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Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's official: Samuel moves back to tailback

Georgia has shored up its tailback depth by returning to an old hand: Richard Samuel, after a year redshirting at linebacker, is back at his former position.

Samuel had hinted at the move on his Twitter account, and head coach Mark Richt announced the move on Thursday afternoon.

"After discussions with Richard, his family, and our coaches I'm excited that Richard wants to make the move," Richt said. "He's one of our fastest and most powerful players, is very mature, has a strong character and is a man we can count on. I'm proud of him for always putting the team first and I look forward to seeing what he can do."

Samuel also had a statement:

"I'm excited about the opportunity at tailback. I'm ready to do anything that will help the team win."

Samuel will be available to speak to the media on Friday, according to the team. So will defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

Samuel was a five-star tailback recruit out of high school, and played 22 games there during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, including six starts. He had 528 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 114 carries, the highlight being a 104-yard game against Arkansas.

The question now is whether Samuel will merely be insurance for freshman Isaiah Crowell (and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome), or will be a real threat to cut into Crowell's playing time.

Evidently, Samuel wasn't too needed on defense, where he was listed as the backup to starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree. Samuel was considered an option to start this year, but Ogletree's move to inside linebacker before spring practice may have signaled that coaches didn't have confidence in Samuel on defense.

If Caleb King had stayed eligible, Samuel probably would have stayed on defense. But King didn't, and now Samuel is back on offense.


Bob said...

Well Richard has just been Tripped. I wish him well but his college career is down the tubes like all the others the coaching staff couldn't decide where to play. I just hope all the fans realize the sacrifice he is making for the team. I don't want to hear any bad mouthing about him from idiot fans.

Buster said...

This may be great for the team and good for Richard to do it! But future recruits (5 stars) will be looking at this as why go to Georgia so they can shuffle me around for 2 or 3 years?

Lucas said...

I agree with Bob. Samuel is making a HUGE sacrifice by making this switch. I hope it works out for the best and I commend his selflessness.

William said...

I hope nothing but the best for him and hopefully they will let him play both ways if its not to much don't want to over work him. It would be a shame to let the hard work and adapting go to waste that he has put in the last year or so. Maybe this unselfish sacrifice to do what the team needs will put him in good graces with the pros come draft time. Not sure if he will even see this comment but thanks brother for trying to help the team and trying to give the fans what they want to see some W's on the column.

Dave said...

@ Buster, it would be no less frustrating or whatever for a 4 star or 3 star that had offers to go to any number of places. I know you're also thinking of Brandon Miller, but I don't remember Stafford, AJ, or Branden Smith being shuffled around. In fact, if they told Smith that he'd be predominately a CB, but he'd get some looks on offense and punt/kickoff returns, well, that's exactly what they've done. Typically, if a guy is excelling at his position, he doesn't get moved. Samuel wasn't in line to start at LB, at least not yet.

IveyLeaguer said...

I hope I'm wrong about this move. But reality prevails, and I fear the worst.

JasonC said...

So we'll have Samuel at RB until the 2nd week when we are still waiting for the NCAA to tell us if Jarvis can play, at which time we have to scramble to shore up the LB position. Sounds like an excellent plan.

Sam, Dawg Fan said...

This is not going to work. What evidence do we have that a fellow who was not very good at RB when he practiced there regularly is going to become a decent one after a couple of years off.

Leave him at LB.

Kyle said...

I don't like this one bit. It only makes our offense more predictable. When #22 lines up behind #11 just stuff the middle and get ready for the deep pass. Is Boo really that bad?

I stand behind the article I wrote two years ago:

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I hope Big Richard gets a better shot at being a featured back this time around. This team could use a consistent power running game, and I hope this move only helps to develop that. Hope being the operative term.

And Hell, I can only imagine what 230+ Pound Pass-Block Samuel vs. Blitzing Defensive End could look like on a highlight reel. I would hate it if that becomes his primary role, but you have to think that's a factor. (And could a thin offensive line have played into this decision?)

That being said, this, more than anything, takes away almost all the excitement I had built up during the off-season about this coaching staff's decision making process.

And, like I commented before, what worries me the most is what this move says about the coaches' confidence all the other talented players we were supposed to have in the backfield already.