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Thursday, July 14, 2011

In which we discuss a possible Samuel move back to tailback

Richard Samuel, the Georgia linebacker who switched from tailback last year, tweeted the following on Wednesday:

“Have a tough life changing decision to make right now.”

That would lead you to believe one of the following is true:

- He’s considering becoming Rachel Samuel.

- President Obama has asked him to mediate debt limit talks.

- Samuel is thinking of moving back to tailback.

It could also be any number of other things, but considering recent events, it’s worth assuming for the moment that the redshirt junior was talking about being a running back again.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is meeting with the media on Friday morning, so he should have more insight then. And of course Samuel could always announce it via Twitter himself.

Last year when the team had its tailback troubles, Samuel admitted he thought briefly about switching, but it was never broached and added that “I just feel like linebacker is for me.” He reiterated that during spring practice.

“Not really,” he said when asked if he still thought about playing tailback. “I think about it every now and then when I look at the other running backs and compare myself to what I would have done if I were in their position. But that’s about as far as it goes.”

But it’s very possible that Samuel’s mind has changed. Or is having it changed for him.

On the face of it, Samuel would seem a natural choice to join the tailback mix, since the team is sorely lacking experience after the departures of Caleb King and Washaun Ealey.

During his first two seasons at Georgia, Samuel rushed for a combined 528 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, with two touchdowns. He was basically the featured back in games against Arkansas (when he rushed for an 80-yard touchdown), South Carolina and Oklahoma State. And coming out of high school, he was ranked the nation’s fourth-best running back recruit by Scout.com, and the fifth-best by ESPN.com.

Plus, Georgia is hurting more depth-wise at tailback than inside linebacker: Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson are set on the first team, junior Mike Gilliard and redshirt freshman Brandon Burrows got time in spring practice, and recruits Kent Turene, Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson could contribute.

So it would be an obvious move, right? Well, there are downsides:

Samuel is listed at 243 pounds, and he’s been preparing (i.e., putting on weight) for awhile assuming he would be playing linebacker. If he switches back to offense, he’ll have to drop a lot of weight, and quickly.

And you could also argue that Samuel has a better chance of getting on the field on defense. He’s likely to sub in regularly for Ogletree. The question on offense is whether the coaches see him as insurance or competition for Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas.

We should find out shortly.

6 comments:

Pl0we said...

He needs to stay on defense.

Vic Webb said...

I chatted a bit with him last week after he made the comment that " I need to ose some of this weight" He said he was 240. I asked why he wanted to lose and he wouldn't address the question. He said he was carrying the weight well and that he wasn't at all fat. I don't see why he would be considering the weight loss unless he is looking at a move to tailback.

Kyle said...

Don't do it Richard! You are a straightforward and mean dude, meant to play ILB.

Boo, Isaiah, and Carlton (what I think the depth chart will be for Boise) will be able to combine for as many carries as that same group +Samuel. Plus he's been training hard to be a LB. Stay mean and stay on Grantham's D!

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

With the TB's, FB's, and hybrid players already available to take snaps in the backfield, this raises more concerns for me than the departures of Ealey and King. If it does happen, I shudder to think what it says about the coaches' confidence in Crowell and Malcome.

How can you develop a featured back if you never let anyone develop any in-game rhythm at the position?

Now, I can't say I would mind seeing a bigger Samuel prepping to play a few offensive downs a game in short-yardage situations if necessary, but that would make for a lot of defensive talent playing in the offensive backfield.

notsofairweatherfan said...

No switch! Sure we have more depth at ILB, but with the extensive depth at FB and TE, we should be able to manage just fine! I want to see him at LB. I do agree with Cousin Pat, however, that a few snaps at tailback in short yardage situations for Samuel might be a smart strategy (could save other backs from taking more of a beating than necessary and he would be a great force in those situations with his extra size).

Bob said...

In the immortal words of the Senator, he's been Tripped". Another all world recruit screwed by the coaching staff. If he starts and plays a lot at RB great but if he seats then our coaches are dumber than mud.