From ‘Dream’ spring to nightmare summer (UPDATED)

Caleb King in better times. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Caleb King in better times. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

So now that UGA has made it official that Caleb King is academically ineligible, where does that leave the Dogs’ running game?

Awfully shaky at best. Yes, incoming “Dream Team” member Isaiah Crowell is expected to be the next great Georgia tailback, but the odds are long against him being fully ready to shoulder that mantle right from the start.

And with Boise State and South Carolina as the opening games, there won’t be any chance for tune-ups.

While Crowell’s running chops might be in fine form early on, chances are he’s going to have a hard time picking up the considerable pass protection duties that tailbacks have in Mike Bobo’s offense. And considering the questions surrounding the offensive line, that’s likely to be crucial.

So we might see quite a bit of the somewhat more experienced redshirt freshman Ken “Boo” Malcome in the mix to start with.

In terms of the running attack, hopefully we won’t see Bobo trying to make diminutive Carlton Thomas up the middle a primary mode of operation.

The move of Bruce Figgins to fullback should help out quite a bit in terms of pass protection. There might be times when Bobo might want to use Figgins in the tailback spot and have Zander Ogletree at fullback for maximum protection of Aaron Murray.

We’ll see how all that shakes out. But one thing’s for sure: The considerable pressure that was already on young Crowell just amped up. A lot.

Feel free to share your views of Georgia’s prospects in the wake of King’s loss.

JUNKYARD MAIL UPDATE

Brian Stewart writes: With the departure if Caleb King, do you think Branden Smith and/or Nick Marshall get more of a look as a tailback?

I don’t think either one is likely to be used on a regular basis at tailback, but both defensive backs could play key roles on offense. Smith has shown in the past what he can do with his terrifc speed but was used sparingly on offense last year. That was already likely to change this season. The junior cornerback spiced up the G-Day game, scoring a 28-yard touchdown on a catch from Murray and finishing the day with two catches for 38 yards and two carries for 11 yards. Afterward, Bobo said, “He’s such an explosive player. I wish we could have him full time. … He can make plays. We’ve got to continue to find a way to get him on the field.” I think the departure of King will only increase the odds of that happening. As for Marshall, Mark Richt has talked already about possibly using him at quarterback occasionally in the Wild Dawg offense and I’d love to see that happen on a regular basis. But I’ll believe it when I see it. So far, Bobo hasn’t shown that he really understands how to most effectively use the wildcat or Wild Dawg formation.

466 comments Add your comment

RxDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:25 pm

What a bozo. I guess now Caleb can be crowned an official flop.

ClinchPanther

July 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

Bill your continued poor old uga theme is getting old. It use to be i could count on you but now you are getting as bad as bradley and the rest. i’d rather you just said nothing.

italian_29

July 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

Yep, what could have been. RxDawg

italian_29

July 8th, 2011
3:27 pm

What is even sadder was his tweet, “sometimes there are things you just cannot control” WHATEVER! STUDY!!!!

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:28 pm

UGA and King will be fine…some of the clueless, classless posters on the AJC blogs…I’m not so sure about. Malcome, Crowell, Thomas, and Harton will all play well….look at 04 when we had true freshmen Ware and Brown running all over opponents.

SouthSide Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:28 pm

When we say “Goooooooo Dawgs!”, a mass exodus is not what we have in mind.

PBR=America

July 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

Albert A.

July 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

Sorry to hear about this…………

RxDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:30 pm

OK, on to some constructive posts.

1. We could move Malcom Mitchel? Small, but supposedly ellusive.

2. My biggest vote is incoming WR Justin Scott Wesley (sp?). This is a thick WR. I think he’s something like 6′1″ and 230. And he has track speed.

3. I’m against this but… move Richard Samuel back?

4. I really don’t like this one but Brandon Boykin?

5. Isreal Troup? Not sure how quick the new WR’s can hop into the mix but it would probably effect him as a possible candidate.

Our offense lives and dies with the running game. When we can’t run, we can’t score. So now our offensive line and running backs are paper thin. Yeh, it might be a good idea to supress any kool aid drinking. The only saving grace I can think of is that I do feel like we have some great atheletes in other positions that could possible cross train and help out at RB. Who knows, maybe we’ll find the next Robert Edwards.

Jasper Sanks

July 8th, 2011
3:31 pm

Caleb King….Hahahaha…..that bot a fool yall. Wooooo, I mean I was lazy and all but I passed bird callin and basket weavin!! I gladly pass down my crown to the new “King” of Flop. GATA boiy!! Ha

By the way, anybody got any jobs?

SEC Football

July 8th, 2011
3:31 pm

All you have to do is read his comments and that will tell you why he is no longer in school!

CalebKingtheBlackmailer

July 8th, 2011
3:31 pm

hey junkyolddawg… how come the bo@sters stop paying me last season? Its day fault my tutors didnt get paid to write nemore paypers 4 me. I aint gonna go to da Music City Bowl in Dec to watch COach Ricks last game either..

GT BBall Fan

July 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

I got skills, I can run the ball, give me a scholly! Did Caleb get tutored by Damon Evans?

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

When you mark C, and the correct answer, the one that the instructor put on the whiteboard and told you was correct is B, that is something you can control.

Who Me?

July 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

You have to think the UGA Coaching staff saw this coming weeks ago and has been preparing the remaining RB’s for this. Unless injury bug hits, we should be OK.

GT BBall Fan

July 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

@CHDawg – You must love the red koolaid?

JaxDawg05

July 8th, 2011
3:35 pm

Looks like the “Boos” we’ll hear on game day in Athens this year will be for cheering Ken Malcome instead of directed at Mike Bobo. Go Dawgs!

CalebKingtheBlackmailer

July 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

Dem Rb’s still being coached by a WR.. How come our Coach is so dumb. He have a WR coaching RB’s and a RB coaching WR… dat COach Rick 4 ya.

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

BS, nobody is defending not studying. He is paying for his mistakes dearly. Imagine not getting to play TB in your senior year…so these people are adults making these comments? Far worse than King’s mistakes in my book.

RxDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:36 pm

Oh dear god… did Caleb really say “some things you can’t control”!? That one statement explains so much.

FinanceBuzz

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

Oh it will all be ok…Isaiah Crowell *longing sigh*…he’s the next Greatest Running Back Since Herschel (TM)….wait…that’s what you said about Caleb King and Wahaun Ealey and….pretty much every running back at UGAg. Oh well…same song, different verse this fall. *yawn*

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

If the gain is only a yard or two because it went sideways, I’d rather it was because samuel was the LB, not the RB.

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

GT, actually if you go back to Chip’s earlier article on RBs and look, I said that Malcome would be the story at RB in ‘11–long before this came up. I think he will be our next great TB. Crowell could be great, too. I don’t drink koolaid; it’s bad for you. You, are on the other hand, show no class whatsoever. Picking on some kid who lost his eligibility….

WalterEgo

July 8th, 2011
3:41 pm

While Ealey wasn’t an ideal solution for us and it’s hard to know what was said between the coaching staff and Ealey, if the coaching staff knew academic ineligibility was even a remote possibility with King it would appear they would have worked far harder to retain Ealey. Had Ealey known that King was possibly if not likely going to be ineligible he might not have asked for a transfer or he would have waited to make his decision.

OL decimated without an adequate number of recruits and RBs too few and inexperienced. Frankly, I support many things about Richt but this OL and RB situation is not consistent with major college recruiting or coaching.

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:41 pm

Let’s drop that “are.”

uga alum

July 8th, 2011
3:41 pm

I wouldn’t characterize this as a nightmare summer. Last summer was a nightmare when every other day someone was getting arrested. Caleb King leaving is not the end of the season and doesn’t come close to a nightmare.

bjohndawg

July 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

Short on Offensive linemen….very short on RBs….inexperience receiver corp.
Our weapons are Butler and our kick returning game.

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.

OobiJenkins

July 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

Caleb King is a knuckle dragging drool slurping moron if he can’t pass spoon fed academics. Really??? Jasper Sanks should be happy! I am so glad this era of paint licking tail backs is over at UGA. Lets turn this over to the new kids. On twitter @OobiJenkins for the adult rants.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

July 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

Well, this is kinda surprising, kinda not.

The man didn’t have what it took to stay in school, and I don’t think he was that dominating a presence on the field to where we’ll be lost without him. He was a great pass blocker and had a great game against Tech in ‘09, but that’s about it, to be honest.

I think our other guys will step up, though. We won’t lead the conference in rushing, but I think we’ll do good enough. I have a good feeling about Malcome and Crowell. Thomas has good speed, but Bobo just keeps misusing him (tosses, sweeps, options: NOT up-the-gut running!).

Again, this sucks for him, but UGA’ll carry on. Go Dawgs!

chilidawg

July 8th, 2011
3:47 pm

Keith Marshall… Go get him.

Big Johnson Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:49 pm

Actually, this is just a continuation of the same nightmare ever since he and Washawn arrived. Hate to see this, was hoping King would try to go out with a bang, but I guess self -destructing it is. I guess it’s better to happen now than one week before the season opener. What a waste!

Lifelongdog

July 8th, 2011
3:51 pm

Of the incoming freshman, Nick Marshall seems like the most versatile choice to convert to RB. With the jury still out on the elegibility of Jarvis Jones, tampering with Richard Samual is tricky. Damian Swann is also a monster athlete along with Malcome Mitchell, and possibly Justin Scott Wesley. I think the real X factor here is Malcome. He has quietly worked his tail off and is a legit downhill runner. With a yr in the UGA system under his belt, this former 4 star RB might be hungry to remind people of his talent. Any big time high school recruits paying attention? Go Dawgs!!

RxDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:52 pm

Go get a few Keith Marshall’s

big john 330 lbs

July 8th, 2011
3:52 pm

Get Branden Smith ready to go. I’ve said all along, he’s our most explosive rb. He’s an average cover corner and too weak for run support. He needs to be in the rotation at rb.

RxDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

And is anyone else thinking that maybe, just maybe, one of the biggest two reasons that UGA declined the past 3 years is Caleb King and Washan Ealy? Talk about some recruiting whiffs.

A friend of mine that was from Ealy’s hometown actually warned me about him.

Beast from the East

July 8th, 2011
3:56 pm

Looks like UGA is going to be in the same boat as us Gators. Opening the season with about 70-75 scholarship athletes. That’s what we get by playing by the rules and not oversigning. The attrition this year at both programs has been nothing short of crazy.

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
3:58 pm

Guys, I’ve warned you that the Bulldogs are already having some serious problems with Isaiah Crowell, whether you want to believe me or not. For the sake of the program, I really hope Richt can get his act together quick or you guys are going to have a long season. Your only salvation is that you’ve got a terrific young QB so you might be able to turn into a pass first offense, like the Gators. Hang in there…

Jacket Man

July 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

I should have said, like the Gators used to be with Meyer running the show…

RUN DMC

July 8th, 2011
4:00 pm

Why does this guy mention the difficult blocking schemes in Bobo’s offense every single article he writes about running backs. It’s not like they’re running the old Maryland I and using three fullback’s. Every running back in the country has to learn how to block at the college level. Not just God’s gift to football, UGA.

NewnanDawg

July 8th, 2011
4:01 pm

Don’t count on Crowell to come in and be the next great. Remember Jasper Sanks, Patrick Pass, Richard Samuel, Caleb King, Kregg Lumpkin, etc. All were HUGE national RB recruits, and none were impact Freshman. All except Lumpkin were busts their entire career.

Miracles can happen, but don’t ever count on a true Freshman to carry your team in the SEC.

7576DAWG

July 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

Everybody should have been ready for that one, he missed the bowl game and there was plenty of rumor that his academics were not getting any better.
Thomas is not the answer. Malcomb was looking great in practice last year and will be better than what we had last year. Also, Marshall is a great athlete and should be given a chance.
BOBO DON’T PANIC , you have some great athletes that were used as running backs in high school.

UGA Insider

July 8th, 2011
4:09 pm

Mike Bobo….Do you remember when we were at UGA at coach Donnan had to go over to the defensive side of the ball to get our RB? You bet you do!!! His name was the “R” Train…. Robert Edwards and everyone knew he was the best athlete at UGA. Now do the same thing and bring Brandon Smith and Nick Marshall to offense and thrive again!! Also, get a past rb to teach them and not a past wideout like our current rb coach was. He is clueless on how to make cuts and adjust to space.

Jim Donnan

July 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

Dont let it BRAKE your spirits Dawg Poo fans….my spirits are BROKE for you.

Natureboy809

July 8th, 2011
4:13 pm

Even without King or Ealey, our offense is still probably in better shape than it was during some of Richt’s “Glory Years”. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a 100 times- get the defense where it needs to be and everything will be fine. Hopefully Grantham can do that.

Big Johnson Dawg

July 8th, 2011
4:13 pm

Agreed 7576 Dawg, we were much better off before King and Ealey arrived, had a pretty good team when we had Verron Hayes, who was really a fullback. Just get someone that can block and hold on to the ball. ( this excludes Smith, who fumbles too much ) If we’re going to use Thomas, then short pass or run to the outside, not up the middle.

Big Johnson Dawg

July 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

Heck, maybe we need to do like the Bears. Which ever nose tackle is not in there, put him in. We’ll have a “Refrigerator Dawg” lol

Will

July 8th, 2011
4:17 pm

Looks like “The Veer Option” is coming to UF and UGA this year on offense. Isn’t that the easiest kind of offense you run with 5 scholarship lineman total and 2 scholarhship rb’s?? For the second year in a row both programs will be out of the top 25. Embarrassing with that talent.

Destin Dawg

July 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

Step up Ken Malcome…. I want the ” BOO ” birds out when you make a good Run !!!! Go Dawgs.. plenty of talent.. may need to move some of ‘em around… Go Dwags !!!

Lifelongdog

July 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

Malcome is the most SEC ready. He has potential to be that kinda bruiser that can punish a defense in the 4th qtr. If Crowell can come in a just be solid with flashes of greatness as ths season goes on….Let number 3 and 4 RBS prove themselves through practice and through the season. There is still good talent on the team.

Will

July 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

CMR and his offensive staff just had a meeting in which he asked the staff what is the most basic type offense there is that any of the guys had ever won a football game with. Surprisingly, Mike Bobo said he never won a game with it but saw a movie one time where they said “The Veer Option”. Coach Friend said he saw that one too. CMR said since we only have a few scholarship Olineman left and one scholarhip rb who weighs over 160 left I think we need to install “The Veer” at once!