Will UGA’s Samuel become a star?

 

It’s Friday, and all of us are free to discuss any topic that is on our minds, even if it’s not college football. But with the start of the season less than a week away, there are still a ton of things that we don’t know. Here are just a few:

 

Will UGA’s Richard Samuel become a star? Since the end of spring practice I’ve said that Georgia’s biggest concern for this season is not at quarterback, where Joe Cox is replacing Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 draft choice. The question I’ve had is whether or not one of Georgia’s running backs would step up and show some star power. Because with this offensive line, which I believe is Georgia’s best since the SEC championship team of 2002, a star running back to replace Knowshon Moreno is the thing that Georgia needed most on the offensive side of the ball. That’s because Georgia needs to limit the exposure of its defense and keep Cox in manageable down and distance situations. A star at tailback helps a team do that.

Georgia may have found that guy in Samuel, the sophomore from Cartersville. I’m hearing reports that Samuel (6-2, 218) has shown the strength and power to run through defenders. At the same time he has shown the ability to burst through the line of scrimmage and run away from defensive backs. In other words, this guy can turn an average play into a big play.

It’s been a while since Georgia has had a guy with both power and breakaway speed. Now can Samuel do this when the stadium is full and the band is playing? We’ll find out on Sept. 5 in Stillwater.

 

Should Miami fans be concerned? The opening four games on Miami’s schedule are ridiculous but Hurricane fans knew that. They knew that the starting stretch of Florida State, Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech and Oklahoma was going to be about survival. But now the Hurricanes will have to navigate this gauntlet without their No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks. Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith independently decided that new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple did not have them in his plans.

 And they were probably right about that. There is no question that Whipple was brought in to tutor Jacory Harris and make him a star. Everyone in the Miami camp knows that Harris, a sophomore, is the guy and will hold the job for at least two more years. The future at quarterback after that seems to be equally as clear in the person of true freshman Ali Highsmith, son of former UM great Alonzo Highsmith. Highsmith led his Texas high school team to a berth in the state 5A championship game last season. The concern for Miami fans is over what will happen if Harris gets dinged up in that tough four-game stretch. Now they HAVE to get Highsmith ready.

 

Can Southern Cal win the Pac-10 with a true freshman at quarterback? Coach Pete Carroll surprised some people yesterday and named true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley as the starter for the Sept. 5 opener with San Jose State. Sophomore Aaron Corp won the job over Barkley (who enrolled in college early) in the spring. But Corp missed significant practice time this summer (cracked bone in his left leg) which opened the door for Barkley.  Corp returned to practice recently and was getting stronger. And someone close to the USC program told me that all else being equal, Carroll wanted to start Corp because he knew the offense better. But Barkley was just too impressive when he got his chance to work every day with the first team offense.

Barkley is the guy and that is not going to change unless he gets hurt or is a flop. He will be able to make mistakes against San Jose State. But the following week the Trojans go to Ohio State. I believe Pete Carroll thinks that Barkley gives him the best chance to win in Columbus and to win an eighth straight Pac-10 title.

 

You got any eligibility left? Tennessee sure could use some receivers: The Tennessee receiving corps was already depleted by injuries but the Vols could at least say they still had their best guy in Gerald Jones. Now he’s on crutches (sprained left ankle) and will be lucky if he can get back for the Florida game in Gainesville on Sept. 19. Before the injury to Jones we were predicting that the offensive game plan would have to be scaled back and rely heavily on the run. Now Tennessee is really going to have to play smart and lean on its defense, which is going to be pretty good. And it’s also clear that the true freshmen, a group that includes Nu’Kueese Richardson, are going to have to play whether they are ready or not.

And while we’re on the subject of the Vols I’ll predict this: QB Jonathan Crompton is going to have a very respectable year. This offense is more quarterback friendly than the previous one and Crompton will not be asked to do things he can’t do-like throw the ball 41 times in a game (as he did at UCLA).

As Clint Eastwood once said: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” That is especially true in football.

 

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195 comments Add your comment

Jake

August 28th, 2009
9:03 am

Ga. seems to always find a running back. History tells us this. Their O line must be good per your discription. We will find out just how good they are when they play O.State guys. With regards to to Tn. yeah, they better not be throwing the ball 35-45 times per game or they are in deep do, do. I know your mother reads these, so I’m keeping it clean.

godawg

August 28th, 2009
9:06 am

Good point about the TB. Georgia needs to be able to have clock-burning sustained drives to keep the other team’s offense and our defense off the field. I think this will be a key to winning in Backwater.

Of course we still need the big play ability that Stafford brought to score quickly if we find ourselves behind at the end of some games.

JB

August 28th, 2009
9:11 am

I think Samuel’s will be ok and be tough to tackle and will wear down the defense some, then carlton, the scat back will go in for a change of pace and have some good success. Sameul’s looks like a 20 -22 carry 80-100 yard tough yards back, nothing more.

reality check

August 28th, 2009
9:29 am

Samuel is now at 224 pounds. It is obvious he has enormous potential and I have been saying that for a while. Earlier this summer I posted my view on the Junkyard Blawg on this point, and I will paste it here. The more important thing though is the second point I made in my post. It is a fact that every game in the Richt era where we passed more than 50% we have lost and when we ran more than 60% we won. Here’s what I said:

reality check

June 26th, 2009
11:40 am
I agree with T-dog about Samuel. The guy is really young and last year his progress during the season was noticeable. He averaged 5.1 ypc last year, and that average increased as the year went on. He will play at 225 pounds this year and he is clearly Georgia’s fastest back.

McCendon is right when he says Moreno can’t be replaced. Richt is also right when he says he believes we will be sound at the RB position this year.

I for one believe one of our problems last year was over emphasis of the passing game. The statistics under Richt are clear and unequivocal. When we run 60% or more we have won. When we pass 50% or more we have lost.

CARTERSVILLE DAWG

August 28th, 2009
9:32 am

I saw Samuel play several times in high school and if he has been in the weight room and put on some muscle, then he will be a beast. Knowshon was asked last year who the fastest back was on the team was and he said that it Samuel. If he has put added some power to go along with that speed, and judging from Curran’s comments about getting a headache from tackling him he has, then he will be a beast and will have all of DAWG NATION in love with him by seasons end.

GO DAWGS!!!!!!

Johnny Test

August 28th, 2009
9:34 am

Tony, I have two quick questions. How old is Samuel and what is his speed in the 40?

BobbyGodd

August 28th, 2009
9:36 am

Samuel is the best back on the UGA roster. He has both the quickness and strength (versatility) to really flourish. Just hope he fumbles a few more times against GT throughout his career.

CARTERSVILLE DAWG

August 28th, 2009
9:37 am

Johnny Test, I am not sure about the speed in the 40, but he turned 18 this past February.

PMC

August 28th, 2009
9:39 am

I always thought he was a better linebacker than a tail back coming out of high school but he’s a really intelligent young man. Very physical, picked up the blocking concepts fast and apparently has great speed too. Another guy Mark Fox might want to work out with the basketball team.

[...] For what it’s worth: And while we’re on the subject of the Vols I’ll predict this: QB Jonathan Crompton is going to have a very respectable year. This offense is more quarterback friendly than the previous one and Crompton will not be asked to do things he can’t do-like throw the ball 41 times in a game (as he did at UCLA). As Clint Eastwood once said: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” That is especially true in football. Will UGA’s Samuel become a star? | Mr. College Football [...]

PMC

August 28th, 2009
9:42 am

However, It would be adviseable to try and avoid Brandon Spikes in the A gap no matter who you are

CharlotteGator

August 28th, 2009
9:42 am

Richard Samuel will absolutely be a star for UGA this season. I’ve said it a few times, but I fear his impact on a game almost as much as AJ’s. It seems every time RS touches the ball something good happens for UGA. Whether it’s kickoffs or time at TB, when I see him get in the game, the blood pressure goes up a little. Carlton and King might be good backs, but as a Gator, I’d much rather see them in the backfield than Samuel. With the other two, I feel great about our defenses ability to corral and limit them. With Samuel, there’s that uncertainty and burst that only the great backs have and most defenses can’t match. Good luck to the kid, well, except for in Jacksonville. I hope he’s off at a Rhodes scholar interview or something and has to miss the game. :)

ZP

August 28th, 2009
9:42 am

not tony, but i am pretty sure he is 18 with about a 4.4

ZP

August 28th, 2009
9:47 am

PMC- did you see bart scott blow up the Ravens pulling guard in the preseason game last week? Kinda reminded me of Spikes. Why can’t that guy just leave and go to the NFL already and leave the UGA offense alone! lol

JB

August 28th, 2009
9:54 am

If our line is as good as advertised, He could put up some decent numbers. he looks like a pure north south runner. I hope his speed is real. I would love to see him bust through the line and be gone.

Johnny Test

August 28th, 2009
9:58 am

CD and ZP, thanks. I read so much good stuff about Richard that my expectatons were sky high last year. I thought he looked tenative on kick off returns, ran too straight up through the line and when he fumbeled in the Tech game I really got down on him. Friends of mine chastised me and reminded me he was a 17 year old freshman. At 224 lbs. with 4.4 speed and only 18. Seems like there is massive potential there but as Yogi Berra once said, Having potential means you ain’t done it yet.” I hope he does it this year. The better he is the more pressure it will take off Cox and that will make Cox better.

DirtyDawg

August 28th, 2009
9:58 am

If they can hold onto the ball, Samuels and the rest of the RBs will do just fine thank you. You said it, the best OL we’ve had in some time…best DL as well…with those combinations you have to like your chances in any given game.

Ricky

August 28th, 2009
9:58 am

JOHNNY TEST:

According to Samuels Recruiting Bio he ran a 4.47/40

Rational Citizen

August 28th, 2009
10:00 am

With the recent decision by Mexico to decriminalize small amounts of virtually every drug, and the ruling by Argentina’s highest court that citizens of that nation cannot be sent to prison for personal possession of small amounts of marijuana, it’s time America begin taking steps to address the marijuana issue.

I personally favor a legalization, regulation and taxation approach because it’s time American politicians pulled their heads out of the sand (not to mention other places some have their heads) and realize that marijuana is a substance that poses far less harm to society than alcohol or tobacco, and has the potential to become a huge revenue generator for local and state governments. As opposed to ceding a multi-billion dollar market to organized crime, an experiment our government tried with alcohol during Prohibition with disastrous effects, we need to treat marijuana exactly like alcohol, with restrictions on its sale and usage, while at the same time making it available to responsible adults who choose to use it in a responsible manner.

I’m sure many of you will disagree with my approach, but for those who do oppose it please share your thoughts in a rational manner without resorting to scare tactics (ie-”everyone, including children, will be sitting around getting high all day”) or ad hominem attacks (ie-”you’re just a pothead”). Millions of people every year use marijuana. I just want to find a way that society gets some of the benefits (taxes) without incurring all the drawbacks.

Dave Dawg

August 28th, 2009
10:01 am

Whoa, he is young. He’s got the God-given speed, and it’s no wonder that he’s just now putting on the muscle. Tremendous upside for the years to come.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 28th, 2009
10:03 am

NO STARS, NO STARS, NO STARS!!!

You see when UGAg has all these superstars. They can’t play as a team. (excuse for last year).

This years excuses should be some good ones coming out of the mutt nation, starting in 8 days.

45-42, don’t believe everything your media guide tells you.

Will

August 28th, 2009
10:03 am

Samuel looks great in practice. He has all of the tools. He reminds me of a Lars Tate, Tim Worley type that we used to get in the 80’s. He is big, fast and strong. But he does have some shiftiness. However UGA fans do not need to give up on King. He is our best blocker at RB and has the best hands as well. This guys is going to get a ton of playing time and can be the work-horse as he was recruited to be. Carlton look like a Reggie Bush type to me. Just give him some space and he can break a big one.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we have talent everywhere folks, at every position and we have depth as well. If we can get some breaks early in the season we are going to be damn tough. Especially if we get some confidence then some attitude to match on D.

Since it’s open-post-Friday I want to say this… Sanford Bishop (D)GA is a weasel & a chicken for not doing a town hall meeting this month! Take your medicine like a man Sanford…..

Badibing

August 28th, 2009
10:04 am

For all you UGA Fans: Who was the Head Coach that Redshirted Noshown Moreno….. And who is the coach that said he is glad his team is not rated no. 1 and glad they do not have all that hype this year! who is the coach at the end of every year make excuses for what he should have done differently….. Mark Richt….. Mark Richt…. Also, go back from when Willie M. took over for Vangorder and see how many big games each year his defenses spotted teams points in the first half and uga won the second half in points and lost the game and there are a few in reverse to that…. UGA wins one of those games each year and is playing fothe SEC and a NC in the BCS… Simple as that….. I can think of Fl every year, two Tn games on one Al game and one Tech Game… He has a History… Check it out… Dogs lose 4 this year and Willie get demoted on staff via pressure from the Money Guys at UGA… you read it here…

TommyP

August 28th, 2009
10:04 am

Richard Samuel will have a coming out party this year. Caleb King will never start a game at UGA barring injuries.

JB

August 28th, 2009
10:05 am

hey dude, pass the doritos man.

JaxDawg

August 28th, 2009
10:06 am

CharlotteGator – thanks for the classy post about R.Samuel. It does sound like he is the real deal and is coming into his own. He has a great attitude as well. Should be fun to watch. I’ve got a feeling this year’s GA/FL game will be the game the 08 one was SUPPOSED to be.

TommyP

August 28th, 2009
10:08 am

JB: Remember your earlier words….you said that Samuel will basically be nothing more than a “tough yards back” (I believe that’s what you said). He’s about to prove you wrong, my friend. (Doritos gone)

Big Man

August 28th, 2009
10:08 am

Richard Samuel is more than competent, but unless the line is just superb I can’t see him becoming a star. He lacks vision and fumbles too much. He doesn’t set up blockers he just runs wild and hard. The RB by committee thing might be ok, but at some point they will have to lean on somebody. Caleb King has yet to step up. Maybe Carlton Thomas will step up.

Hoof Hearted

August 28th, 2009
10:08 am

Reality, I agree with your assessment about passing v. running up to a point. That statistic can be skewed because in some games, if a team is down by more than a TD, or if time is running out, the offense is obviously going to be passing more than running. So, I think it’s one of those things like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Look at the Alabama game, we got down so much, so fast, the offense really had no choice but to pass most of the time. I think you can argue that if we hadn’t started out passing so much (throwing interceptions and dropping passes), we may have faired better.

GeoffDawg

August 28th, 2009
10:09 am

The name Whipple doesn’t inspire thoughts of survival for some reason.

Conspiracy Theorist

August 28th, 2009
10:09 am

Before anyone pays any attention to the pot-head’s post above, ask yourself this: Has anyone ever seen Mark Richt’s birth certificate, and is it for real ?

Hoof Hearted

August 28th, 2009
10:12 am

Oh also, the converse of what I wrote above is true: if a team is up big on an opponent in a game, it is more likely to run the ball than pass. So again, I don’t think you can really correlate run/pass % and Ws and Ls. I think most of the time, in the end, the winning team will have run the ball more, and the losing team will have passed the ball more, but I don’t think that is necessarily why one team won and the other lost.

Not Disappointed

August 28th, 2009
10:13 am

Someone has to step up to the plate at running back or it’s going to be a long season for Joe Cox. This young man, Samuel appears to be solid. Time will tell.

Southern Cal is a whole different story. The young quarterback is solid, but is it enough for the Trojans?

It’s really going to be fun to watch the Miami Canes of the next couple of years. They may not have all the horses for this year, but it will be interesting to see how they far over the first 4 games!

I really haven’t notice the squad for the Volunteers. Mainly cause the Coach likes the TV more than his players! Oy!

Ramblin Wreck!

Justin

August 28th, 2009
10:14 am

Badibing, I am sure you had intentions of posting something with a point, but where did it all go south?

JB

August 28th, 2009
10:15 am

Ramble on…..you’re new at this pissing down a leg blogging thing aren’t you? I mean, where have you been for the last 7 years ? In the closet with all the other Tech nerds. m was in the hospital last year, you might have been also. got hurt “jumping” on the band wagon. You guys aren’t fans. Look at South Carolina, losing 7-8 games a year before Spurrier arrived, BUT STILL FILLING UP A 85,000 STADIUM EVERY WEEK. Those are fans. Tech folks are fickle as anyone. Mostly Johnny come lately types. Johnson dreams of the day he can lead a team out of the Tunnel with 80-90,000 screaming fans on National TV……And it won’t be at Tech.

Dawg Fan 4 Life

August 28th, 2009
10:16 am

Samuel will be a stud, write it down. Ok St will find out first hand next Saturday. His size and speed make him a perfect fit for an SEC back. I just hope that fumbles are not an issue. Mix in Thomas with his quickness and UGA will have their own version of thunder and lightning.

OZZFEST

August 28th, 2009
10:19 am

OSU had no chance of winning. Period.

JB

August 28th, 2009
10:19 am

TommyP……I hope I choke on those words…….I’m pulling for him. He will be the difference between 8-4 and 10-2…….Go Dawgs

KNelson

August 28th, 2009
10:22 am

Here is the problem. If Samuel goes down, what happens to the running game. Georgia lacks dept badly in that position!

Dawg Fan 4 Life

August 28th, 2009
10:23 am

Eight days away boys and girls, I can’t freakin wait!!! Go Dawgs!

Gator Fan

August 28th, 2009
10:23 am

I agree with Charlotte, RS worries me much more than King or Carlton, I mean besides his fumble at GT, he is a hard nosed runner, and those are worse than the elusive style of King. So smart call my mr. Richt, hopefully if we can bottle him up and double AJ, we should be fine in Jax.

ReptilesRule

August 28th, 2009
10:28 am

I believe that Crompton could well have a better year but it all depends on how effective his running game is and also depends on how he comes out of the Florida game psychologically. He will need to be very physically and mentally touch going in and coming out of Sept 19 as the Gators will be coming at him fast and with bad intentions. It will be 1000 degrees and he might as well have his head stuck in a jet engine all day as he won’t even be able to hear his own thoughts. I will predict that this will be the most hostile time and place to play ANYWHERE in college football this year and one of the loudest games to ever be played in the Swamp.

JB

August 28th, 2009
10:30 am

Samuel will look tough against Okie st. Any running back last year worth his salt ran all over them.
I say we run 65 % of the time and he gets 150 yards.

murfdawg

August 28th, 2009
10:30 am

Tony,
Here you go again making the same mistake you made last year. UGA’s OL is still too young to be called good. It may be the best since 2002, but is that good enough for 2009? I usually look at the OL, the DL and then skill positions before I make a prediction of how a team will perform. Georgia’s two deep OL consist of 1 SR, 3 JR, and 6 SO. It will be better than last years line but will it be good enough to win the SEC like the 2002 line? The DL will bee much better with Owens back. The skill positions will be adequate but not as good as last year. The wild card in all of this is if a stud running back emerges and does some amazing things on the field. Of course poor play calling by Bobo(see USC 2007) will negate any on field heroics by a RB. The first three games will set the tone for the season. I’ll check back with you then.

Stinger

August 28th, 2009
10:30 am

Comparing Samuel’s speed to KNOWSHOW is a joke. KNOWSHOW ran a pitiful 4.7 in the fourty. Samule has Jasper Stanks written all over him. F-U-M-B-U-L-L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KNelson

August 28th, 2009
10:30 am

ReptilesRule, I agree with that. I do however feel that solely due to the Tenn defense UT will make it closer than people think. Still Gators win but not by the margin ans would love to see.

CharlotteGator

August 28th, 2009
10:32 am

JaxDawg,

No problem. In my opinion, AJ and RS are the two guys on UGA’s offense I would swap Gator players with. You know, the classic test to see who’s got the best players…who would you trade your guys for straight up. Not a test of loyalty or anything just an objective way to judge talent.

Anyway, I have to respectfully disagree with a few posters about RS “only being a straight ahead runner.” In my opinion, that’s what makes him the most dangerous. Against top caliber SEC defenses all the jukes, spins, moves, etc. will get you buried and keep your ground game ineffective. Obviously you need some shiftiness to make people miss (which I think RS has more than enough of), but the hit the gap hard, straight ahead runners I think are the most successful in the SEC. If you look at Knowshon as an example, all those jukes and crazy moves were fine against ASU and whoever you guys played when he hurdled the guy, but when he hit the SEC grind, he made his money hitting holes hard and toughing out yards with sheer effort. He demoralized UF in 2007 with straight ahead tough running and was limited last year when he tried to get cute. In Samuel, I see a clone of the RB that shredded us in 2007. Even looking at recent Gator RB’s, Rainey got away w/ spins and crazy moves against Arkansas and the Citadel, but has been rendered fairly ineffective against the top squads. Even Demps only really finds success when he makes 1 move and then runs (i.e. LSU last year). This is why we hope Moody can step up this year because he’s a tough north south runner when not injured and might find some success.

In my mind, Percy Harvin was the perfect example of a runner that can (and did) succeed in the SEC. Obviously he can make people miss, but it’s not necessarily with the flashy Reggie Bush dance type style. Percy’s greatest gift which set him apart was the ability to set up a move with one step, then put his foot in the ground, make the move and go. Being blazing fast obviously never hurts, but I don’t know that he ever got enough credit for being a tough runner andfinishing runs on the field fighting for yards as opposed to juking and ducking and then getting out of bounds.

In UGA’s runners I see RS who can hurt you, C. King sometimes resorting back to the dancing that might get him in trouble, and Carlton who is shifty and can run straight ahead at times, but isn’t the physical presence with power that RS is. I can see Thomas being a Michael Smith at Arky type runner who is good, but I’d much rather hand the reins over to RS if I’m in the Georgia camp. All 3 runners are good, but in this Gator’s humble opinion, only RS is really scary/dangerous.

murfdawg

August 28th, 2009
10:33 am

Stinger,
I think Knowshon’s 40 time got a little better when he sprinted to the bank with his $13 million.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 28th, 2009
10:35 am

JB, you are an idiot. I’ve been on here for over 5 years at least. Even you’re fellow fleabags can attest to that.

I say idiot, because your post have always gotten my attention for being just a typical fleabag, ignorant.

We’ll see about Samuel when he plays a team that knows how to tackle, since he practices against a team that doesn’t.

Now begone, I don’t debate idiots. It makes me one.

In the future, refer to me as Sir. RAMBLE ON!!!

Saint Simons

August 28th, 2009
10:36 am

Roddy Jones just scored again!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha