'5 Waller had two receptions against the Florida State Seminoles, including a 17-yard reception on Georgia Tech's final drive as they looked to take the lead late against FSU. Waller told Sugiura that having quarterback Tevin Washington have confidence in him in a high-pressure situation was a real boost to his confidence,
"Knowing ‘Tev' can trust me, that's a great feeling. Coming a long way, not even starting at the beginning of the year, just trying to fight for opportunities."
Waller has had to learn a new position on the fly after he originally signed with Georgia Tech as a defensive back from North Cobb High School. Waller excelled on special teams as a freshman while he learned his new position and started nine games this year for Georgia Tech.
Wide receiver coach Buzz Preston has seen Waller start to master his new position, telling Sugiura,
"What people fail to realize is he had never played wide receiver. There's a lot of nuances, learning curve, that happen out there. Now it's all starting to make sense. It's like, ‘Aha! I've kind of figured this puzzle out.'"
With leading receiver Jeff Greene leaving the program, Waller will have a bigger role to play against the Trojans, whileJeremy Moore and Chris Jackson help try to replicate Greene's production.