This isn’t how Isaiah Crowell should get the starting tailback spot

It's being reported Washaun Ealey has been suspended indefinitely. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It's being reported Washaun Ealey has been suspended indefinitely. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Looks like the Washaun Ealey era at UGA, such as it was, may be coming to an end, and not because of the signing of Isaiah Crowell.

Rumors had been swirling the past 24 hours about Ealey’s status, and I’d just gotten off the phone with my son, who had heard third- or fourth-hand that Dogs football players were saying Ealey was going to be suspended, when I saw an online report by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach citing sources saying Ealey has indeed been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.

If that’s true and Ealey doesn’t return, it means UGA is looking awfully thin at tailback this coming season — especially so if Caleb King doesn’t get his academic house in order.

When I read Steve Hummer’s Sunday piece about the recruiting of Crowell, the bit about Mark Richt having the team line up minus a tailback and asking the recruit if he could see himself starting against Boise State in that position made me wonder what that said about Richt’s view of Ealey and King. Practically promising a recruit he can start as a true freshman is not standard operating procedure.

This concerns me because even if Crowell is every bit as good as everyone thinks he is, it just doesn’t seem like a good situation for the team for anyone to get the starting spot handed to you without having to beat out any competition. As Thomas Brown says, competition is key to a player’s development. Plus, tailback is definitely a position where you need some depth.

So much for our visions of an offseason free of turmoil in Athens!

Meanwhile, the hiring of Will Friend from UAB as offensive line coach surprised some fans who wondered why Georgia couldn’t do better than a no-name coach from a Conference USA program.

I think the fact that the best Georgia could offer was a one-year deal at a program that is facing a possibly make-or-break season probably had a lot to do with it.

On paper, Friend looks fine. He played a part in UAB putting up an impressive offensive output last season and his line ranked 15th in the country in fewest sacks allowed. Overall they were 30th in the nation in total offense (423 yards per game), 24th in passing offense (267 yards per game) and 59th in rushing offense (156 yards per game).

The fact that their rushing numbers were less impressive touches on my one feeling of concern about Friend. He’s basically spent most of his coaching career been mentored by former UGA offensive line coach Neil Callaway, who drew knocks in his time at UGA for the inconsistent offensive line play, especially in the running game. At times under Callaway, Georgia’s linemen seemed not to know what run-blocking was all about.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Friend will be a clone of Callaway, and it’s only fair to give him the benefit of the doubt until we see what he can do with Georgia’s underperforming offensive linemen.

I’m hoping he can whip them into shape (with the help of Joe Tereshinski’s new conditioning program). They’re going to be needed even more if Georgia winds up as thin at tailback as it’s looking.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

307 comments Add your comment

Tater Tot

February 8th, 2011
10:30 am

Vance Duly

February 8th, 2011
10:36 am

Is Ken Malcome a clone of Ealey, or does he have a different skill set? (I’m referring to his football abilities, not his ability to get in trouble!!).

Paul

February 8th, 2011
10:36 am

Mrs and Mr Crowell were right about Saint Mark.

Andy

February 8th, 2011
10:37 am

I hope Ealey doesn’t get kicked off the team. I was hoping that the addition of Crowell would cause King and Ealey to step it up.

coachx

February 8th, 2011
10:39 am

Ouch !

Ealey needs an attitude adjustment. There is still plenty of time for him to EARN plenty of playing time. Ealey will get out of what he puts into it. Right now it doesn’t appear like he is putting anyting into it.

EDawg71

February 8th, 2011
10:39 am

Ealey/King…guys come on!!!

Cuz

February 8th, 2011
10:39 am

Who did not see this coming? I thought King would be the first to go, then Waushan. I did not think either had the discipline with what happened to them off the field.

Looks like Crowell and Malcome. Anyone want to walk on as a TB at UGA?

coachx

February 8th, 2011
10:40 am

Vance,
Malcome is more of bruiser then Ealey. Ealey has more “wiggle” and Malcome has more size.

ssidawg

February 8th, 2011
10:41 am

Good grief. C’mon Dawgs….get it together!

ForsythDawg

February 8th, 2011
10:41 am

Bill, what about Ken Malcome? Does he project to be in the competition?

Mike

February 8th, 2011
10:42 am

I’m with Andy. I was hoping the level of competition would make everyone better. Additionally, Bobo needs to be creative with talent. For instance, Carlton Thomas is explosive, yet we use him like a traditional TB. Why not create a handful of plays for his ability. Having a hammer & finesse guy can really keep a defense guessing.

Joey

February 8th, 2011
10:43 am

“hiring of Will Friend from UAB as offensive line coach surprised some fans who wondered why Georgia couldn’t do better than a no-name coach from a Conference USA program.”
************************************
Didn’t a “no-name” team from Conference USA just beat us in a bowl?

DGD!!!

February 8th, 2011
10:43 am

Just yesterday some jackleg called this felonious school TAILBACK U! Get off the pipe dawg pumpers.

Jerry

February 8th, 2011
10:44 am

Something smells fishy. Isn’t this the same trick Richt used to end the Mettenberger/Murray battle, now this, to end the Ealey/Crowell battle.

Entitlement amuck, Richt’s done, his entitlement favortism killed the team last year, and will do it again this year.

Cobb Dawg

February 8th, 2011
10:45 am

I say welcome to Will Friend until he gives us reason to think otherwise. Whatever Searels was doing clearly wasn’t working.

Losing Ealey isn’t good — but if he has attitude issues, then it might be for the best longer-term.

Matt

February 8th, 2011
10:45 am

send ealey packing, then i know UGA will fumble less next year! washaun was atrocious last year.

Cobb Dawg

February 8th, 2011
10:47 am

How about Big John Jenkins at TB on third and 1?

FAN

February 8th, 2011
10:47 am

just watch how many ignorant fans come on here and blame MR for this. A coach can only do so much. What do you expect MR to do, hold they’re friggin hands 24/7??? This is all on Washaun. Suspend him for the first game and hopefully Crowell and Malcome both play great so neither King nor Ealey ever get to play. I m tired of these dam players wasting a golden opportunity because of their egos. sorry but had to post this because “some” fans will say its MR’s fault.

Jerry

February 8th, 2011
10:47 am

The hiring of Will Friend is a complete joke, proof that McGarity wouldn’t offer enough cash or more than 1 year. Will Friend is not SEC calibre.

DGD!!!

February 8th, 2011
10:47 am

Matt??? Is that you??

Jerry

February 8th, 2011
10:48 am

Look for Ealey to transfer to JUCO for 1 year, then head to LSU to join Mettenberger.

Ramblin Man

February 8th, 2011
10:48 am

Serious question to any and all Dawg fans. Does it not concern you that Ealey and King have both had nothing but issues wether it be following team rules, academics, or trouble with the law since basically arriving at UGA? I know some kids just do not want to listen and no matter what they do thier own thing and blow thier chance, but both of these kids came to UGA as possible difference makers and probably pampered most of thier school years due to thier performance on the field, and I just wonder if this reminds you fans of anybody else? I am not saying this will happen to any other recruit and I hope the coaching staff is really laying down the law with these kids and UGA can just focus on football as I only wish for UGAs dimiss on the football field one day out of the year.

FAN

February 8th, 2011
10:50 am

this just in, Jerry is a MORON. players have to take responsibility every once in a while.

GB

February 8th, 2011
10:50 am

You’ll see Ealey at Ga Southern next year.

Truth

February 8th, 2011
10:50 am

Wow, did someone get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or what? King and Ealey have had more than enough chances to prove that they can be the man for UGA. But due to grades, attitude, fumbles, hit and runs, etc., they have not taken hold of the position. Richt, as well as these freshmen, know there are a lot of positions up for grabs. I don’t see anything wrong with what he did. Crowell will NOT play if he is not ready. As for Friend, no use judging him before he starts. We got a big name game in Searles last time and he coached our kids down. We wanted someone that was hungry, that knew UGA, and would hopefully be here for the long haul. Go Dawgs!

savannadawg

February 8th, 2011
10:51 am

I tink i saw a puddy cat. I did. I did see a puddy cat. Get the kid some mental stability help. get his a** back in the weight room and lets move on.

big root

February 8th, 2011
10:51 am

Ealey is one of the reason were not a top 15 program right now unwilling to work hard to pay for his mistakes he would rather get kicked off the team than compete with Malcome and Crowell for the starting tailback job

blazer

February 8th, 2011
10:51 am

gotta make room for Crowell-king may be next!

EDawg71

February 8th, 2011
10:52 am

Dawg Seniors, time to step up and take control of your team. Take your teammates aside and give them the ultimatum that this off-field b.s. is NOT going to continue.

savannadawg

February 8th, 2011
10:53 am

Bill, if your so concerned, help pay the boys mental therapy. we are going to need him. don’t fool yourselves.

savh dawg

February 8th, 2011
10:53 am

Teachers from ECI went through the same stuff with Ealey in high school. If you can’t follow the rules, move on down the road.

Athens= God's Country

February 8th, 2011
10:53 am

Ealey doesn’t want to compete. Bye bye birdie

HM

February 8th, 2011
10:54 am

Washout MEaley…Anyone else not wanting to get with the program? Step up now and get out!!!!! UGA doesn’t need these prima donna attitudes!!!

cmac

February 8th, 2011
10:54 am

Kick this fumbling moron off the team & let’s move on!! (ps send king with him)

Repeat!!!

February 8th, 2011
10:54 am

Great start on defending that Fulmer Cup. Keep up the good work guys! I know you guys have what it takes.

dbc

February 8th, 2011
10:54 am

These punks that get into trouble again and again should be sent packing — period. It’s a privilege to wear the red and black. We need guys who know and respect that fact. For every player who wants to half as s it through, there are two that would love the chance to play a role.

Buckeye

February 8th, 2011
10:55 am

Your “Dream Team” is 0-0.

They’ll be 1-1 after the spring game.

They’ll be 1-2 after Boise. Can’t wait for the $%^^ to hit the fan and utter panic to set in.

Until then, you are what your record says you are: 6-7 and illustrious defender of the Fulmer Cup.

Jonkdawg

February 8th, 2011
10:56 am

You can not teach Talent, Crowell will do just fine, just throw him in there let him do his job.

Lindsey

February 8th, 2011
10:56 am

More disappointing news about Ealey/King..enough!!! Guys, get your act together, you have been given the opportunity that many kids can only dream about. Show some pride in being a Bulldog!! GO DAWGS!!

Athens= God's Country

February 8th, 2011
10:56 am

Great job by the coaches putting their foot down. I do think things have changed.

Missing a punishment run. Hmm… handed down by who? Could it be that JT2 is not taking any crap from these drama queens?

GATA

EDawg71

February 8th, 2011
10:57 am

Uh, iffy cally Buckey. How’s your “groping” recruit doing? No charges to be brought???

Dawg_Mike

February 8th, 2011
10:57 am

Word has it that Ealey was not “all in” with the new conditioning program.
Good. Get all in or get all out.

Road Scholar

February 8th, 2011
10:57 am

Dream Team, my a$$!You have a nightmare to deal with!

Buckeye

February 8th, 2011
10:58 am

Isaiah Crowell? He is out- annointing the annointed one! Let the pressure continue to mount!

dbc

February 8th, 2011
10:58 am

We also need some leaders to step it up on this team. SENIORS WHERE ARE YOU?

Jerry

February 8th, 2011
10:58 am

Richt think the players actually fall for his “everybody will compete for a chance to start” mantra.

That’s not what Richt has done in the past. He started Cox, and let Cox keep starting, regardless of how many interceptions Cox threw. Gray should have got a shot there.

He started Murray, and let Murray conitnue starting, even after the worst in career 1-4 start with Murray at the helm. Mason shou7ld have been the starter after game 3.

Ealey is the hardest worker on the team, going after your leader seems a weird way to start th season.

No way Richt would ever suspend Murray.

Disgruntled Yellow Jacket

February 8th, 2011
10:59 am

Road Scholar,

your post doesn’t make sense. Do you even know what the “Dream Team” is??

Athens= God's Country

February 8th, 2011
10:59 am

The trolls on here are so pathetic. Please do not take their bait.

JB

February 8th, 2011
11:00 am

Looks like we open with Malcomb,Crowell,Thomas and a scout team member as our Depth. We are one gimpy ankle away from big trouble. Of course, we could become the anti Johnson and throw every play.

Jerry

February 8th, 2011
11:00 am

If Richt turns on Ealey & King, sure hope Crowell outproduces Ealey, and doesn’t get injured.