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Georgia - to many outsiders - appeared weak at RB this summer and into Fall camp. Attrition took away many of the Bulldog RB stars this offseason (Washaun Ealey and Caleb King). Many say the Dawgs are still thin at the position. But to insiders, the RB position couldn't be stronger. Although the Dawg staff will not name names, Coach Mark Richt made it a point to change the culture; part of this meant encouraging certain players to leave.
Sure, the RB corps is young - and somewhat inexperienced (Isaiah Crowell is a True Freshman; Samuel is transferring back to his RB position after playing defense last year). But the Bulldog faithful say the new culture is more than making up for any loss of talent. Current players talk about certain "cancers" being gone. They've apparently replaced cancers with Energy Vampires. I guess that's good.
While a groin pull slowed Crowell early in Fall camp, he has been slowly recovering and practicing hard for a couple of weeks now. The hard work has paid off. A bit shy around a room full of reporters, he feels ready to take the reins on Opening Day and perform in front of millions. Watch some YouTube of this guy to get a sneak peak of what you might see on Saturday - but watch some other RB recruits first. The differences will be noticeable. Crowell (5'11" - 215) has 3 things you want from an elite RB:
Many think 5-star recruit Crowell is the real deal. And if Fall camp is any indication of what’s to come, there is reason to believe. Isaiah is not just living up to his billing in Fall Camp - he's surpassing it. Crowell has been the talk of camp. He's performing well against real D1 SEC athletes. Teammates - when pressed to name the best player of Richt's "Dream Team Freshman Class" - name Crowell every time. Defenders – when asked how the RB position is going – praise Crowell’s ability to cut and shed tackles. Coach Richt carefully praises his star running back, worried about putting too much pressure on him. Clearly Richt sees big things coming from his star freshman.
Junior Richard Samuel (#22) (6'2" - 243) is no slouch either, and may get the start based on Seniority, experience, and his own sheer talent - despite just now returning to practice. He is just recovering from a quad injury and should be 100% by game time. With two solid RBs, expect Richt to play them both.
I'm not sure we will see another Running Back of Crowell's talent level again this season. Among Bulldawg faithful, the word "program savior" is being bandied about. All this for a young man who has yet to play a snap of D1 football. It’s a lot of pressure for anyone to take. Even though he's just a "puppy" now, he's got the skill to mature into a full blown Dawg before our very eyes. Let's just hope it's not at the expense of a Bronco victory.
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