Blog Entry

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:06 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:07 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Asked about five-star Georgia running back recruit Isaiah Crowell on Signing Day, Mark Richt said he "wouldn't be shocked to see him running that rock in the dome against Boise State on the opening play." But even after losing top two rushers Washaun Ealey and Caleb King during the offseason, Richt declined to name Crowell the Bulldog starter Thursday at SEC Media Days and seemed to be making a concerted effort to keep a lid on the Crowell hype.

How concerted? Away from the main Media Days podium, Richt told Dawgs247 reporter Gentry Estes that entering fall camp, the Bulldogs' No. 1 tailback would be positional journeyman Richard Samuel:
“If anybody needed to be soothed a little bit, that will do it,” Richt said of Samuel. “He’s very mature physically, and he’s a mature man in the way he goes about his business. He has two years of experience within our system to know what to do.
“He’ll be in that meeting room, and he’ll be a great example of how to prepare and how to play the position.”

While we certainly don't doubt that Samuel (pictured) will indeed be "a great example of how to prepare," we won't blame Bulldog fans if they're less-than-soothed about Samuel's chances of being as great on the field as he is in that meeting room. Samuel spent all of 2010 and this year's spring camp at linebacker after two mildly productive years at tailback in '08 and '09. If he really is the Bulldogs' best option for "running that rock," it seems unlikely the Georgia ground game will have the teeth necessary to get them back to Atlanta.

Which is why Richt's putting Samuel in the preseason top slot is most likely his way of shielding Crowell from the pressure of statements like, well, his own on Signing Day. When asked directly about Crowell Thursday, Richt sang something of a different tune:

“We don’t expect Isaiah to save the program,” Richt said. “We don’t expect Isaiah to put the team on his back. We expect Isaiah to learn what to do and to do things the Georgia way and to try to do anything he can to help the team win as a freshman. We’ll see how far that goes.
“I’ve got a sense of anticipation. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen when we put the pads on for the first time and go live and just see what he does, see how he handles getting hit real hard, see how he handles the speed of the Southeastern Conference. … We won’t treat him whole lot different than any other player who is talented but we’re wanting to make sure he has success.”

Of course, Richt's elevation of Samuel may not be motivation for Crowell alone; redshirt freshman Ken Malcome remains in the mix, and Carlton Thomas is expected to return following his suspension for the Boise game. 

But despite Richt's assurances, he does need someone to put the rushing attack on his back (if not the entire team), and Crowell remains the most likely candidate to do that. Samuel may start the fall at No. 1, but we not only won't be shocked if Crowell takes the opening handoff against Boise; we'll be shocked if he doesn't.


Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: July 23, 2011 3:42 pm

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Good Catch.  I was thinking Ken Malcome and typed Thomas.  Still the same thought, as a red-shirt, Malcome should know the passing protection well enough so we are not tipping Boise's D that we may be passing when Samuel is in the game.  Still gives UGA 3 backs capable of running and keeps the D guessing on run or pass

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: July 23, 2011 8:09 am

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Parrot, Carlton Thomas is suspended for the Boise game for a violation of team rules.

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:08 pm

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Lets not forget tha Richard Samuel did average over 5 yds/carry in 2008 and 4.5 in 2009.  The young man is a bruiser that is not afraid to run right at you.  Given teh mix of Thomas (should know the blocking schemes), Isaiah Crowell and Samuel I feel fairly certain that we will be able to run against a smaller Boise St D-line and protect AAron Murray in the pocket with a huge TE/FB. 

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:37 pm

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

32Zone, Very rarely can a recruit master the pass blocking schemes in the SEC right out of high school.  I think it is smart of Richt to put some of the pressure on Samuel who is one of the most mature players on the team.  We definitely need for Crowell to have his head screwed on straight from the beginning instead of being a dumb*$$ like Washaun Ealey and Caleb King.  

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:33 pm

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Samuel is an NFL prospect if he can stay at linebacker and he is an above-average running back.  Don't forget that he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school as the #2 athlete in the country.  The only thing I worry about is that they are moving the kid around way too much where he can't master any position.

Since: Jul 22, 2011
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:02 pm

georgia football 2011

Don't be too surprised if Georgia goes undefeated this year.  Not too many folks are talking about it, but I believe with the tools that they have in place, they can run the table.  If they can, and I believe that they can, beat Boise and SC, then they have a great shot at finishing the year undefeated.

Since: Apr 8, 2010
Posted on: July 22, 2011 1:32 pm

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Next thing you hear will be Richt wanting to redshirt Crowell, like he did Moreno. There is not a coach in the nation that has done less with more talent than Mark Richt. Peice of advice for Richt, get a new offensive coordinator that knows how to get the most out of the talent you have. Bulldog fans wonder, why every great offense player we have had in the last 5 years has left has soon as they were eligible for the NFL?  There are 2 reasons, Mark Richt and Mike Bobo. Great recruiters, terrrible game planners. Put the best talent on the field and give them the rock enough to make a difference. (The opposite of what you did with Moreno against Florida) Prepare for a long season Dawg fans.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:38 pm

Crowell Rules

Crowell should be starting, not sameul.  Crowell is one of the top recruits in the country.  Richt better get with it.

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