Caleb King’s loss no big deal for Dogs — it’s Crowell’s show

Washaun Ealey (left) and Caleb King blew their opportunities at Georgia. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Washaun Ealey (left) and Caleb King blew their opportunities at Georgia. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

(Last update: 4:50 p.m.)

We saw what Washaun Ealey brought to the table for Georgia. It wasn’t good enough.

We saw what Caleb King brought to the table for Georgia. It wasn’t good enough.

So sorry if I’m not all bent out of shape about the sudden news that King has been declared academically ineligible for the Bulldogs in the fall. Nothing against the young man personally, but in terms of how this impacts the fortunes of the football team, it’s close enough to zero. Fact is, the Dogs were going to rise or fall next season on the strength of freshman Isaiah Crowell, any way.

Coach Mark Richt has certainly let it be known on occasion that Crowell was the only running back he really cared about. How often does a college coach say on national letter of intent day something remotely close to this on a recruit: “ I wouldn’t be shocked to see him running that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he’s supposed to do”?

Richt was talking about Crowell. He had pretty much had it with Ealey, who a week later was suspended, eventually was granted his release and transferred to Jacksonville State.

Having King for depth purposes might’ve been nice. But what in the last three seasons — given injuries, a lack of production and his own off-field issues — would lead you to believe he could be counted on?

Scouting services had him as one of the top running backs in the nation and the first overall player in Georgia back in 2006. Either they were wrong or he figured he would just let the resume do the work for him in Athens. He had one great game in three years (166 yards against Georgia Tech in 2009). He was injured too often. He was arrested last year for failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket (which came to be something of an epidemic in Athens).

King is 23 years old and would have been a fifth-year senior. How can a fifth-year senior with everything to play for not stay academically eligible? This was not somebody whom Richt could count on.

Some Georgia fans will belabor the lack of experience behind Crowell. That’s a legitimate concern. But in three seasons over four years, King offered no guarantees.

Richt said in a statement, “We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do. However, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up.”

Others won’t have to step up too much.

Success next season was always going to hinge on Crowell, and certainly the offensive line in front of him. Caleb King was just a name on the depth chart.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier: Ohio State strips itself of wins but officials need to take hit

Earlier: Braves win again, and there’s reason to like the view

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC


627 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

July 8th, 2011
3:22 pm

First and I agree Jeff

We were hoping against hope for King to do something

Charlies Hayes

July 8th, 2011
3:28 pm

I hope you are right Jeff. IC will have some big shoes to fill and will get his fair share of the carries now for sure. Ken Malcome will be our best bet for blocking since he has a full year of the scheme and blocking assignments under his belt. Let’s hope the three (3) man team can stay healthy and carry us this year for a running game.

BTW – Why was King suspended from the bowl game this past year? Was he even eligible?

me

July 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

Caleb Queen is a cancer and should have been kicked off 2 years ago.

murray county mystic

July 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

Crowell gained 94 yards in playoff game vs. Calhoun High…not Florida…not SC…not Auburn…Calhoun High…he’s special…not…but, please keep CMR in Athens…he’s special, too…

DawginLex

July 8th, 2011
3:31 pm

King missed several required academic advisor appointments and was not allowed to play in the bowl.

He had a huge mountain to climb academically and was taking summer classes to get back on course.

JB

July 8th, 2011
3:31 pm

Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….Damn

JB

July 8th, 2011
3:33 pm

We are UNPROVEN at RB. Very thin at OL. 1 proven WR + Olson Charles. Lord help us.

NC Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

Did you read his Twitter posts published today? Are we teaching spelling anymore?

Chiefdawg

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

Another case of the coaching staff recruiting the wrong guy.

thUGA

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

Give me the rock

Charlies Hayes

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

“King missed several required academic advisor appointments and was not allowed to play in the bowl.”

So how could he not have controlled this issue? He stated on Twitter that some things are out of his control…..

Nathan

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

The Dawgs are screw now only on runnigback and no wide outs for murray. Go Gators!

BJOHNDAWG

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

Well i guess we will be throwing the rock this year even more than last.
I am okay with that…but not sure if you can win an SEC title without a strong running game.

Cannot blame Richt if the players dont want to hit the books.

Go Dawgs!
JWTWDT—Just win the whole damn thing!

thUGA

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

It’s all good yo

SouthSide Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

what is going with Muarry

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

is there is any truth to the rumor that Aaron muarry cheated and will thrown off the team! god I hope not Aaron is a great with a great heart and I don’t think this is the truth but I wish UGA would come out and say one or the other just so we know and they can clear his man

GeoffDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

Caleb King has been more or less a fiasco for Georgia. I don’t know that he’s a Jasper Sanks level bust but he’s close. The only thing I’ll miss is any potential motivation for Crowell coming in.

GT Trumpet

July 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

I really can’t see Crowell being that good this year. 5 star or not he doesn’t have any college experience. Look for lots of pass plays to your now depleted receiving corps.

@JB

July 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

My thought exactly. We may be in for a LONG season. Richt may be in for an even longer one, and probably his last.

BIG Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

Can’t agree with you more. King and Ealey, at this point, were a waste of scholarships. Better to get rid of them now. Our results this season would not have been affected with or without King.

Nathan

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

Also the dawgs lost there defense they suck! Go Gators!

JB

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

King was not the savior of this team, but he has run in the SEC and would give time for Crowell to get his grove going. Spin this all you want, this is not good news. We go to war with little Carlton Thomas as the only one who has carried a football in college, and if i recall, he was mobbed at the line every play. OUCH.

DawginLex

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

what is going with Muarry

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm
is there is any truth to the rumor that Aaron muarry cheated and will thrown off the team! god I hope not Aaron is a great with a great heart and I don’t think this is the truth but I wish UGA would come out and say one or the other just so we know and they can clear his man

******************************************

Facebook hoax

Trojan

July 8th, 2011
3:38 pm

Everyone rips on CMR for letting go of players who don’t follow rules or attend class. Yet no one rips on coaches whose players enrolls in only one class, an independant study (Cadillac at Auburn) his entire senior year or a coach who enrolls a student who had been caught cheating twice and was caught stealing a PC.

pb

July 8th, 2011
3:38 pm

Jeff is right it is no big deal. Should have seen it coming. But to rely on a freshman running back is not a sure thing. Good luck UGA!

me

July 8th, 2011
3:38 pm

If anyone has seen Crowells Facebook page, its a total embarrassment to the University of Georgia. Pathetic kid, GROW UP.

ozzfest

July 8th, 2011
3:39 pm

THE PHOTO SAYS IT ALL….NOT EVEN THE TWO OF THEM TOGETHER (#3 and #4) EQUAL #34.

ncb34

July 8th, 2011
3:39 pm

come on guys, give caleb a brake.

..

Andy

July 8th, 2011
3:39 pm

Can’t agree Jeff. You hit on it with the depth. Relying solely on a freshman for an entire season is beyond risky. You need a third down back who can pick up a blitz and spell your starter, especially as the season wears on. To convince me that UGA won’t miss King, you’ve gotta provide some evidence that those behind Crowell are ready to step in as well.

techfan

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

In the long run yes, but UGA opens up with two tough games. They are going to have to rely on a true freshman who hasn’t even been on campus long to have any chance in those games. He will have to learn all of the plays, get in high level college football shape, learn to pass block well, and maintain his cool while all of the sudden being the most important person on the team. To pretend that this is not a big deal is just lying to yourself.

EW

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

What a fitting end to a disappointing career…

UGAX

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

What is going with Muarry (sp?) – Nice Try. Nothing There. Spell Check.

Losing King will hurt us more than we think. We’re not even sure that Crowell is the real deal, yet. Remember Jasper Sanks?. Putting way too much stock in a true freshman with history of injuries. Offensive line is weak, so Murray better learn to thrown on the run or on his back. Grantham is going to have earn that $750K he’s making to keep us in any games this year. We may be doomed!

JB

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

Don’t bite on that Lex.There is blood in the water and the haters are out in force.

thUGA

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

I guess it’s time to throw out that Caleb King autographed football along with the Mondale-Ferroro button and those dreams of being the next Annie.

JB

July 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

techfan……..you speak the truth.

Dawg in the Northwoods

July 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

Hey Mystic. As of December 2010 Calhoun was ranked 9th in Georgia and 227th Nationally. Murray County was # 391 in Georgia and # 10,931 in the nation. Based on the apparent knowledge of football in Chatsworth; why don’t you go back to your cousin, she’s lonely.

Born 2 Bark

July 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

Hated to hear the news, especially since this would’ve been his best shot to showcase his talent for the NFL. Hope for the best for him. He obviously doesn’t understand accountability by saying there are some things you can’t control and can’t stress about it… Every single negative situation he had at UGA was the result of something totally under his control.

IC will have to grow up quick and deliver, Boo is a pounder and we need him to shine, Thomas and Harton are more like scatbacks and can’t be relied on for more than a change of pace back. Last resort pull Samuel back into the mix. GO DAWGS!

BJOHNDAWG

July 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

They better not get rid of the kickoff like they talked about a few weeks ago.
It may be the only way we can score.

Let NONE in

July 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

You have to admit that one line “WE RUN THIS STATE” is for the ages. Cheers.

Charlies Hayes

July 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

Maybe Caleb King will go to Jacksonville State! I want him to push Ealey so he isnt the feature back in D2 football! Ealey could have worked hard and now he would be the feature back this year at UGA. I have no respect for either of these two (2) guys. We offer free scholarships (which I wasnt offered but I managed to graduate) to these clowns and they leave us in this state. We should start recruting only JUCO players that have already screwed up once and know this is their last shot. I read a blog about John Jenkins and his work ethic, we need more players like him. Not problem kids and quiters like Ealey and King……..

Hilliard Crump

July 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

You’re an idiot, Schultz.

Keep this article handy. Especially when he fumbles a few time late in 4th quarter.

3 + 4 = 0

July 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

We ruined this State

Chi Town

July 8th, 2011
3:45 pm

Boise State is gonna come in here and whip some as* against the mutts.

BFS

July 8th, 2011
3:45 pm

I is indeed very rare to find an acedemically qualified player who can actually play. The college teams are full of idiots who can run fast and hit hard. Whatever happened to “STUDENT Atheletes”?

big john 330 lbs

July 8th, 2011
3:45 pm

ncb34-
You spell as well as Caleb.

MarineDog

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

This summer has been very fluid at UGA. Although Caleb done this to himself, I find it hard to kick a man (or should I say kid), when he’s down. This undoubtedly opens the door for Crowell and Malcome. I sincerely hope that all the other student athletes learn from this.

There’s something going on at UGA that I can’t remember ever seeing…I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. But, I think that we can all agree that this summer has been different than any in recent memory. However, I’m not ready to wave the surrender flag yet. Everyone has to just suck it up and move on. I wish Caleb luck and I hope that he gets his act together. Sometimes talent alone isn’t enough.

me

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

Mark Richt has become the biggest joke in the SEC. Welcome to the Mark Richt farewell tour 2011.

Big Ten Champs Nebraska

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

Classic UGA football.

Tide is rolling and nothing can stop it

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

HAHAHAHA. Maybe the Dawgs fans will finally quit believing that this is King’s year to live up to his potential.

But of course I am talking about Dawgs and expectations!

King for Heisman!

BFS

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

IT -sorry, don’t want to offend the spelling police