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

ABNDAWG

July 9th, 2011
10:03 am

SO JUST WHERE IS THE EMPHASIS FROM THE COACHING STAFF TO “MAKE SURE” THESE KIDS MEETING THEIR ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITIES…..MAYBE ONE LESS “HUMANITARIAN” ABROAD WOULD BE MORE IN ORDER TO FOCUS ON THE “KIDS” YOU HAVE RECRUITED AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR???

To:7576 Dawg

July 9th, 2011
10:06 am

Sir, you are 150% correct on all of your comments.

I agree that college is for students first and it is not some holding tank for tatooed neandertals. Period. The NFL and private business men need to open a next step league for 4 and 5 star HS kids. If they go there and fail, college football is not an option. They can sweep floors and cruise around in their 1992 Escaldades around Albany, Ga. with their bad knees. They had their shot in NFL’s minor league.

Yes, UGA has higher standards and that is the way that it is. UT, AU and SC, Alabama and Arkansas and MSU PROUDLY state that they will take em all, if only to play some big boy ball.

UGA will continue to field a team and next year, a new coach might bring us some renewed enthusiasm. I am convinced that CMR is spent emotionally in this endeavor.

This could be a fun year to view it all ……………… Go Dogs.

Black Mountain Bulldog

July 9th, 2011
10:16 am

I should have written players we have left; plural.

FLA DAWG

July 9th, 2011
10:17 am

So your answer is to put a redshirt freshman and a true freshman in the backfield!?
No way. Let Samuel show C how to hit the D with college power. Let C teach Samuel how to make cuts.
It seems an obvious answer to me but that’s just my opinion.

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
10:19 am

well I don’t know , don;t get it”, love is pretty much reserved for family, close friends, in my world. I guess if i am not out here calling somebody a clown every day, I love them huh. sure, ok. Could do worse than love a guy like Coach Richt. Why don’t you rent a billboard and put your pimple doted face on it? Oh, and below that list what it is you are DOING about him still being here. I bet that takes about 4 words. Not a damn thing.

I respect him. I want him to succeed. I want my college football team to succeed. make of it what you will.

Mobile
I say he is relatively young in that the standard now seems to be Saban, and he is about a decade ahead of richt in in experience. Saban started having his most success at at bought this point of his career that Richt is in. THUS the term “relative”. I pretty sure he had to work thru a few thing first.

And you cannot say he has seen the injuries before like 2008 in his career till it happened. I believe a lot of what is going on now is a result of his actions/over reaction to that. He is pretty new in replacing and finding staff members. He has only had to deal with that for the first time several years deep into his career. It’s also safe to say he is now for the first time having to deal with how to recover when the program has lapsed. I don’t believe every man who has coached the game knows exactly what that takes till you get there. Could be said , he is dealing with for the first time, what to do when your own personal motivations slipped a bit.

NONE of this in incorrect, why would you take exception to that? I wasn’t defending him, I was stating a fact. (to the degree that I believe it to be) IN fact I was refering to the basic fault in hiring him in the first place.

However my point ( if we can get over the paranoa that there might be some hidden Richt praise in there), is that WHY in the hell would we want to go through all of that again , by hiring somebody who WILL have the exact same issues if he is ever given a HC job. We already paid to teach one guy. Get rid of him , fine. But don’t replace him, with him 10 yrs younger, all over again.

FLA DAWG

July 9th, 2011
10:23 am

Well I agree with at least your last paragraph AD.
UGA is already paying Richt big money. I think we could get a winning coach from another conference who’d like a shot at The SEC.

Who do you like?

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
10:29 am

Yes, that is my answer. Mostly because that is the only option. Sort of like in 2004 when we did the same thing. Samuel is no better trained at the position than Malcome, IMO. And we waste his usefullness at what he has been training for the past 18 months. And accomplish nothing, if as you say, its doesnt matter anyway with the line. I suspect what they are going to have to do is run some slightly different style of Running plays, which hopefully that can do with a more expereinced QB, so Samuel is not really bringing much t the table in the backfield.

I actually thought he was a pretty decent back , the few games he played. He’d be OK. Maybe we end up having to do that if we lose a guy, but today, (and I am sure they have been considering King gone for a long time now) there is no reason to announce moving him.

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
10:32 am

Well, I am one of those silly fans who actually wants THIS team to win a bunch of games, so i like the coach of my team at this point. I’ll consider who else if that need arises.

But it would be somebody that has been a HC, preferably at a couple of places, and You have to like that NFL expereince, even if it wasn’t that successful.

Mikee

July 9th, 2011
10:32 am

I just hope Caleb is not ducking out of a losing offensive situation. Hard to look good with no offensive line. Who knows..I don’t.

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
10:33 am

This is what happens when we recruit guys that are borderline academically. If folks remember, King barely made it into UGA. This should have been a red flag. CMR needs to be using academic performance as a major factor in assessing how disciplined and hardworking recruits are. Both King and Ealey were not disciplined enough. We need to be rewarding HS players that are working hard and ready for college. Compare these two guys to Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram of Bama; those two guys appreciate the opportunity and work their butts off!

reality

July 9th, 2011
10:35 am

I guess the little midget will need to pass more now…

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
10:36 am

Yes big money, but everthing is big money in college sports now. Thats just par. school pay big money to get and get rid of, not even hardly a consideration as far as fans are concerned. (plus if is all just money, the man has held his own as far as bringing that in. He has more than covered his salary)

We have “paid” in that we have endured the process. We didn’t go out and hire somebody that others had already picked up the tab for.

FLA DAWG

July 9th, 2011
10:37 am

Well, we differ but I bet we agree on this…………………about now Ealey is thinking ………..dumb, dumb, dumb…I shoulda stayed!

He’d be starting.

tar and feathers party

July 9th, 2011
10:38 am

Fire Mark’s Rectum NOW!

Mobile Dawg

July 9th, 2011
10:38 am

I didn’t take exception Altamaha, I just have a different opinion. I happen to see what’s going on at South Alabama with their program, listen to what their coach says, how he approaches his job, recruits, hires, relates to the media, etc. and am extremely impressed.

Not to mention he has played for the best, came from the grass roots (high school), started two successful programs from scratch. This guy fits perfectly the mold to take the next step. He has the experience and pedigree to take over a program of UGA’s stature. I think if you give him the assets, resources, and support of a program like UGA and he succeeds. If he’s around you will get a strong look at him in 2014 when the Jag’s come to Athens.

I’ve just seen Richt flounder to much, and don’t think he has the skill set, personal motivation, and has the wrong approach to influence and control his players, thereby leading them to be football players, students, and further on, good citizens. Share with me one player who’s been “troubled” that his approach has helped to mentor, and change their life, turn them into a productive citizen. I can’t think of any. Nothing personal Altamaha. That’s just my opinion.

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
10:43 am

ABNDAWG (Auburn Dawg???)- King is 23 YEARS OLD. He was given the opportunity to start and play in the SEC. He has more resources available to him than I did when I attended UGA. At some point, you have to do it on your own. If you are going to criticize CMR, make it because he let the guy into UGA in the first place. CMR’s humanitarian efforts have nothing to do with it. Don’t let King off the hook because he was not disciplined and mature enough to handle his responsibilities and opportunities.

FLA DAWG

July 9th, 2011
10:43 am

I can’t recall the coach of USF (University of South Florida) but with little in the way of resources the coaches there produced amazing results. Yeah, they folded but sure had a great run. They have respect.

Here’s a name I never thought I’d throw out as a new UGA HC……………..STEVE SPURRIER!
Even if he’s old as dirt the guy has done incredible things at USC with little depth in talent.
Imagine what this guy could do with our new recruits. We already have McGarity. Let’s hire his old buddy.

WatchDawg

July 9th, 2011
10:46 am

I wonder if we may see Richard Samuel back on the offensive side again?

Josh Fowler

July 9th, 2011
10:57 am

I hope Crowell can handle the pressure

Newnan idiot

July 9th, 2011
11:03 am

Patrick Pass played different positions and won some games for Georgia and then played forever in the pros.. Get your facts straight….

VININGSDAWG

July 9th, 2011
11:06 am

College athletes are given more resources than any other student. There is no excuse for failure. If CK could not cut it then he should have failed two years ago.

The lack of talent on the OL and now RB is a major concern. IC had a history of injuries at Carver and now he enters the SEC as the #1 back. Dyer and Lattimore had excellent OL’s to run behind, IC does not.

gomdawg

July 9th, 2011
11:07 am

We dont need players like King and Ealey bad for team , this team is will be better off without players like that they think they dont need to practice and go to class quest what they gone very good, we have walk on and Carlton,Ken and Crowell Georgia will be fine. SO WITH THAT SAID GET OFF THIS BAD TALK ABOUT THE DAWGS AND LETS GET THIS SEASON GOING GO DAWGS

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
11:12 am

VINNINGSDAWG is correct!!!!!! If anything, the hand holding by the athletics department kept CK around too long. He should have been flunked out so his scholarship could be given to a more deserving athelete- that would still be here. Has anyone given a thought to that? Put that on the AD!

gomdawg

July 9th, 2011
11:14 am

A young man 23 years old you should not have too hold his hand to go to class he is just sorry given a chance to be the starting tailback at Georgia and he blows it his senior year . THIS IS NOT COACHES FOUGHT.

gomdawg

July 9th, 2011
11:16 am

Loyal Dawg you are 100% right. just sorry that all so lets move on with the young men we have and lets talk about them that those BOYS

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
11:16 am

By the way, I invite everyone to read BCEaglesJRC comments on one of ESPN’s articles- Caleb King ineligible for ‘11 season- http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/conversations/_/id/6749969/georgia-tailback-caleb-king-ineligible-2011-season

gomdawg

July 9th, 2011
11:17 am

AND NOT THOSE BOYS SPEAKING OF KING AND EALEY

chazzo

July 9th, 2011
11:17 am

Hardly a nightmare:
UGA rids itself of two troublesome players who were working against the team and coaches. Hopefully, the other players will catch on that this is a special opportunity.

Crowell, hopefully will take note. There is still Malcome and the scat back crew. Then there is a linebacker that was a former RB (not that that wouldn’t make things thin on that side of the ball).

Weather the storm, Dawg. This is hardly the equivalent of 21 injuries or multiple arrests.

chazzo

July 9th, 2011
11:18 am

PS Caleb needs to learn that God helps those who help themselves.

gomdawg

July 9th, 2011
11:21 am

Bring on Boise State the Dawgs are ready Junkyard defense

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
11:21 am

Malcome King and Carlton Thomas have great opportunity here. Crowell should heed the lesson and be prepared to work hard. There is no reason why these three, if not one of the three cannot pickup the load left. TEAM not I wins everytime.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 9th, 2011
11:27 am

I don’t buy into the theory that the OL for UGA is bad. I think the front five will do a very good job. Our problem is, “What do we do if they get hurt?” We will have to find a way to get the reserves some meaningful playing time. Hopefully, after the first two games.
It is going to be hard for any RB to run for UGA if this front five gets banged up. Hopefully, the RB’s can increase their learning curve sharply enough to help out the team fast.
Now, has anybody done any research and figured out how many SEC recruited Caleb King? I would bet there were plenty of them as well as a few outside of the SEC. He got into UGA where he wanted to be, and then he turned off his motor. Should he have even been in college? I doubt it, but the SEC and NCAA rules allowed him to be in college. He is no more a failure of CMR than he is the SEC, or NCAA.

FBFan

July 9th, 2011
11:29 am

Buck says:
From June 22nd King blog:
“The track record says Caleb King is going to disappoint you,” Buck writes. “Understand that. But I’m not buying it this time. I see a 1,000 yard season. 200 carries and 12 TD runs. A 5-yard per carry average. And as it turns out, a positive influence on Crowell.”

Shoulda stuck with the track record Buck.

I'm just saying

July 9th, 2011
11:30 am

Does Hines really think that his DUI can count as points towards the Fulmer Cup defense?

Jason

July 9th, 2011
11:32 am

I have always wanted to see Caleb do well and break-out if you will, but I can say in all honesty, I am glad this page has finally turned and what “could have been” can be “forgotten about” now. Good luck, Caleb, I think you’re going to need it when you grow up.

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
11:38 am

Isn’t that definition of taking exception? I assumed you weren’t insulted. I was asking why did you “have a diferent opinion” when what I said was basically just stating how it is? especially since you don’t dispute it.

Dirty Dawg

July 9th, 2011
11:47 am

We wrung our hands with worry and embarrassment back when Damon pulled his stunt last year, but, as it turned out, it was one of the best things that could have happened. We got rid of a less-than stellar AD and in his place have a truly class act that will guide us for years to come.

Who knows, this could be another of those things that happen that turn into something good. True Georgia fans will support the coaches and the team and show their loyalty with attendance, cheers and wear their Bulldog ‘G’ with pride. Marginal fans, those that take any ‘failure’ on the part of coaches and players as a personal affront to them and just want to b**ch and holler about it, while they’ll always be with us, they aren’t really. And, of course, there are the trolls, the Georgia-haters, those whose only mission in life, or at least around here, is to tear us down, poison the well for those that consider coming to Georgia in the future, create the, so-called, ‘hot seat’ that ‘they’ say Mark Richt is perched on…those are the one’s that don’t matter, ever, unless you fall for their crap. What does matter is that we pull together and rally around the program – the coaches and the players – and spit in the eye of anybody that wants a piece of us.

One thing you have to admire about Auburn this last season and on through now…regardless of what was said, they decided that the only way to survive was to ‘Go All In’…put your head down and plow forward. Well, I’m plowin’ forward and I expect ‘true’ UGAers will do the same.

chazzo

July 9th, 2011
11:51 am

If it’s soooo easy then how come only 24% of the U.S. population has 4-year college degrees? That is more like 10-16% where a lot of these players grow up.

Caleb may have blown it. Maybe he doesn’t deserve it. But, he did deserve a shot. “Almost” is hard to live with and hard to come back from. I wish him all the best in leading a good life and finding a good path from here on out.

Loyal Dawg

July 9th, 2011
11:59 am

chazzo- I understand where you are coming from; however, I’m getting tired of seeing guys who are basically academically unqualified squeezing in, taking up a scholarship and then not appreciating it when I know there are other quality HS players, who may not have quite the talent, but will work circles around the CK’s and WE’s of the world. The coaches need to pay more attention to how a kid is doing academically in the recruiting process because it will probably go a long way toward predicting their work ethic in college.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 9th, 2011
12:17 pm

Some quick facts for all of those blaming UGA and CMR for C. Kings failure. According to reports written in 2006 by various sports publications, C. King had completed, Spanish, Algebra, and his core English requirements in High School and had a 2.7 GPA at the time he was being recruited for 2007. How is that possible, when he is having so much trouble, after 4 years of college, completing a remedial make up course with tutors? Ummm, maybe he forgot about putting in a little effort to do the work. Also, is there a possibility that the high school standards for GPA’s in Georgia aren’t exactly on the level either. How about even further, Atlanta Christian Academy might be dumbing it down a little for athletes.
A partial list of colleges and Universities that sent letters to King to come play for them, isn’t that all bad either.
He was offered by over 30 schools, to include, UGA, Auburn USC (the real one in CA.), Virginia Tech., Notre Dame, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Clemson. According to him, in a Rival Sports article, he had also received a letter of inquiry from Stanford, but was not offered a scholarship at the time the article was written.
Folks, there is a lot of blame to go around, and it isn’t just all on UGA’s shoulders either.
King is far from the only kid that goes through college, on to the NFL, and reads at a 9th grade education level. The whole NCAA and SEC athletic system is at fault here. They have let him down by dumbing it down to even allow him to have a chance at a higher education. We can thank the good lord that some of the athletes in college really take it seriously.

Bartles and James

July 9th, 2011
12:21 pm

The state of Georgia needs to add a speech class as part of their core curriculum for high schools.
Have you read King’s “tweets” after announcement of his suspension? Very interesting “English?”.
Yes, he speaks like he writes, therefore the speech class is necessary.
All too many athletes are in need of such tools. All students would benefit, with such a seriously depressed the job market, it can only help them. And athletes can seriously improve upon their many media interviews.
Don’t you cringe, at times, listening to some of our favorite UGA players during interviews? They are in college and by then should have no excuses for sounding illiterate.
I am not picking on UGA players. The University of Georgia is my school, also, and I am trying to help improve our school, not denigrate it.
Thank you for support.

7576DAWG

July 9th, 2011
12:26 pm

Surely these kids know that the NFL follows them from high school until they leave college with hopes of a Pro career. Unless they are the few super stars that will be hand walked into a Pro career, if they got into trouble in high school and then stayed in trouble in college and/or had academic troubles or wasn’t mature enough to get out of bed a attend class this will be considered a reflection of how the Pro teams will see them and could be the differences in whether they are given a chance to make a Pro team.
I wish Ealey and King the best but Pro teams don’t play that game. It will be interesting to see if Ealey will be able to play for Jacksonville without having the entitlements he demands. Who ever King plays his senior year with I hope will be able to make the light bulb come on ,unlike Georgia, that will make King realize he is a 23 year old man and it is time to grow up and act like an adult or he may not even be given a shot at a Pro career.

shane#1

July 9th, 2011
12:27 pm

I can’t say I am shocked by the news of King’s departure. It was obvious from what CMR said at the Bulldog Club meetings that he was not pleased with the effort that King and Ealey put into football. Couple that with their off field issues and even a Mark Richt tires of going the extra mile.I hate it for Caleb, but he is a grown man now and has no one to blame but himself. Hey Alt, how’s fishing over there? We loaded the boat with snapper in PC last month.

above average joe

July 9th, 2011
12:36 pm

Great comment Bartles and James!
You’ve got my support!

dont get it

July 9th, 2011
12:36 pm

@AD – First – leave my pimples out of this. They cost me a piece you wouldnt believe last night. second – I love this team and every team that suits up in red and black. so, yes i want “this” team to win. But geuss what? It aint gonna happen. And thats with or without king. We just get out coached on a routine basis. We are now losing to teams that have a roster full of guys UGA wouldnt even offer(colorado, Ok st, Central Florida, UK and Vandy). What does that tell you? You ignorance is amazing. Why dont you call Richt? He has a place for you on his staff, Im sure.

allwehaveishope

July 9th, 2011
12:45 pm

So now the dawgs are left w/only one proven TB CT who has heart but no bulk. The remaining trio have little to no game experience. Opposing teams will stack the line moreso than before and make GA a one dimensional team. Passing the ball. Unless there’s a miracle and someone steps up at RB which is wide open right now, the Dawgs are in big, big trouble. There’s still spring practice to get through and a chance one or more of these RB’s could get injured which will be the kiss of death for this season given the OL is a weakness on this team.

I feel for Crowell. I’m sure he feels the pressure and not having a King or Ealey to take some of the heat off he better have a tough hide or actually is as good as his hype.

above average joe

July 9th, 2011
1:26 pm

I hope Crowell doesn’t turn out to be another Jasper Sanks. Got all the pub and then just flubbed.
Crowell has got some great highlights, but against who? I recall seeing him in one of those many (ad nauseum) televised high school all-star games and he did not look anywhere near spectacular.
Did anybody else come to same conclusion?
Gotta stop putting all the marbles in on one kid at any given position.

rogeriter

July 9th, 2011
1:43 pm

Walter, What makes you think it was only Ealey’s decision to transfer? I think Richt and the team influenced that more than Ealey.

AltamahaDawg

July 9th, 2011
1:52 pm

What am I ignorant about? “ignorant” would Indicate to me that you think I don;t know something, presumably that you do. Which would suggest to me that you could easily take any one of my many many post and actually prove what I said was wrong. Folks that have been in here a while will tell you that I would love nothing more than that. That I ask for that quite often. So lets see you prove me ignorant.

What is amazing is guys like you who can somehow convince yourself that you see something others don’t, or that you hate losing more.. or of cource , that you somehow deserve the winning more.
Guess what, You don’t.

And “fans like me” hate losing just as much as you do. And NO, we aren’t responsible for the losses or state of the program. You keep telling yourself that YOU are doing your part if that makes you feel good. The only difference is how we behave about it, and how we judge the options at this point. You go right ahead and pretend that we are going to fire Richt in July. And nobody in this room believes that if you were there AD in December at Georgia, you would have fired him then either, but go ahead and tell everyone how you would have.

It’s “fans like me” that drive the program. It’s “fans like me” (but not me) that sit on the board and make the decision. And we will be the very ones that are going to make the change if the needs occurs, after this season. Till then. I choose to behave in a manner befitting a guy who loves the team and the sport, and looking forward to having some fun.

AND when you say things that I find incorrect about Richt (which is the only time I “defend” him), I’ll take you to task about it. Because I enjoy it.

DawgVoiceofReason

July 9th, 2011
2:47 pm

The thing that puzzles me most about Coach Richt, as someone noted earlier, is why his approach hasn’t, apparently, had more of a positive effect on the players who have been in trouble or “on the brink”. Maybe it will show up somehow down the road. But the very positive example he sets hasn’t seemed to lead to the the kind of positive results that one might expect. I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of fine people on the team; I’m just wondering why there are so many problems and then problems that don’t improve.