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

FLA DAWG

July 8th, 2011
9:54 pm

With less than two months until kickoff I see a team that has lost both of their “veteran” RBs, an O line with players that were incapable of making consistent blocks with some green recruits, a D that gave up points quicker than the French gave up Paris in WWII and a QB of quality but no time to execute.

All coached by Richt and Bobo.

It does not look good to me.

Championship every decade

July 8th, 2011
9:54 pm

What courses could he possibly flunk during the summer ? You take the cupcake classes during the summer semester. I’m sure he wasn’t taking Quantum Physics.

Jasper Sanks, Kregg Lumpkin, Washun Ealey, Danny Ware, Richard Samuel, Dontavius Jackson, Caleb King ….Good God that is a lot of over-hyped or poorly coached talent. Looks like Moreno was more luck than anything.

Mobile Dawg

July 8th, 2011
9:58 pm

It’s pretty simple to me, rotate Jenkins and Geathers every other series. Weakness on the Oline is diminished greatly. Guranteed to wear the Dline out by mid third quarter. Might not be pretty but I gurantee it will work. That play action Bobo likes to call would probably work out of that set too.

Mobile Dawg

July 8th, 2011
9:59 pm

At Tailback.

King Gator

July 8th, 2011
10:20 pm

It’s great to be a Florida Gator! …. at least he wasn’t arrested

Mack

July 8th, 2011
10:43 pm

Has anyone else asked this question? UGA seems to have more players than any other that “leave” the program. If it’s for academic reasons or personal reasons, where is the coaching staff? They should be checking up on these kids at all times. Something brought them to UGA, why do they leave. I lay all this at the coaching staffs feet.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
10:49 pm

So if you can’t blame not having very impressive results on Samuel because it was such a sorry line in 2009 and you think the line will equally be sorry this year, How on earth does it make sense to move him back there.

If it doesn’t matter, then Malcome can do that. Plus, next year Crowell will be more experienced, so will Malcome, and we will no doubt have a new incoming RB. Samuel slips to third or fourth string RB as opposed to second year starting LB, where everyone says he is a natural star.

tide roll

July 8th, 2011
10:52 pm

Fla.dog is right. Richard Samuel is a tailback. He’s got a burst. Can you imagine Samuel on a toss sweep in the red zone behind Ogeltree, Figgins and Bean Anderson. 6′2″ 230 lbs of hate coming at you.

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
10:54 pm

How 2 month till kickoff do you see LAST year’s defense?

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
10:54 pm

But malcome is black too.

Pitbull

July 8th, 2011
11:18 pm

Dawgs will start season 0-2 I’m affraid. They are facing two mean well coached teams whom are every hungrey!!

edumacated

July 8th, 2011
11:20 pm

Kirby Smart is going to be the next coach at Georgia. Thanks for making 2/3 of a decade great Richt, but don’t let the door hit your behind on the way out. Way overdue in my opinion.

DostaDawg

July 8th, 2011
11:30 pm

AltamahaDawg:

Agree 100%.Leave Samuels at LB. Kid can be a star.

Maybe you can answer a guestion. Who made Kirby Smart God? So many people calling for Kirby as the next HC. He may be a great HC one day, but so far all he does is teach Saban’s schemes.

I personally hope CMR has a great year and everyone quits calling for his head. But if we don’t see significant improvement, particularly in the effort given by the players on the field, he needs to go.

CHUCK UGA

July 8th, 2011
11:38 pm

Newnan Dawg, wouldn’t call Richard Samuel a bust. Give the guy a full four seasons before passing judgement.

Narvie

July 8th, 2011
11:50 pm

Braves and Phillies are in extra innings, 2-2 ballgame. I only got 3 more slim jims and 1 pickled egg left.

Frankie Teasley

July 8th, 2011
11:52 pm

I’ll trade you a krispy kreme for that egg Narvie.

Frankie Teasley

July 9th, 2011
12:03 am

You know several years ago at a GDC training class I sat around with a big old blister on my lip I got when I tried bobbing for french fries in a Fry Daddy. Everybody laughed and made fun of me. I worked at Hartwell. Well,I got a paycheck would be a better way of putting it. I ate doughnuts all day long and had a big gut and a bald head. My career took a nosedive when Whitworth went out. I cried like a baby at Forsyth when it happened. Trust me, don’t bob for fries in hot grease.

slaw dog

July 9th, 2011
12:04 am

Did I miss something?

dawgforlife

July 9th, 2011
12:33 am

…I just love the Techies who come in here to poke us in the eye when something negative happens. Ya’ll have enough to worry about with your overmatched coach, high school offensive scheme, and almost complete lack of talent. Worry about your own program. You know, the one dominated by the DAWGS since the earth cooled.

GO DAWGS

July 9th, 2011
12:52 am

Denver Dawg,
isaiah crowell no longer has a facebook or twitter page. he released a statement in may or june saying he was off those networks so it’s some idiot posing to be him. dont worry. however….i am still worried he’s gonna be stupid and get in trouble. if you know any students at uga, tell them to send crowell home if they see him downtown! or any player for that matter…

Failure is a way of life at Georgia

July 9th, 2011
12:55 am

it’ only going to get worse for the mutts.Enjoy losers.

TMH

July 9th, 2011
1:06 am

Wondering if the coaching staff has thought of moving Israel Troupe or incoming freshman Justin Scott-Weslsey to TB to help out the depth and possibly playing time for Troupe? They both have the size and speed. Toughness and assignments?? Possibly…

tide roll

July 9th, 2011
1:18 am

You guys should br thrilled. Joe T.’s evaluation led to the Dawgs basically “cutting” A. J. Harmon. I’m sure the plan is to make room for yall’s next great hope: DABELL!! Yeah baby. I knew these shenanagans would start as soon as they put Tereshenski in that position. Yet another 1970(s) era Dawg. He and Kasay bring an “Old School” that has no place in college ball today. There ought to be a law. These guys got the disease worse than Bobo.

Freddie G

July 9th, 2011
1:23 am

In light of the record of Caleb King at Georgia over the past three years, I have to wonder if CMR never considered this that has just happened a possibility when Ealey left. King has been very irresponsible so it should not be too surprising to CMR unless he is out of touch with his team.

William

July 9th, 2011
4:17 am

Ever who coaches in 2012 will have a great shot at winning the SEC. However, in 2011, I’m afraid the Dogs are in big trouble. I have never felt this way about a Georgia team going into the season. What has happened is very disheartening. I feel sorry for MR. One more year and I think things get turned around.

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
7:21 am

Dosta Dawg, A larger question to me is this: giving that every problem going on right now is a direct result of a relatively young head coach learning lessons from having situations and factor presented to him for the first time, and having to work thru the solutions for the first time, WHY of earth, would we want to go thru the exact same thing by hiring somebody with even less experience than Richt had when he got here. (that’s assuming we would be ready to toss out the education that we already paid for)

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
7:28 am

I’ll give the kid credit for one thing…..he did appear to work hard and get himself ready in case he did make the grades. He could have have tanked after the bowl setback.

GR82BAG8R

July 9th, 2011
7:33 am

dogforlife, keep denigrating Tech, because that is all you have to look forward to. Your “program” is handed to you on a silver platter. You have no in-state recruiting competition (when was the last time Tech’s recruiting class was better than UGA’s?). Yet, this is what you do with all that talent – - a 6 – 7 season. Then you get the fan base excited with a “Dream Team” and before you know it you’ve lost several players due to personal or academic reasons. Tech will never compete with UGA on the football field. It can’t recruit at the same level. Everyone around you is winning BCS NCs while you have annual top-10 recruiting classes.
Keep picking on Tech, because that is all you have left.
However, what if Tech beats you this year? What if they beat you two years in a row?

GR82BAG8R

July 9th, 2011
7:36 am

Does anyone know Caleb King’s major that was so difficult that he could not keep academically eligible?

GR82BAG8R

July 9th, 2011
7:39 am

A lot of UGA’s games will feature scores of less than 10 points a game this year – - by both offense and defense.

dont get it

July 9th, 2011
8:16 am

@Altamahadawg – Why dont you just rent a billboard on I-75 to tell everyone how much you love Richt and that nothing that has happened the last three years is his fault? Ignorant fans like you are the reason he is still here…so is the black cloud if you havent noticed.

dont get it

July 9th, 2011
8:17 am

bottom line is kirby Smart couldnt be any worse! I’m not saying he will be great but give the guy a chance.

Mobile Dawg

July 9th, 2011
8:21 am

Come on Alt, this is no young head coach anymore. He’s been around the block several times. I was giving him the benefit of that doubt 4 years ago. He’s slow to recognize problems, and even slower to react. Read the bio of Joey Jones, USA head coach. That’s what you look for when you interview for a new head coach. Not just the biggest name.

dont get it

July 9th, 2011
8:28 am

“young head coach”? he is the DEAN of the SEC. Can we revoke his right to post?

is anyone really suprised?

July 9th, 2011
8:49 am

come on people. this tape has been playing for the last 10 years…..

no offensive line, people getting in trouble in the summer, injuries in august practice, and sleepwalking through at least 2 games per year.

And while it all occurs we have Altahmaha Dawg serving as CMR’s press secretary…its not his fault…don’t throw the baby out with the dishwater….we’ve invested a lot of money in coach richt…the players are to blame….blah blah blah…

nub

July 9th, 2011
9:00 am

I say let’s give them all a raise ……….. to go on top of the recent increases to the running backs coach etc….

bubba4dawgs

July 9th, 2011
9:01 am

The Dawgs will be just fine! We appreciate all King had to offer. He needed to work harder on his books and apparently just didn’t apply himself. He needed the discipline you see in guys like Murray. Some have it, some don’t. There are no shortcuts. King isn’t a star but his absence will give rise to one or more. The Dawgs are hungry and so are the fans! We gotta have it this year more than ever. Loaded with talent! Be glad of what you get from Crowell! He’ll give it all he’s got…..which is a lot! We gotta keep him healthy! O Line, be sure you protect him, open up some wide holes big enough for a semi! GO DAWGS! LUV THEM DAWGS!!!!!

RedandBlackDAWG

July 9th, 2011
9:05 am

I don’t think anything can be gained by all of the sudden, 54 days until the season starts, to switch players around now. The problem is not a shortage of players at RB, it is a shortage of experience. switching guys around will not solve that. We will find out with the experience level we have at key positions this year, who amongst our young talent, can go that extra step and increase their learning curve to best help out this team. I am glad that we do not have a lot harder schedule than we do.
UGA will just have to play with what we have and take our lumps until we grow up a little. It will likely cost CMR his job, because as of now, we have the athletes but we don’t have the experience yet.
I am not sure, thinking objectively, if the situation as it now stands could have been prevented. I don’t think you go into a season or prepare for one, anticipating injuries, defections and academic failures, of this magnitude, like UGA has had so far this summer. I think CMR did know, or at least suspected in his mind, that Caleb King did not have what it took to stay eligible and he probably knew deep down inside that King would not work hard enough to get the work in he needed to do. Caleb King gave up on himself and his team mates. Uga will have to prevent an athlete such as King, from becoming such a distraction, and become more strict with players like Ealey and KIng.

Monroe's first Redcoat

July 9th, 2011
9:05 am

So Caleb couldn’t make academic progress? BIIIIG surprise. That clown couldn’t SPELL “game plan” much less follow one. (Oops – did he just fumble his duffel bag walking out the the car???) As for WashYawn Ealey – never, never, never lived up to the hype. Ealey spent too much time reading his own press clippings from mighty ECI and spent more time running from cops than from defensive backs. No matter what the coming season turns out to be, GOOD RIDDANCE to both!!!!!!!!!!!!

7576DAWG

July 9th, 2011
9:33 am

Now you know why a lot of recruits don’t end up at Georgia. Ever since the Kemp thing Recruits that have no business in college know what schools to go to and not flunk out and Georgia is not one of them. South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Mississippi State.Not so much at Florida they are about the same as Georgia.

ugab

July 9th, 2011
9:42 am

MR and Bobo are going to have to run Murray more this season. Murray is a great athelete and he wants to win.

7576DAWG

July 9th, 2011
9:43 am

If you major in any business courses at Georgia now you have to pass Calculus1 . I bet all the schools in the SEC don’t have that hard of a requirement.

ugab

July 9th, 2011
9:43 am

What happened to the mentor program MR started this year to keep an eye on these players.

ugab

July 9th, 2011
9:45 am

Calculus 1. How many players at FSU during MRs stay took Calculus 1. If they did someone was taking the test for them.

ugab

July 9th, 2011
9:45 am

Hhahahahahahahhah this program is a joke.

Black Mountain Bulldog

July 9th, 2011
9:52 am

It’s going to be an interesting season: to say the least.
At least knock on wood, Georgia has not had any players, in the Athens police blotter: yet.
I hope that is a sign the player we have left are great character.
Coach T has the S&C program back on track and that will help us late in games.

hal combo

July 9th, 2011
9:53 am

A lot of you yahoos seem to have forgotten that Caleb missed almost his entire senior season in high school due to a leg injury; I don’t think he has ever been the same since. Yeah, he got 166 yds against Tech, but who doesn’t?

7576DAWG

July 9th, 2011
9:55 am

Everything would be a lot better if colleges would stop letting kids that have no business in college go. They are simply not smart enough. The NCAA needs to toughen academic requirements and make the NFL and other PRO leagues establish a minor league for the Pros and stop using college ball for that purpose. We wouldn’t have all this mess about players getting paid to worry about. Most of the players that end up in trouble wouldn’t even attempt College if they had a legitimate minor league to go to after high school.

Let us put this in perspective, gang

July 9th, 2011
9:57 am

Six months ago, we ( some ) argued that for “2011 King and Ealey will mature and grow up and carry the load” and lead us to the promised land. Back then, and during that Liberty Bowl period, we knew that Caleb was academically suspect and that Washed up was a major issue. See the several games that he personally cost UGA with his fumbles and stupidity like vs MSU.

We are right now where most of the older, wiser UGA folks are ………..We will have to go with Boo and Crowell IF ……………..IF Crowell is ready.

This is why CMR is where he is ………………… THE HOT SEAT.

10-2 East Champ or at worst, 9-3 BUT tied with SC for Co East Champ will do it.

We all knew this is where we were going to be in July 2011 with Ealey and King causing big problems like they did last year. Who is surprised by this? Not I.

UGA class of 71 & 73

hal combo

July 9th, 2011
9:58 am

If “colleges would stop letting kids that have no business in college go. They are simply not smart enough. And with the convoluted sentence you just posted, I guess you are “smart enough”?