Tag:Caleb King
Posted on: May 9, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Washaun Ealey granted transfer from Georgia

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Running back Washaun Ealey will transfer from Georgia, the school announced today. Georgia has granted Ealey, a junior-to-be from Stillmore, GA, an unconditional release, so he's free to join the school of his choice for the 2011 academic year.

"Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks," said head coach Mark Richt in a statement released today. "We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest."

Ealey had been the Bulldogs' leading rusher in 2010, tallying 811 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground in 12 games while splitting time with junior tailback Caleb King. Neither back was particularly effective, and Georgia went 6-7 in a season that had started with much, much higher hopes. 

Unfortunately for Ealey, he fell out of the good graces of Richt and the program in February, and he was suspended from the team for what ended up being 18 days. His return was scarcely better, as injuries kept him out of all but four spring practices. That led to this surprising statement from Richt at a booster meeting two weeks ago:

“Washaun has a ways to go still to show me that he deserves to start or even play right now,” Richt told the room. “He has a ways to go in my book. We’ll see. I love him, though.”

At the point of a coach making public statements like that, a transfer seems almost inevitable, and that's what we got here. There's no telling as yet where Ealey's headed; often, players transfer closer to home, but seeing as how Ealey's from Stillmore, he can't really get much closer than Georgia. Also, there's no indication if he's going the FBS or FCS route. Being that he was a starting tailback, it seems like there's no shortage of FBS teams that'd like to get him in their backfield, but the real issue is whether he'd rather play one year of FBS ball or two of FCS -- especially if there's no guarantee that he'd start at an FBS school.

Ealey's transfer paves the way for King to take over the starting RB role, but highly touted freshman Isaiah Crowell could make a major push. If Crowell's good enough to overtake King in Week 1, look out: Crowell could make a Marcus Lattimore-style impact on the SEC this year.

Posted on: April 28, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Mark Richt not thrilled with Washaun Ealey

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Back in February, Georgia running back Washaun Ealey was suspended indefinitely by the team after he missed an early morning disciplinary run. The kind of disciplinary run your coach makes you do after you've broken a few team rules and gotten arrested for a hit-and-run accident along with driving on a suspended license. Well, coach Mark Richt reinstated Ealey to the team in time for spring practice, giving him the chance to work his way back into his coach's good graces, but Ealey hurt his hamstring after only four practices and sat out the rest of the spring.

Which allowed every other running back on the Georgia roster to loosen Ealey's grip on the starting job, and judging by the words of Richt at the Augusta Bulldog Club meeting on Wednesday night, I don't think Ealey's going to get it back.

“Washaun has a ways to go still to show me that he deserves to start or even play right now,” Richt told the room, including Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He has a ways to go in my book. We’ll see. I love him, though.”

Well, I suppose it's better to be loved on the bench than hated on it, but it doesn't sound like Georgia's leading rusher in 2010 is going to get much playing time in 2011. Richt also went on to say that the position is wide open, as Ealey competes with guys like Caleb King, Ken Malcome, Carlton Thomas and incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell.

Maybe if Washaun brings some adorable bulldog puppies to practice like Crowell had on signing day, Richt will begin to forgive him.

Posted on: April 27, 2011 5:49 pm
 

What I Learned This Spring: SEC East

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With all six spring games completed, we wrap up spring practice in the SEC East, team by team. In alphabetical order:


FLORIDA: When spring began, we said the Gators might have the most interesting offense in the country. Urban Meyer's former spread-option death machine, destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up, by none other than Charlie Weis, in the image of the steady no-frills pro-style attacks Will Muschamp saw work for old boss Nick Saban, as piloted by 2011-or-bust quarterback John Brantley? That's quite the storyline they've got going there.

But the Gators will have to hope it's a story that will be rewritten come the fall. While no one was expecting the offense to look like Weis's old New England Patriot attacks after three weeks of practice, no one was expecting it to put on a 13-10 spring game universally panned as a hideous eyesore, either. Brantley went an ugly 4-of-14 after missing his first six passes, the leading rusher was a walk-on defensive back, and the entire offensive output for the game amounted to 340 yards.

Much of that can be pinned on a wicked rash of injuries that took out most of the offensive line, an entire stable of running backs, multiple receivers, etc.; encouragingly, much of it can also be pinned on a rampaging defensive line led by Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell, all members of Meyer's loaded 2010 class and all looking posied to make good on their five-star hype. But the bottom line is that much of it can also be pinned squarely on Brantley, who Muschamp and his other coaches universally lauded for an excellent spring but who showed little of that alleged improvement when playing in public.

Does it matter? Give him a solid summer and a solid fall camp, and it may not. But until Brantley proves he's something other than what he's appeared to be since the moment Tim Tebow left -- in over his head -- skepticism is in order.

GEORGIA: The biggest question entering the most critical spring of Mark Richt's spring tenure concerned the Bulldogs' biggest players: could their offensive line bounce back? When you have Aaron Murray, Orson Charles, a fleet of talented (if still unproven) receivers, and eventually Isaiah Crowell, if you have a line, you're going to have a heck of an offense.

There was good news and bad news on that front, the latter a devastating torn ACL suffered by fifth-senior and projected starting tackle Trinton Sturdivant. But there were positives, too, namely a terrific spring from potential All-SEC  center Ben Jones and guard-to-tackle position switch Cordy Glenn. G-day primary tailbacks Ken Malcome and Caleb King combined for 69 yards on 12 carries, a not-so-shabby 5.8 yards per-carry. Overall, the line was impressive enough this spring that senior Justin Anderson -- billed as a potential starter on the OL -- has been moved to defense.

The Dawgs had themselves a fine spring on the defensive front as well, with newly bulked-up nose tackle Kwame Geathers the talk of the Bulldogs' spring camp and converted safety Alec Ogletree providing a big boost the linebacking corps. The secondary is unsettled and one of those aforementioned receivers needs to emerge as a go-to target for Murray, but if the improvements in the front seven and offensive line aren't mirages, the Bulldogs wil be back in the thick of the East race all the same.

KENTUCKY: Consider it a successful second spring for Joker Phillips and the Wildcats. We noted that with nearly all of the major players from 2010's surprisingly effective Wildcat passing game gone, Phillips would want to make rebuilding that passing attack around junior quarterback Morgan Newton priority No. 1 in spring camp. And though we'll have to wait until fall to see the finished results, for now it looks like Mission Accomplished: Newton had a terrific spring, capped by a 23-of-44, 256-yard, three-touchdown performance in the Wildcats' Blue-White Game.

Things weren't perfect: the Wildcat receivers were plagued by drops, and a defense still adjusting to new co-coordinator Rick Minter's aggressive schemes paired several big plays with several breakdowns. But with Newton cementing himself as a reliable option under center and a veteran line paving the way for new tailback Raymond Sanders to average better than 7 yards a carry, there's far more optimism for the Wildcat offense coming out of spring than going in.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Whatever storyline you might have constructed ahead of time for the Gamecocks' spring, it was always going to overshadowed by the continuing Stephen Garcia circus. Until Carolina receives a definitive word one way or the other on Garcia's return (though as we wrote earlier today, that return seems likely), the team is going to be in something close to suspended football animation.  The lack of developments aside from Garcia was only enhanced by the fact that so many of Carolina's key players -- Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery, Stephon Gilmore, an offensive line with four returning starters -- are known commodities.

That said, the Garnet-Black Game showed that if Garcia doesn't come back, the Gamecocks won't be totally lost at quarterback. Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson combined to go a productive 23-of-40 for 344 yards (though Thompson threw a pair of picks), and on an offense with weapons like Lattimore, Jeffery, and tailback Kenny Miles (43 yards on just 6 carries in the spring game), "productive" should be enough.

The downside: those passing numbers came against a Gamecock secondary that got routinely torched in 2010 (FBS 97th in pass defense). Garcia or no Garcia, more improvement in that secondary will be necessary to take Carolina back to Atlanta.

TENNESSEE: Entering spring, the road to improvement for the Volunteers was clear: get stronger, more physical, better along each line of scrimmage, then let the Vols' cadre of up-and-coming skill position stars -- led by sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray -- do the rest.

The Vols made plenty of headway on the first part of that equation; the White team earned a dominant victory over the more starter-heavy Orange in the Vol spring game thanks in no small part to a bruising run game led by second-string tailback Raijon Neal; defensive linemen on both squads were able to get consistent quarterback pressure; and offensive lineman Alex Bullard and defensive tackle Daniel Hood won the team's top awards for spring performance. Both lines remain so young that there's still a long way to go to SEC dominance, but it seems unlikely they'll be pushed around the way they were at times in 2010, either.

But as for the other part of the equation, stay tuned. Bray went a miserable 5-for-30 quarterbacking the defeated Orange side, with Derek Dooley suggesting afterwards that perhaps Bray had been overconfident. Bray is expected to take a major step forward in his first full season as the Vols' starter, but if that step winds up as minor as the spring game proposes it might be, all the line improvement in the world won't push the Vols back into relevance in the SEC East.

VANDERBILT: When you finished last season dead last in the conference in both total offense and total defense -- and you are Vanderbilt -- any kind of improvement in any area will be music to new coach James Franklin's ears. But fortunately for the 'Dores, they saw some green shoots in two positions that have been partocularly troublesome the past few seasons.

One is quarterback , where previously scattershot senior Larry Smith completed 16-of-26 for 233 yards and a touchdown, leading his Black side to a 19-7 win over the Gold. The other is the defensive line , where defensive tackle Colt Nichter recorded a pair of sacks and defensive end Kyle Woestmann collected a sack and an interception. But when you're Vandy, you'll take whatever you can get.

"The big thing," Franklin said, "is that we stayed healthy."

For the same review of the SEC West, click here.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Georgia isn't having any trouble with Vanderbilt

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The debut of Uga VIII has been going pretty well for the Georgia Bulldogs this weekend.  While Uga is chilling on the sidelines the Bulldogs are off to a very nice start against Vanderbilt, holding a 22-0 lead at halftime.

Things didn't start out all that smoothly, as the Bulldogs needed all three of their first-half timeouts on their opening drive and still had to settle for a field goal, but the ride hasn't been nearly as bumpy since then.  The Bulldogs have put up 297 yards of offense against Vandy, while limiting the Commodores to 76 yards on defense.

Washaun Ealey is enjoying all the extra carries he's getting with Caleb King suspended for the game, outgaining Vanderbilt by himself with 89 yards on 10 carries, including a 58-yard run to set up a 15-yard touchdown by Carlton Thomas.   Aaron Murray hasn't been fantastic, completing 9-of-17 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, but he's making the plays he needs to with his arm and legs.

Still, even if it hasn't been all that pretty, the Bulldogs will happily take what looks like an easy victory this week.  Given the way things started in 2010, the idea of being 3-4 and 2-3 in the SEC after today means that a bowl appearance is still a possibility.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:23 am
Edited on: October 12, 2010 12:25 pm
 

UGA: King's arrest could mean time for frosh RB

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE 12:08 ET: Caleb King has been suspended two games by head coach Mark Richt in response to his arrest for failing to appear in court.  It is expected that true freshman Ken Malcome will play, splitting the running back duties with starter Washaun Ealey.   

"I expect all our players to take care of their responsibilities on and off the field," said Richt in a university release. "When players don't do that it damages the reputation of the player, our team, and our university. My goal is for Caleb to learn a lesson and for other players to learn from his experience."

-------------------

With Caleb King's arrest on Monday morning, much of the attention in Georgia has refocused on off-field issues with King being the 11th player arrested from this year's squad.  King was arrested for failure to appear in court after a speeding ticket, certainly not the worst of his Bulldog teammates, but still not the idea result after getting pulled.  Of the other 10 players arrested this season, four have been dismissed and most of the others have resulted in at least a one game suspension.  King's situation is the first traffic related incident, though some sort of punishment is expected.  

Head coach Mark Richt did not address the situation in terms of revealing what kind of punishment would be handed down, though he hinted that a combination of the arrest and Carlton Thomas' injury may result in the first playing time for freshman Ken Malcome.

“There’s a good chance that happens,” Richt said on his radio show Monday evening. “We’re not saying for 100 percent certain he will, but the situation that Caleb has gotten himself into and the fact that [tailback] Carlton Thomas’ hamstring may or may not be ready by the end of the week, it may be that Ken has to play.”

Malcome, a highly touted four-star recruit, has yet to see action for the Bulldogs. The in-state running back was one of the big wins for Richts 2010 class, with Malcome choosing the Bulldogs over Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama, among others.

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 11:23 am
 

Caleb King jailed on Monday morning

Postedy by Tom Fornelli

Mark Richt woke up on Sunday morning with a smile on his face.  The sun was brighter, the flowers smelled better and his breakfast was tastier than it had been in months.  He finally had a victory to celebrate and got to spend a day not worrying if his team's latest loss would cost him his job.

He got a whole 24 hours to be happy. 

Then on Monday morning he found out that his running back Caleb King was in jail for failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket.  King was pulled over for doing 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on June 20, and had a court date for the ticket on August 6.  Which, obviously, he didn't show up for and had a warrant issued for his arrest.

"I was hoping that someone would pay his bond up there in Clarke County and we wouldn't even have to pick him up," said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman early Monday morning. "But as of right now, no one has paid it, so I've got a deputy en route to pick him up."

According to a Georgia spokesman, Mark Richt is aware of King's arrest and is "continuing to gather information."  King is the eleventh Georgia football player to be arrested since March, and though speeding isn't exactly a terrible crime, it's not something Richt wants to deal with at the moment either.

King has rushed for 228 yards and a touchdown for Georgia this season.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 12:31 pm
 

It's getting morbid in Athens

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This has been a nightmare season for the Georgia Bulldogs.  The team is 1-4 -- with a lone victory against Louisiana-Lafayette -- on the season, and 0-3 in SEC play, leading many to wonder if Mark Richt is going to survive after the season is over.  Still, things were supposed to get better last weekend.

Wide receiver A.J. Green was returning following a four-game suspension, and he was going to help the Bulldogs offense get over the hump.  And he did.  Green was fantastic in his first game back, making seven catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns -- including a beautiful one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter.

Still, even Green's return couldn't heal a team that just seems snakebit in 2010.  The Bulldogs were on the verge of beating Colorado on Saturday night, but fate can be extremely cruel.  Trailing 29-27 in the closing minutes the Bulldogs were driving down the field and on the verge of kicking a field goal that would have given them the lead, and in all likelihood, a victory that may have helped turn the tide of their season.

The Bulldogs were already within field goal range when Aaron Murray took a snap and turned to hand the ball off to Caleb King, but Colorado linebacker B.J. Beatty met them both at the exchange and knocked the ball loose, holding King back while Jon Major jumped on the ball.

That was it.  Game over, but to Georgia defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, it felt like something much worse.

“I thought it was a shoo-in; that’s how comfortable I was [about winning the game]. I put my helmet down. I was ready to run on the field and celebrate. But it didn’t happen that way. We made a fatal mistake, and that type of stuff needs to be corrected. We cannot turn the ball over at the end of the game. It felt like death to me. We have to keep grinding and support each other.”

And there are still seven games -- or funerals -- left to go.
 
 
 
 
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