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

Narvie

July 8th, 2011
6:31 pm

Mary, the Braves play in 30 minutes. Could you bring some of that PopsRight butter flavored popcorn when you come?

Sess Poole

July 8th, 2011
6:31 pm

Did you read the King’s tweet: “Somethings u cant control, and what seems bad right now might turn out good. Too [sic] all of my homeboyz hold UGA down don’t let them brake [sic].

Just for the record, most third-graders are more literate that this bozo. And yet, Mark Richt recruited him and UGA accepted him. The stupid loser couldn’t even pass remedial studies.

And you wonder why they call UGA the Cesspool of the South.

Mary Kastner

July 8th, 2011
6:32 pm

Narvie, If you want popcorn you better get it. I’m working on Bob.

Mary Kastner

July 8th, 2011
6:35 pm

Bob, Oh my God!!!! You do remember me. Effie’s darling. I never worked a bait shop. You always were a good tipper.

Jay

July 8th, 2011
6:35 pm

Agreed Bill, the dream is over. It’s nightmare on main street.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
6:36 pm

Samuel saw limited action at RB TWO seasons ago, and has spend the time since, intensely in the past year, full time training at LB. Why would a sudden reverse in direction for him today, weeks before the opener be a smarter move than going with Malcome (who has spend the past year intensely training at RB).

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
6:39 pm

clearly Caleb was encouraging his (ex) team mates to not “slow down” in his tweet.

waytogoRicht

July 8th, 2011
6:39 pm

This ones on you Richt. Its not gonna be another one of your “it doesn’t rain on the opponents side of the field, like it does on our side” excuses. You recruited him Richt and he’s your baby.

slaw dog

July 8th, 2011
6:41 pm

Did I miss something here?

Mary Kastner

July 8th, 2011
6:42 pm

You miss me slaw dog, don’t cha?

Capt Computer

July 8th, 2011
6:43 pm

Bob, Are you slaw dog?

Frankie Teasley

July 8th, 2011
6:45 pm

I live at Hartwell Mary. C’mon over. I’m a doughnut boy.

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
6:47 pm

The thing that bothers me a little was King’s comment about not letting them break you (corrected). If he is talking about the media and hateful fans on blogs that’s OK, but if he means the coaches, then that reveals a bad rebellion problem. If that was his attitude (don’t let the coaches break you, or from the adults side–don’t listen to or obey the coaches) then he really was spreading a cancerous, loss-causing attitude. He certainly had his problems with being disciplined, as did Ealey. If one were coaching a kid like that, one might let him cook his own goose. This is the first year they could have taken a tougher line with King and Ealey because of depth problems. I sure hope he meant the press and naysaying fans. Regardless, it is time to move on as CMR said.

DDawg

July 8th, 2011
6:50 pm

Wow, just wow.

St. Richt

July 8th, 2011
6:50 pm

CHDawg, I think he was referring to “the man” breaking you. Don’t let the man break you. Its always the man that is holding these genius’s down..

St. Richt

July 8th, 2011
6:51 pm

King’s tweet sounds elegant compared to Isaiah Crowell’s facebook page.

Old65DAWG

July 8th, 2011
6:51 pm

Don’t count on Crowell. Someone had better check his background out. After all, he is from Columbus which brought us Jasper ( “Put in the Ground) Sanks, Jarvis (”Air Fare/Traveling Man”) Jones and that basketball ‘Pay Mama’s Cell Phone”) recruit.

St. Richt

July 8th, 2011
6:59 pm

Don’t worry, Old65DAWG, there will be plenty of people checking out Crowell’s background and his recruitment at some point. Most likely the NCAA.

chilidawg

July 8th, 2011
7:03 pm

This may just keep opposing defenses a bit more honest… With King rotating into the game, they would have sold out for the pass because he was most familiar with the blocking assignments. Now, Crowell and Malcome just need to be sure they know them, too.

tide roll

July 8th, 2011
7:08 pm

Richard Samuel. 6′2″ 230 lb. load. 43 touchdowns Jr. and Sr. year high school. 80 yd. td run vs. Ark. (untouched!) as a Soph. No one you have or had at RB can do that. Reincarnation of Darren McFadden. Samuel hasn’t played linebacker since high school.(5yrs.ago!) At least Grantham can use that as an excuse. This is another Richt/Bobo “right under your nose” moment. It rivals recruiting Cam Newton as a tight end. Maybe it is time for Richt to go. Samuel should.

Delbert D.

July 8th, 2011
7:09 pm

“Bobo might want to use Figgins in the tailback spot and have Zander Ogletree at fullback for maximum protection”

I don’t think the Boise St. and South Carolina defenses will bite on pass option with that combo.

Old65DAWG

July 8th, 2011
7:12 pm

St. Richt, that’s what I am afraid of.

Narvie

July 8th, 2011
7:18 pm

Braves are in a rain delay. Mary must have got with ole Bob. I ain’t really got much going on here right now.

Frankie Teasley

July 8th, 2011
7:22 pm

I burnt my mouth bobbing for french fries in a Fry Daddy one time. It left a big blister and everyone made fun of me at work.

Tide roll or troll?

July 8th, 2011
7:23 pm

Tide Roll,
I believe Samuel is a great athlete and a model for the other players to follow, but TB wasn’t his gift. He does have great speed and he’s tough, and he did make the great run you described (almost untouched). His problem running, in my mind, was with his balance and his ability to elusively change directions as he accelerated into the hole, while protecting his legs. As he accelerated, contact with his legs almost always brought him down. I think he is a natural LB. I noticed a loud and funny sounding “pop” whenever he made a hit on GDay, and I read that the players call it the Samuel pop, or something like that–it is very distinctive; he obviously delivers a blow. Your expertise, that you frequently advertise, has been damaged by your swing and a miss on this topic.

Brucerugby79

July 8th, 2011
7:28 pm

with you RX DOG something good will come of this-I like your attitude bro

savannadawg

July 8th, 2011
7:28 pm

What? Not Caleb King! Oh my we are doomed I tell you doomed. What a joke! This kid should never have worn a University of Anybody’s uniform from what I’ve heard about his grades from High School. But folks don’t fool yourselves. These bad recruiting issues have been with UGA for a good while now. It seems as though they are changing a little but who knows. just because a kid is supposed to be an all world this or that, doesn’t mean he or she is nescessarily going to help the program get better. I think we recruit a number of kids that think they are entitled to something. They are! That would be the “FREE” education their asses get when they play a sport on a scholarship. I am so glad Coach T is tearing some asses, a new one! And I hope that he has free will over them, meaning no favoritizms. Can’t have that period. I wonder sometimes if CMR really knows how blessed he is. I sure hope he does. He really needs to know who his accountable players are!! I don’t mean asking his assistants who the accountable players are. I mean the ones HE can count on. And knows. You know “being in touch”. Because if he don’t have it now this is going to be one trying season.

Ugab

July 8th, 2011
7:39 pm

MR has no proven FBs. He has no proven RBS. He has a very thin OL. He does have Murray. MR does not have proven LBs. We all have seen the safeties and CBs. They suk. Our DL is unproven. This is the SEC and MR is not ready. This will be his last year as dawg. He needs to goto a school who will let him travel while his players get kicked out of school

Ugab

July 8th, 2011
7:42 pm

I would rather have a 3 star player with good grades with lesser talent. The 5 star kids who can run, but he can’t read a playbook is getting old. Bring back the Pollacks and the Greensx

Lakedawg

July 8th, 2011
7:54 pm

Dawg fans we are going to see a lot of Nick Marshall in the back field this fall.

To bad Caleb could not have buckled down and helped the team and himself.

LagDawg

July 8th, 2011
7:56 pm

Ok, we take so long to offer these kids because of our evaluation on them. We need to do a better job of evaluating all our players on the field and in the classroom. Recuiting in GA. is tough with our declining education. Our state is at the bottom when it comes to education and UGA seems to find everyone of them. We need to recruit a smarter player also not just a better football player. There are plenty of them ou there. Now, with that being said. We need to bring in a least two RBs in the 2012 recruiting class.

JRW7

July 8th, 2011
8:06 pm

Is CMR still in control of these players?

Delbert D.

July 8th, 2011
8:26 pm

I wonder if the coaching staff is looking deep inside themselves about how they sell a fantasy to these kids who really have little aptitude for college. Yet another dropout with little to show for it other than failing to meet high expectations, and with a questionable future ahead. Do the coaches even realize they are integral participants in a meat market? Do they care?

How can King reset himself? Listen to the wrong people and get into the wrong kind of life? Or, join the Marines? They would tell him from Day 1 that he is a useless piece of crap, will never amount to anything and will certainly fail. That tends to recalibrate one’s self image. Then he can proceed to find out who he really is. The first choice is so easy; the second so hard. Nothing is preordained. Life can be hard, but it can also be rewarding. It can also be short.

Buh Bye

July 8th, 2011
8:28 pm

Most UGA fans would actually like to see another 6-7 season if that’s what it takes to get rid of Saint Mark.

Boise State and USC will be his swansong. Buh bye, Richt!

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
8:30 pm

That is incorrect.

Mulligan

July 8th, 2011
8:31 pm

“Is CMR still in control of these players?”

What made you think he ever was?

MarineDog

July 8th, 2011
8:35 pm

Buh Bye
July 8th, 2011
8:28 pm

Most UGA fans would actually like to see another 6-7 season if that’s what it takes to get rid of Saint Mark.

No, Buh Bye, that’s not true. It’s just that people like you are the ones who scream the loudest. Negativity always seems to gets the most attention in our society these days.

GR82BAG8R

July 8th, 2011
8:47 pm

Well it’s time to see what the Bulldogs are really made of. Adversity should unite the team, and with all that talent they should surprise everyone. If they start 2 – 0, will all the Richt haters apologize? What if they beat Florida?

FLA DAWG

July 8th, 2011
8:59 pm

Samuel can carry the ball and hit when hit. The young man has enough confidence with a position change (which should never have occurred to begin with) now to do very well in the backfield with C. They can compete with each other for yardage and wins. King falls at the first hit. Samuel is much tougher. Anyone can see that and Richt has blown it yet again.

A problem has given Richt the opportunity to correct a mistake in my opinion. Let’s see who he replaces King with then make up your own mind about Richt’s ability to organize.

Regrettably the O Line will be so weak (again) that it may not matter in any case.

CHDawg

July 8th, 2011
9:11 pm

Fla: you need to look at Samuel’s stats. He ran it almost 90 times in ‘09. He had one 80 yd run, but if you back that one run out, he only avgd. a little over 3 and 1/2 yds a carry. We have good depth, and good runners. Samuel is a very talented athlete, and I think he will make a difference at LB. His speed is pretty freakish for an LB.

7576DAWG

July 8th, 2011
9:19 pm

Buh Bye
My only criticism with CMR is he can’t be objective in evaluating coaches if their friendship out ways the coaches results. I certainly don’t want CMR to go anywhere. None of the coaches in the SEC take us for granted. They always have the Georgia game on their list as must win games. They all take us very serious.
If you took a survey as to where to get rid of CMR or keep him , it would be overwhelming to keep him. Not only is he a great coach but no coach in the SEC has more integrity, ethics and values than he does. So don’t assume a majority feels the way you do.
I prefer to let McGarity handle it. He has earned that respect . McGarity go’s way back with Florida demanding a winning program. Give him a chance to do his job. I will back him either way he decides.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
9:22 pm

Samuel hasn’t even thought about carrying the ball for almost 2 years. Malcolm was intensely training for that yesterday.

We need him stopping the run a lot more.

Mobile Dawg

July 8th, 2011
9:28 pm

I say make another run at Ralph what’s his name for OC. That would deflect the heat for a little while.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
9:34 pm

I guess we will see a bit of the Alex “I wouldn’t want to be like you” Parsons Project too.

Dawg Tired

July 8th, 2011
9:36 pm

This is not good.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
9:36 pm

Ralph Sampson.

FLA DAWG

July 8th, 2011
9:39 pm

I maintain Samuel would have been much more successful if there had been more holes to run through. Our line was more of a wall for our backs to climb over than hole breakers for Samuel to run through.

AJ was a Godsend. We sure didn’t get running yards the way a Dawg Team used to.
No RB could have made yardage when the openings don’t exist.

Walker had the great fortune of one of the best lines in the country to run behind. I am sure he would tell you that now. Samuel had nothing of the kind.

gomdawg

July 8th, 2011
9:40 pm

BILL AGAIN IF YOU CANNOT SAY SOMETHING GOD ABOUT GEORGIA THEN GET YOU A REAL JOB. THIS IS THE WORST I HAVE EVER SEEN YOU WRITE. COME ON SAY SOMETHING GOOD DAMN.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
9:44 pm

But you think he would have those holes this year?

FLA DAWG

July 8th, 2011
9:48 pm

Nope.
And I wrote that it does not matter in any case because of the weak O Line.