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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring primer: Caleb King

It was only one practice before a 12-day break, but it felt good for Caleb King to be back in uniform.

“For me especially, it had been awhile. Too long,” King said after last Thursday’s opening of Georgia football spring practice. “It was good to go out there and be out with the team again, work hard, sweat and run some plays.”

There were a lot of people who thought King may not be back out there. The tailback had a rough junior season, being suspended two games following an arrest on traffic charges. His late fumble probably cost the Bulldogs a win at Colorado. And he didn’t even make the Liberty Bowl trip after being ruled academically eligible.

But King said his academics are in order and cheerfully spoke last week about finishing his college career the right way.

That includes mentoring the star incoming recruit, Isaiah Crowell, who many expect to start at King’s position.

King said that when Crowell committed in February, he shot the Columbus standout a couple text messages, offering his congratulations.

“I said get ready to work, because that’s what we do at Georgia,” King said. “And he said OK.”

But what was it like watching Crowell get all the attention during the recruiting process, and be seen as the savior of the team’s running game?

“I know when I first came in ’07 it was similar to what I experienced,” said King, who was rated the top recruit in the state by Rivals.com. “So I understand what he’s going through, I understand what’s happening right now. Of course – I’m not gonna say boost it up, because he’s probably gonna come in here and be a great player. But I think it’s more for the fans, so they can get excited for next season.

“But he’s still gotta come in here and work hard. Because I know the rest of us are working hard. Me, Carlton Thomas, Washaun Ealey, Ken Malcome, I know we’re all working hard, busting our tails. Once he comes in he’s gonna do the same thing; I’m gonna try and lead him and get him under my wings and go from there.”

King, Ealey and company still have time to hold off Crowell. More likely, they’re auditioning this spring to see who can share carries with the freshman.

For his part, King said he’s gained six pounds, up to 223, thanks to the team’s new offseason workout program.

“Fifth year senior, that’s crazy. I never thought I’d be here this long,” King said. “I’m motivated. I’m focused. Because it’s my last year. One and done.”

8 comments:

Daryl said...

Heaven help us if King takes Crowell "under his wings". I've grown weary of King and Ealey, both on and off the field. They are the last two Dawgs a Freshman should look to as roll models.

Crowell should be very careful of their mentoring.

matt b. said...

agreed

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for King's attitude! Hope he has a great year!

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling King thought he would be playing for 3 years and then go to the NFL. Instead, he has not stepped up and he's got one year to prove what he can do if he wants to make it to the draft.

mikey said...

would that make this year a "contract year"? it feels like yesterday when we were looking at his high school videos saying this is the next knowshon. ah, memories.

Dooms Day Dawg said...

The book on King is closed. He was a great high school player, but for one reason or another, never emerged as a big time back in college. Time for him to move on. Thank for your time and effort sir.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I told anyone who would listen that King played behind a D1 OLine at Parkview and that he went down too easily.

Everyone said I was crazy.

Anonymous said...

Ummm,
He was academically eligible for he Liberty Bowl, Because he missed study hall, a rule implemented by AD Evans, he was not allowed to PARTICIPATE.