Caleb King ‘pushing himself’

The Red & Black’s Tyler Estep checks in with Richard Samuel on the off-season state of the Dogs’ tailbacks, where Caleb King is penciled in at No. 1 but didn’t finish up the spring with a very firm grip on the starting job. Samuel’s still awfully young but showed flashes of potential last season. Then there are Carlton Thomas, the surprise star of the spring, and Dontavius Jackson, also coming back from injury. And if he doesn’t get redshirted, true freshman Washaun Ealey is likely to get into the mix, too.  

Samuel, who estimates he’s “not quite” 100 percent recovered from wrist surgery in January but expects to be fine when camp opens in August, says the tailbacks themselves aren’t really paying attention to the focus fans are putting on the competition at that position.

“We don’t even really talk about it,” he says. “We just go out there and all help each other out, and if we see a person messing up we’re going to try to help the other person. So we don’t really see it as competition. We know it’s a competition in the back of our heads, but we just do the best that we can every day.”

Samuel tells the R&B he’s seen that King is “pushing himself. He has that drive to be better. He’s working hard in that weight room, working hard in that film room. Just the drive and determination that he has is stronger.”

Mark Richt is already on record saying King has “become an outstanding pass protector” (contrary to last season) and understands Georgia’s system better now. If he’s found the drive and determination that seemed to be missing in the spring — the spark to bust a tackle or go for the extra yard — that can only be good news for the Dogs.

192 comments Add your comment

Dawgtime

June 25th, 2009
12:08 pm

Before you comment, ask yourself what motivates you to read UGA blogs. You spew negative comments about kids that you do not know. You seek negative information about the flagship school of our state. Why? That is really sad. No, trying to pull down UGA will not pull up your schools.

mcdawg

June 25th, 2009
12:08 pm

i thought he came along quite well by the end of the season-i thought the comparison w/ R. Watters is adept

i’m not concerned w/ RBs still worried about depth at LB and secondary

ChefChuck

June 25th, 2009
12:12 pm

I heard that two tall midgets ran through ugay for 400 yards.

coachdawg 2000

June 25th, 2009
12:17 pm

I am a little unsettled by RB by commitee approach because in my time as student 95-2000 and the last 8 years I have seen some excellent runners come through and without exception when our offense was at its best we had a “featured back” . Sure Torin Kirtsey spelled Edwards occasionally but Robert Edwards was the man, and when we gave Musa the ball enough he was the man, and so on. I think we need to find a guy to carry the bulk and everybody else just needs to fill a role. I think it should be Caleb because (other than perhaps Ealey) none of the others combine size and speed. Just my humble opinion.

ramguy

June 25th, 2009
12:17 pm

I think King and all the RB’s are going to be just fine. I think the entire team will be too. The Dawgs may just surprise some folks this year. Look for them in one of the BCS games at seasons end.

Drew-G-A

June 25th, 2009
12:24 pm

I agree with all the comments that King just goes down to easy. He seems like a very capable runner full of speed, he just seems to lack the ability to not give up as soon as he gets hit.

Cuz

June 25th, 2009
12:24 pm

In the sited article it infers that Orson Charles is pushing hard for some playing time. He is already a Bulldawg legend and he has not played one down in a Bulldawg uniform. What other Dawg can say he shattered the Gators National Championship? Are those crystal footballs insured? How much does one cost? Did Mom and Dad Charles get a bill for a HazMat cleanup?

JB

June 25th, 2009
12:32 pm

My nephew played defense for Savannah Christian last year and he is SHOCKED that Ealey is going to UGA at all, much less highly rated. We held him in Check and we are very average. I’m a Dawg fan as most of you regulars know……This concerns me……..

coachdawg 2000

June 25th, 2009
12:34 pm

Ealey played on guts most of last year. He was only about 60%.

JB

June 25th, 2009
12:35 pm

I feel better coach 2000………

blackout_dawg

June 25th, 2009
12:45 pm

We have not seen enough of any of the candidates to really form an impression.

King has been here the longest and should have been a clear #1 by this point but is not. Samuel is similar to Danny Ware. A bigger back but had a few fumbles last year. Other than the G-day game, none of the others have seen the field.

Other than DE, this group is my biggest concern heading into the season.

NORRIS

June 25th, 2009
12:46 pm

Dweyer is a joke. the guy will be a bust this year. With the option he will get nailed and be out for 6-8 weeks with a broken something…for him probably his pinky.
lets see what the score is this year with tech. they win one game and think that they have arrived.
hahaha. go home boys.

jeff

June 25th, 2009
12:47 pm

If UGA is ever able to get to the top of the mountian- the whole team needs to take a look at some of the other teams and see the drive and determination. That’s what UGA has been sorly missing over the last few years. This team needs to “man up” and take care of business instead of being ready with a stedy line of excuses each week like their former QB did so well. You have to want to win not just stand around and wait for it to happen

Cro25

June 25th, 2009
1:01 pm

Hey JB,

“My nephew played defense for Savannah Christian last year and he is SHOCKED that Ealey is going to UGA at all, much less highly rated. We held him in Check and we are very average.”

Let’s see…against Savannah Christian last year Ealey rushed 18 times for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns. Your nephew must have been thinking about someone else because to me that’s a pretty good game for a running back.

Pitbull

June 25th, 2009
1:02 pm

King reminds me of Musa Smith. Musa had all of the talent but did not have the heart and desire to be a good runner until his senior season in the Alabama game. That was the first time I ever saw him put his shoulder down and dish out punishment instead of falling down when someone looked at him hard.

Hopefully Caleb will develope some desire and decide to run hard and mean beginning this year. That has been the problem with Caleb so far.

He needs to become a determined mean runner.

Girls are Dawgs Too

June 25th, 2009
1:04 pm

Ramblinwreck1378: So what happen to Tech in the Chick-f-lay? They got their butt and head kick in by a not so good LSU Team. The one thing that game did point out is how to defend against Tech’s
Option Offense.

Rusty Squidbillie

June 25th, 2009
1:05 pm

NORRIS,
You don’t really think you’ll get a bite on that one,do you?

Gridiron Gator

June 25th, 2009
1:06 pm

Yeah, the crystal football that Charles fumbled has already been replaced and YES, they are insured. I think the whole incident really freaked him out as well as Coach John Hevesy, who is now with Dan Mullen at Miss State. Anyway, it will be nice to see Charles fumble a few actual(LEATHER) footballs in Jax, assuming the game will still be there. You know, it can get real hot there and your hands can get real sweaty with the weather favoring the Gators and all (just ask Richt).

Cro25

June 25th, 2009
1:08 pm

The word is Ealey is up to a solid 210 and has finally fully recovered from his injuries from last year and looks really good. I’m not saying he won’t be redshirted but I will not be surprised if he gets playing time this year.

Atticus

June 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

Caleb didn’t play for two years. Just give him the reps and he will be fine.

GT - real fan

June 25th, 2009
1:14 pm

I’m a Yellow Jacket but agree that St. Simon’s should shut his trap. Now as for coachdawg 2000, I think you may have topped St. Simon’s with your level of stupidity by comparing King to Dwyer. Caleb King is fighting for a job while Jonathan Dwyer is the reigning ACC player of the year. And not to mention a projected first round draft pick after this his junior year. Caleb King hasn’t proven he can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. I’ll take actual gameday performance over lofty expectations any day of the week.

FLDAWG

June 25th, 2009
1:16 pm

Ramblinwreck1378 Washaun is up to 210lbs. Just saying 210 is a pretty good weight for a RB.

Stinger

June 25th, 2009
1:16 pm

King is going to have to really turn it up a few notches to beat out the 5 4″ – 150 lb. tailback that starred against your defense this spring.

coachdawg 2000

June 25th, 2009
1:18 pm

I am concerned about everybody on the team except Joe Cox as far as preparation. I hope that there is sense of urgency and desrie to be great. Our chief concern on the entire team is whether they understand the fact that being good is the enemy of being great. i hope that they as a team are not satisfied with being good. No offense to the Cap 1 or outback but a BCS bowl is the minimum expectation at UGA.So my message to CMR and the team- Either embrace that and GATA or transfer to Berry college and study poetry.

Just Askin

June 25th, 2009
1:19 pm

Any truth to all the rumors that C-King left powerhouse Parkview to go to GACS because King wasnt going to be able to pass the State of Georgia High School Exit Exam?

And, did C-King get admitted under UGA’s notorious “Special Admissions” program for, you know, special circumstances?

GT - real fan

June 25th, 2009
1:19 pm

NORRIS- you topped coachdawg 2000 in stupidity points. Dwyer is a man child and King is a little boy. Don’t comment on a football blog when you have no idea what you are talking about.

P

June 25th, 2009
1:21 pm

Last week it was questions about your quarterback. Earlier this week it was questions about your defense. Today it’s questions about your running back. Do you all not see a pattern here?

V for Victory

June 25th, 2009
1:22 pm

coachdouche 2000:

Hmmmmmm…pee-wee offense puts up 400 yds rushing on the big bad fleabags.

Guess GT will have to beotch-slap the fleabages again this November.

austindog

June 25th, 2009
1:22 pm

Even less legitimate than the 1990 NC is the 1998 ACC title GT claims. Tech shared the ACC title with the FSU team that beat them. No tiebreakers in the ACC, titles all around!

KD

June 25th, 2009
1:26 pm

ST.SIMONS, WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO OUT FOR A MIDNIGHT RUN AROUND THE TECHIE CAMPUS.

Huh?

June 25th, 2009
1:27 pm

Last week it was questions about your quarterback. Earlier this week it was questions about your defense. Today it’s questions about your running back. Do you all not see a pattern here?

Yep, sure do. I see that UGA fans have the balls to address issues with their team. They don’t just talk about the good, like how Tech fans only want to talk about the 9 games they won last year and never want to talk about the other 4 games. We are knowledgeable objective fans. Techies are ill informed crybabies that only want to hear about how great they are. That’s not UGA fans. There is your pattern big guy. True story.

coachdawg 2000

June 25th, 2009
1:28 pm

GT-real fan
Why are you here? We, along with apparently the rest of the state, don’t care about your football program.Go discuss how your going to win the national championship this year and how the offense is going to be even better or how your players are smarter, or whatever else helps you feel better about the fact that yall are completely irrelevant.

RxDawg

June 25th, 2009
1:28 pm

Pitbull, Musa actualy left a year early in his junior year. But your exactly right in that he really didn’t come into his own till right near the end of his UGA career.

J Smurf

June 25th, 2009
1:34 pm

One thing is for sure. I will never get tired of the random comments made by Corrine Brown on this message board. Please, keep’em coming!

coachdawg 2000

June 25th, 2009
1:37 pm

We as the UGA blog should refuse to acknowledge the geeks.They like their coach are starved for attention. I am guilty of falling into the trap of getting into a stinking contest with what is apparently a consortium of skunks.Suffice it to say that Tech football is about as important to the local sports landscape as thrashers hockey(even they made the playoffs once).

GT - real fan

June 25th, 2009
1:39 pm

coachdudd 2000, its not Tech fans that talk about how good they’ll be next year, how their team will be better, and how they’re going to win a national championship. Thats the reason I read these blogs- to get a good laugh at all of the lofty expectations you have. I love hearing how Joe Cox is the answer and you’re as of yet unnamed RB will pick right up where Knowshon left off. You guys are the ones with delusions of grandeur every year. Its pretty funny.

GT - real fan

June 25th, 2009
1:41 pm

I’m sure the reigning ACC coach of the year, Paul Johnson, is “starved for attention.” Thats why every school that needed a head coach last year came knocking on his doorstep, including Auburn. You can’t hide stupid.

Cuz

June 25th, 2009
1:52 pm

Robert Edwards and Musa Smith all late “bloomers”. Caleb should “grow” into that role this year. Just using my Ag Degree for metaphors.

Just Askin

June 25th, 2009
1:54 pm

Still waiting for an answer, mutts.

southgadawg88

June 25th, 2009
1:55 pm

Wow…you guys are hard on this kid…pause for a minute…EVERYBODY seems to remember how Moreno just broke out in 07…I mean people were talking Hershel comparisons and all that.but what a lot of you forget is that he went thru spring and fall practice and was still 3rd on the depth chart behind Lumpkin and Brown.Once he was all we had left and was able to get the rock 20 plus times he blew up…don’t forget T.Brown STILL rushed for 900 plus yards that year and he missed 2-3 games!!My point is Caleb has not had the opportunities to tote the rock like those kids.He DID rush for over 100 yards in 1 game last year.He looked pretty good to me when he got more than 3 or 4 carries.He had to have the least amount of attempts as the backup as any player since that guy who backed up Hershel(anybody remember who that was?)so I say let’s slow down on the “bust” chatter.Along the same vein you really want to know why Knowshon was taking himself out a lot down the stretch?Because they ran him to death!!He took the bulk of the carries and in passing downs he was Stafford’s security blanket…Knowshon took on a hell of lot of blitzing LB’s last year.He kind of wore down over the stretch…that’s understandable to me..he’s not built for 30 carries a game over a season…he was at his best sharing the ball because it kept him fresh.In the pro’s Moreno will be more of a Westbrook than an Emmit Smith…that’s not a knock on him,he is a great player but I don’t think he is a 25 carry a game pro back.Back to this bunch..King looks the best to me..Richard…CMR promised him he would get a strong look at RB and he is a man of his word but…. OMG can u picture that kid at LB?He could be a “superstar” I’m talking high 1st rd pick..he has all the tools,even in his HS film he looked to be a much better LB than tailback.I think the key to the RB situation will be how good does D.Jackson and Ealey look coming out of camp.two 210-215 lb bruisers who look like natural running backs on film.If one or definitely if both impress heading into the opener I think Samuel is headed to the other side of the ball.C.Thomas will probably get some kind of package put in for him but I don’t see him being a real threat to be the no 1 guy.

Lost dog

June 25th, 2009
1:55 pm

I believe that GT opponents will be much better prepared for their offense this year. Everyone will look at the LSU game and see that staying in position works agains an option offense. LSU just plain killed the Yellow Bees.

BruffDawg

June 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

You don’t talk because you know it was a fluke. Wait and see what the acc does to Tech this year. Sec will do worse.

Pete Nose

June 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

JB—If your nephew goes to a christain school thats what concerns me.

Cuz

June 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

Just askin, no and no. I thought you were being facetious.

BruffDawg

June 25th, 2009
2:01 pm

Even if caleb had h.s. problems with grades he has made it through eight semesters of college now. Just askin, did you make it that far with all the extra effort it takes to be a collegiate athlete?

Cuz

June 25th, 2009
2:01 pm

southgadawg, the answer to the Herschel backup question is Carnie Norris.

Pete Nose

June 25th, 2009
2:02 pm

King will be one of the greatest running backs to ever play for UGA.

BruffDawg

June 25th, 2009
2:05 pm

I think he may be out of time on that one Nose but I hope your right.

Otto

June 25th, 2009
2:08 pm

southgadawg88, I agree with some of what you say. The RB by committee has worked well at times and mediocre at others. I would like to see 2 RBs step up with one taking 70% of the load and another taking 20% as a change of pace. RB are more likely to get on a roll if they start getting more carries same as a QB getting more snaps.

As for Moreno coming out I don’t remember Herschel, Hearst, or Hampton coming out and they carried the rock most of the game and blocked as well. Herschel rarely gets credit he deserves for catching the ball. Moreno was Mr Energy bouncing up in ‘07 but in ‘08 he looked to be wanting to come out at times.

Otto

June 25th, 2009
2:12 pm

C. Thomas reminds me alot of Kirtsey, a smaller quicker back but not for every down. However Kirtsey was a leading rusher one year. A good OC such as Mullens could do all sorts of things with them.