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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Five Against One

The biggest question many Georgia fans have about the upcoming season might be who'll carry the load at tailback, but redshirt freshman and spring standout Carlton Thomas said the players are pretty sure they already know the answer.

"Right now we're looking at it as tailback-by-committee," Thomas said. "That's how we're looking at it and everybody's just trying to get better. But maybe if there's a guy that's really doing his thing, it might be (a featured back), but right now, everybody's got to be ready."

That's not to say that nothing can change in the five-player battle to replace Knowshon Moreno. While Thomas, Caleb King and Richard Samuel appear to be the front-runners for playing time, Thomas said running backs coach Bryan McClendon has assured each tailback that there's no limit or guarantee when it comes to carries this season. Redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson and incoming freshman Washaun Ealey will also compete for playing time.
"He told us it's a clean slate," Thomas said. "Whoever comes out and performs, that's who's going to play."

That's a mantra that has superseded any planned committee approach, Thomas said. With five potential vultures in the backfield and only one football to go around, the tailbacks have been working hard even if a true starting job isn't in the cards.

"As a unit, we're communicating good and everybody's pushing each other behind (fullbacks) Shaun (Chapas) and Fred (Munzenmaier) who are leading the group, and everybody's falling in line behind them," Thomas said. "We're coming in and working, then doing some extra work, and even sometimes we might come back and do some more. Everybody's on track and everybody's holding everyone accountable."

So, what do you think? Are you in favor of the tailback-by-committee approach or would you like to see the trend Moreno started of one featured back continue in 2009? If so, which tailback do you think can do the most damage?


jferg said...

I'm looking for Richard, King, and Thomas to split the load for the most part. RS will be our bruiser and if he's "on" he'll be a true go to guy. Assuming RS continues to run without vision, King will be our primary back with CT coming in for specialty plays like the little, fast guys at UF and LSU.

I would wager that if our O-line lives us to its potential, any of these backs could average 5 yards a play--they just will go about those 5 yards in completely different ways.

I am, however, looking forward to a Fred and Chapas backfield here and there for some real old-school pounding.

Castleberry said...

Thanks David,
I prefer a workhorse, but I'm expecting a committee. Samuel seems closest to being a total package, but coaches will probably rotate the other guys in based on the situation.

Bernie said...

I agree with jferg and Castleberry on Samuel, he has the size and the speed I like. But his vision and hold on the ball need to improve. I've heard good things about Jackson and am anxious to see him and Ealey.

When the game's on the line and you need three yards to move the chains, it's nice to have that one kid you know will get the job done.

So, I personally prefer the one back workhorse, but will have to get used to the committee thang until that back emerges.

Mike In Valdosta said...

Surely one of these guys will stand out when live action begins. There is a lot of upside in the group. Physically, Samuels could be the real deal. Caleb remind me of Bill Elliot, always goes outside.

shanksta13 said...

Great article here. I wrote a similar piece a few weeks back with a few more comments from Mark Richt following the spring game and the departure of Moreno.

Georgia Bulldogs will replace Knowshon Moreno with by-committee approach

Burks81 said...

im calling it now....washaun ealey will be the next big thing.