Washaun Ealey, who some say is the state’s most accomplished tailback since Herschel Walker, has to clear one final hurdle before making it to Georgia.
The record-breaking senior from Emanuel County Institute told the AJC that he is close to meeting college entrance requirements.
“I’m almost there. By the time graduation comes around, I should be fine,” Ealey said Tuesday night. “I’m doing good in all my classes. I’ve got the test scores. If I keep my grades where they are now, then my test scores are good enough for me [to be academically qualified]. It’s really looking good now.”
Ealey’s sprint toward graduation is a major storyline over the next two months for UGA. The Bulldogs lost Knowshon Moreno to the NFL, and only signed one running back in this year’s recruiting class, Ealey. Georgia coach Mark Richt, who rarely talks about recruits before they arrive on campus, has often mentioned Ealey this spring as a strong candidate for the tailback rotation next season. Ealey’s name will appear on the depth chart the day he reports.
“Georgia fans don’t need to worry, I’m good … I’m going to make it,” Ealey said. As a backup plan, Ealey said UGA coaches have told him that Hargrave (Va.) Military Prep or Georgia Military Junior College are emergency plans. “But we really don’t discuss those options, because we’re all confident I’ll be at Georgia.”
Last weekend, Ealey attended G-Day, his first visit to Georgia’s campus since January. “It was great. I got to meet a lot of the recruits I didn’t know.”
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Ealey said he is at nearly 100-percent after being hindered with back and ankle injuries during football season. “I’m a lot better. I’m playing baseball.” Ealey plays outfield for Emanuel County Institute and bats leadoff. He has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.4 seconds and is a constant threat on the basepaths, stealing as many as four bases in a baseball game.
During his prolific high school career at the Class A football powerhouse, Ealey rushed for nearly 8,000 yards and set state records for career and single-season touchdowns. He is ranked as the country’s No. 11 running back by Rivals.