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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ealey looks to 'earn the trust' of his teammates and coaches

Starting Saturday, Washaun Ealey has two games to earn back the trust of his team, as he put it. He also has a chance to possibly earn back the tailback job for Georgia.

Ealey will start against Vanderbilt, and then probably at Kentucky, while Caleb King serves a two-game suspension. Ealey had been benched because of fumbling issues, allowing King to grab hold of the job.

“I feel like I got a lot more to prove,” Ealey said Wednesday. “I’ve got to earn the trust of my teammates, along with my coaches. I know that my team, they really need me this game, because I’m probably the only running back, besides Ken Malcome. Carlton Thomas is coming back this week. But I’ll probably be getting the majority of the reps.”

Ealey was asked if by earning the trust of his teammates and coaches, he meant his fumbling issues.

“Definitely,” Ealey said. “The fumbles, I’m pretty sure I lost the trust of most guys on the team. Hopefully I can go out there and gain their trust back this week.”

But the fumbling hasn’t been the only problem for Ealey. The sophomore has had trouble putting together consistent games, and hasn’t shown much burst. His longest run this season is for 18 yards.

It’s been a disappointing response from his freshman season, when Ealey showed so much promise: 183 yards against Georgia Tech, including a 44-yard run, and 98 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn.)

“Probably last year as a freshman I was just running. Now that I’ve got a little experience I’m probably thinking too much,” Ealey said. “This week I’m just gonna try and get back to my old ways, just running the ball harder and not thinking too much.”

Thomas might play this week, depending on his hamstring. He practiced in some drills Wednesday.

Malcome’s status is still up in the air, according to Richt, as they debate whether to take off his redshirt.

The team is also working a couple fullbacks – Zander Ogletree and Fred Munzenmaier – at tailback. Head coach Mark Richt revealed the Ogletree tidbit on Wednesdy.

“I think a lot of what happens with Ken might have to do with how Carlton does,” Richt said.

Malcome actually suffered a stinger in Tuesday’s practice, but came back and finished.
Richard Samuel, who moved from tailback to linebacker after last season, isn’t an option because his knee hasn’t been healthy enough to practice.

“If he was healthy, that would’ve run through our mind for sure,” Richt said. “But he hasn’t been able to practice, so I doubt that becomes part of what we do. I mean I wouldn’t count anything out. You lose enough guys, you might have to.”

A few more post-practice notes:

- Cornelius Washington (concussion) is likely to play against Vanderbilt, according to Richt. He practiced in a green non-contact jersey on Wednesday.

- While Zander Ogletree might see more time on offense, his brother Alec might be sneaking into the rotation at safety. Bacarri Rambo has started every game, while Shawn Williams has moved ahead of Jakar Hamilton at the other spot.

“Ogletree is beginning to get some reps at the safety position,” Richt said. “Jakar’s not out of the mix by any means. We’re really starting to get healthy at that position with multiple guys that are capable.”

- Demarcus Dobbs (unknown injury) practiced in a non-contact green jersey but is still supposed to be okay to play.

- Receiver Marlon Brown, who missed Tennessee with a shoulder injury, also looks likely to play.

“Or at least he should get the okay to play,” Richt said. “And he should get in there.”

- Finally, Richt said he had seen a picture of the new Uga.

"What a wonderful choice. Thirteen months, 55 pounds and undefeated," Richt said. "I like that. I hope he stays that way."

Oh, and Richt was pretty sure he swallowed a gnat at some point and had to stop his post-practice news conference to turn around and cough.

I hope PETA doesn't hear about this.

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