On a rival’s troubles and a Dawg being jerked around

Richard Samuel's move back to tailback isn't likely to be in his best interest. (Special)

Richard Samuel's move back to tailback isn't likely to be in his best interest. (Special)

The NCAA/Georgia Tech story was being discussed Thursday afternoon at the afternoon news meeting in our newsroom when one of the senior editors cracked, “Bill, what’s that big smile on your face?”

OK, I’ll admit it, as was probably true with any other UGA die-hard, I couldn’t help taking some pleasure in the “Institute” being caught once again with its frequently trumpeted integrity not quite in place.

But considering the fragile nature of “good standing” in the world of the NCAA, it’s not a good idea to spend too much time crowing about a rival getting slapped, as you never know when your own school is going to have to deal with another eligibility issue.

I will say note, though, that last year Georgia’s coaches determined that they would sit A.J. Green rather than risk using an ineligible player, and that kept Jerseygate from turning into something much bigger and nastier, like what has come down on the Flats.

I’ve no idea what, if anything, will transpire in the Jarvis Jones case. But I’m betting until Mark Richt and his staff know, Jones won’t take the field.

Meanwhile, before it was official yesterday that Richard Samuel would be returning to the tailback position, I wrote that I thought it was a bad idea, and I still do.

Oh, I fully understand why Richt is doing it, and you can make a good case that from the team’s perspective it’s the right move. Georgia has a startling lack of experience at the tailback position right now, and Samuel has experience, albeit in the somewhat distant past.

But for Samuel’s development as a player it’s not the right move. Having already gone from starter to benchwarmer in the backfield once, the young man stood a better chance of getting sustained playing time as a backup linebacker. At tailback, he may start out the season getting a decent number of carries spelling true freshman Isaiah Crowell, but as Crowell gets acclimated to college ball, Samuel’s likely to find himself back on the bench again.

I’d love to be wrong about that and for Samuel and Crowell to develop into a one-two punch in the backfield, but what we’ve seen of Samuel in the past indicates that his best use would be as a linebacker.

The back-and-forth with Samuel brings to mind the UGA career of Kiante Tripp, who the Georgia coaches moved from defensive end to offensive tackle to tight end back to offensive tackle back to defensive end. And he ended up excelling at none of those positions.

I hate to see the same thing happen to Samuel’s career.

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207 comments Add your comment

ARdawg

July 15th, 2011
10:27 am

I’m no Tech fan but the NCAA is hardly anyone to be pointing accusations at any school. They have a lot of splaining to do themselves

DawginLex

July 15th, 2011
10:27 am

We discussed this ad nauseum already.

Don’t agree with the move but understand why it was done.

BIG PROPS TO RICHARD SAMUEL FOR BEING A TEAM PLAYER

ISN’T IT NICE TO HEAR GOOD THINGS ABOUT OUR STUDENT ATHLETES DURING THE SUMMER????????????????

Robinwood

July 15th, 2011
10:28 am

Samuel needs to stay on D. Although they could move him back once IC proves himself.

ARdawg

July 15th, 2011
10:28 am

Bill,

As for the Samuel change, that’s probably why Richt is coaching and you are blogging

@matador

July 15th, 2011
10:29 am

True, it may not be in Samuel’s personal best interest to switch yet again, but huge props to a former 5 star for being a true team player and doing what is thought to best for the team by his coaches. A rare thing these days!

Satch

July 15th, 2011
10:30 am

Top notch guy. Wish we had 10 more like him. Great we have a kid like this that knows how to spell team!

JDAWG

July 15th, 2011
10:31 am

I like the move

Dawg 4 Ever

July 15th, 2011
10:33 am

SSIgator

July 15th, 2011
10:35 am

Hey, when you are 6-7 and could not beat a team with a winning record, I guess you try anything to save your own rear end.

GeoffDawg

July 15th, 2011
10:35 am

Richard Samuel is a damn good Dawg and a Head Coach’s first responsibility is to the team and program over the individual player. Besides, as Crowell gets up to speed, who’s to say you won’t see Samuel playing a little both ways? I also think that should he get a shot at the NFL, they’re going to love his athleticism to play multiple positions and his incredibly selfless attitude.

Also, I don’t quite think jerseygate and what’s going on at tech are the same thing. Even if Georgia had gone ahead and played AJ before the NCAA ruled, there’s no guarantee they would’ve been forced to vacate those games. The main issue here is that tech’s being punished for actively trying to obfuscate the investigation. To my knowledge, Georgia’s staff has never been anything but cooperative in the past.

Late Dawg

July 15th, 2011
10:36 am

Dawg 4 Ever: Missed it by THAT much !!!

Loran, Whatayagot

July 15th, 2011
10:39 am

Maybe Samuel’s move is not the best for him, but whatever level of talent he has will eventually get him on the field somewhere. His work ethic and character is more valuable as an example to the younger players than the toxic players he’s replacing.

GMan

July 15th, 2011
10:39 am

Bill,

A lot of backs never turn out to live up to their hype. Might happen to Crowell. Very few backs ever go on to become 1000 yard rushers. Takes a lot of desire like Lattimore has. Crowell couldn’t have come into the summer buffed, and hungry and shut down all doubt, or maybe out of shape and feeling entitled, we’re not there, so we don’t know. But competition at rb has a way of making people better or else seeing who has the stuff.

Here’s how I see the depth chart now:
1- Samuel (most experience)
2- Malcome
3- Crowell
4- Thomas

Crowell’s got to do something to move himself up the depth chart, work hard this summer in the weight room and eat right, stay out of trouble, passblock well, lead the team in yards per carry. If not, he’ll never see reps.

Red Clay Hound

July 15th, 2011
10:40 am

So if the coaching staff knew the Crowell could handle the blocking assignments, would they still be making this move with Samuel? I agree with GeoffDawg, you do what you have to do help the team first. but what does this say about the other backs we have?

HotReceiver

July 15th, 2011
10:41 am

Good to see Coach Richt getting his best talent on the field. That’s a change.

austintwo

July 15th, 2011
10:46 am

I agree on Samuel – another 4/5-star that has gotten jerked around and never excelled anywhere is Justin Anderson.

Samuel’s a DGD but he really isn’t a RB, would have preferred to see him develop at LB personally.

DawginLex

July 15th, 2011
10:46 am

Hey everyone

Could you imagine being in a foxhole or in a locker room with SSIGator?

Talk about a candidate for getting shot by his own troops…………..

Deputy Dawg

July 15th, 2011
10:46 am

Dang good Dawg!! Richard Samuel has set HIS ego to the side for the TEAM!! As a true Dawgs fan Im proud of the reports coming out of Athens. No arrests, no embarrassing situtations, and the weeding out of the “I” players. Kudos for Mark Richt and his staff for making all the right moves. Bring on the season!!!

austintwo

July 15th, 2011
10:52 am

GeoffDawg – If Georgia had played AJ in any of the first 4 games last season, it is inarguable we would have had to vacate the games – you can’t play with ineligible player(s). It’s a very black and white issue, absolutely guaranteed.

No big deal, really, though since we only one 1 of the 4 anyway. But if the season had gone well it could and would have made a huge difference.

GMan

July 15th, 2011
10:53 am

Samuel wouldn’t have seen action over Ogletree at linebacker unless a major injury happened. He had a chance to move from #2 or #3 on a depth chart at linebacker, to #1 on the depth chart at RB. Good move for Samuel, shows he really wanted another shot at toting the rock and loves to tote the rock. Samuel’s one of the top 22 players on the team, you had to find him a spot. Samuel was the #4 ranked rb in high school, and averaged 4.8 yards per carry as a back in the SEC. He can get tote the rock. His size is similar to Lattimore’s weight now. He’s a big guy, and can crush passrushers.

ARdawg

July 15th, 2011
10:54 am

Without Samuels move one game, most notably the Boise game could easily deplete the 3 other TBs due to injury or plain ineffectiveness. Then where would UGA be going into the Carolina game. I like the move and think it a good choice. Crowell may or may not be the second coming. The last 2 TBs certainly were not. Hopefully, Malcome will take advantage of the opportunity along with Crowell and now Samuels.

Samuels was a good back in 09 lacking needed experience. The baptism by fire didn’t work out so good for him. Now, he’s faster, stronger and doesn’t mind laying it on the line.

Good move Richt. I haven’t said that often on purpose

Logan Walker

July 15th, 2011
10:54 am

Samuel is such a team player that I’m thinking two-way player this year, kind of like that fullback from that Pac-10 school last year (Stanford, I think). He seems to be in good shape and he wants to make a positive impact, so let him go both ways.

Lindsey

July 15th, 2011
10:55 am

I am defiantly no Tech fan but I am over the NCAA. They seem to pick and choose who they want to punish. They let some teams do whatever they want if it brings in money, even though its clear to everybody something happened that was illegal. And they hand their punishments out years later and it effects people who did nothing wrong. The NCAA needs to get their act together. On a positive note, best of luck to Richard Samuel. I hate to hear him get moved around but I understand why. I think it’s great the attitude he has about it, he has the Bulldog Spirit. GO DAWGS!!!

DawginLex

July 15th, 2011
10:56 am

The bottom line with this also is that it allows 2 freshmen running backs time to learn and not be thrown into the fire against 2 ranked opponents and lose their confidence.

RabidDawgFan

July 15th, 2011
10:57 am

Keep saying that Richard isn’t a running back and you’ll be eating crow come Sept 3rd. I know he has little moves and usually runs straight ahead, but he has a defensive mentality playing RB. He’ll knock you in the mouth and he’ll be really good on 4th and inches, or in goal line situations when we need a touchdown. I’m just ready to see Boise try and take him down. They’re going to peer over our offensive line at Samuel, and say “My goodness that’s a big boy!” I can hear them now.

JaxDawg05

July 15th, 2011
10:58 am

I don’t like the move either, but word out of Athens is Crowell is NOWHERE near being ready to carry the ball in the SEC.

ARdawg

July 15th, 2011
10:59 am

In the FWIW department, The picture of Samuel making that 50 something TD run against Arkansas, I was the lone Dawg fan in a sea of Razorbacks that night in the stadium and up to that point it wasn’t looking good for UGA. That run and TD of Samuel’s was the difference in the game. It was as it turned out a shootout between Mallet and Joe Cox but, it was that one run by Samuel that made the difference in the game. If not for that, Arkansas would have beaten us on that night

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 15th, 2011
11:00 am

I think the Samuel move had to be made. Thomas is not a #1 or #2 back. Malcombe has yet to prove he can stay healthy. Crowell is a incoming freshman with nothing other than alot of hype. Position scarcity dictated the move nothing more, nothing less. Samuel will start at Boise and I take umbridge to the fact that if Crowell develops RS will be relegated to the bench. Outside of Musa and Knowshon CMR has always implemented a tailback by committee much to the shagrin by many of us regular bloggers. I commend Samuel for making the move and with two years left to develop I think it will benefit him greatly.

HotReceiver

July 15th, 2011
11:01 am

Only 5 backs ran for 1000 yards in the SEC last season out of 50 backs. 10%. Samuel has the same yards per carry average at 4.8 ypc as……Marcus Lattimore.

GeoffDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:05 am

austintwo – I see your point but I can’t completely agree with you on that. We’re not talking about academic ineligibility or giving up amateur status by hiring an agent, we’re referring to an athlete who sold his personal item which ambiguously may or may not have fallen under the “improper benefit” rule. In my opinion, if we’d played him prior to the NCAA ruling, he would’ve been forced to sit four games moving forward with no vacation of the previous games. Precedent has even been set by tech in this regard in 2005 when it was shown that they knowingly used 11 academically ineligible football players and upon appeal, were allowed to keep all their wins. In this case, if tech had been upfront and cooperated with the investigation, the NCAA wouldn’t have felt the need to punish them so severely over $312 worth of ill-gotten goods.

You’re right though with the way last season went, it would’ve been mostly a moot point.

sogadog

July 15th, 2011
11:06 am

Samuel’s move also brings to mind Justin Anderson’s move from Oline to Dline to Oline. In any event, Samuel seemed happy with the move given his comments so I dont see this as a bad thing for him. WE HAVE GOT TO RUN THE BALL TO WIN THE SEC EAST! If we have to move Samuel to tailback to make it happen and he is ok with it, then do it.

Congratulations to Coach Richt, he is now undefeated against Ga. Tech!

HotReceiver

July 15th, 2011
11:08 am

Hines Ward changed from QB and WR, worked out ok.

GeoffDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:09 am

I’m also pretty curious how this investigation stayed so quiet for so long. You can’t have a Georgia player jaywalk without a media circus following. Why no major coverage of this until now?

GeoffDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:11 am

sogadog – I wish that was true but Georgia beat tech in 2009. That was the embarrassing year (among many) for the ACC where both participants in their title game lost the previous week to their state rivals out of the SEC (Clemson losing to SC).

Sam

July 15th, 2011
11:13 am

Let’s hope that Richt is more willing to give Crowell serious time; he screwed up by not playing Moreno as a frosh.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 15th, 2011
11:14 am

Thanks GeoffDawg for that correction, you beat me to it. Many UGA fans need to realize that,lol.

tide roll

July 15th, 2011
11:15 am

4TH AND GOAL FROM THE 6. GEORGIA IS GOING TO LINE UP IN A TWO TIGHT END SET WITH ARTIE LYNCH AND FIGGINS. LOOK LORAN, BIG JOHN JENKINS IS IN AT FULLBACK. LEMAY, WHO HAS PASSED FOR OVER 300 YARDS TODAY, IS GOING TO TURN AND PITCH THE BALL TO SAMUEL. RICHARD, BEHIND JENKINS, BEAN ANDERSON AND FIGGINS, IS HIT AT THE THREE AND CARRIES TWO TACKLERS WITH HIM INTO THE END ZONE. TOUCHDOWN ! GEORGIA 36 FLORIDA 17 WITH TWO MINUTES AND 14 SECONDS LEFT. SAMUEL’S 4TH RUSHING TOUCHDOWN TODAY.

George Stein

July 15th, 2011
11:15 am

What they’ve done to Samuel is wrong. His reaction should make all you UGA fans proud.

Not sure how you make the leap that violating NCAA rules acts as a stain on integrity, but whatever.

He has matured greatly

July 15th, 2011
11:16 am

Samuel is a different ball player now vs two years ago. Then, he was like 17 years old and not in the physical SEC shape that he has now. He knows the level of competition and he knows he has to stay low with his shoulders and squared up and to run hard and keep the legs driving. He knows to hold that ball.

Folks …………Richard Samuel is not some kid just coming in to college. He played well and averaged nearly 5 per carry in the SEC ……………….not in some HS region somewhere in Georgia. He would have played more but at that time Ealey and King were better. Think about it …………….. they were slightly better and now they are gone. He will play well and he is so much bigger than these two clown losers. They were cancers.

Minimally, he will provide some great depth due to his SEC experiences at running back and serve well in the rotation with Boo Malcom and eventually Crowell and now with Carlton Thomas and Harton.

We are a far better team by this one move. This move helps UGA greatly. Bravo for being a team man.

Great move this is.

Go Dogs.

LagDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:16 am

Bill, I will have to agree with you. I think this is a bad move and it is not beneficial for the Samuel’s career. CMR should have been signing more RBs from the start. He knew last season King and Ealey were not dependable, but he put all his chips on one RB. When the running game is as bad as UGA’s is, it comes from one or three problems. Bad RBs, bad blocking or bad playcalling and in this case all three. We have got to do a better job at recruiting on the offensive side of the ball and also better coaching. I do think the defense is headed in the right direction but, the DC has to be allowed to coach the way he knows how. CMR is a offensive minded person and needs to let Grantham do his thing. CMR needs to get the problem on the offensive side of the ball fixed and quit making excuses. With the problem at RB, we should be trying to sign at least two good RBs, not just one. If UGA doesn’t bring in the best OL propects it will mean it was a bad choice to hire Will Friend. If he was so good, Saban would have hired him already.

Hankie Aron

July 15th, 2011
11:17 am

It’s sad SSI Gator always seems to be on UGA blogs when he is I hope a gator fan. He is like flat tire. They are pretty pathetic people

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 15th, 2011
11:19 am

DRAD was told by the NCAA not to let anyone know about the investigation. DRAD went and told CPJ. That is a integrity issue is it not? He could not do one simple thing the NCAA asked of him.

Also Tide Roll? Lemay is RS. Get over it and let it go. UGA nation is firmly behind the All SEC QB1 Aaron Murray.

WoodstockDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:19 am

Ken “Boo” Malcome should be around for 4 years so let’s all learn how to spell his name….there is no B in his last name.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 15th, 2011
11:20 am

Thanks Woodstock, I was guilty of that typo.

WoodstockDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:22 am

wasn’t trying to call anyone out, I think he’ll be a good one.

George Stein

July 15th, 2011
11:22 am

It would reflect more on his integrity if he told Johnson and then lied about it to the NCAA. But the NCAA telling him not to do something would be like me telling you never to post on the blog again. I believe you’d tell me to take along walk off a short bridge.

Even most UGA fans probably agree that the rules of the NCAA hardly equal the rules of integrity.

Tim Riggins

July 15th, 2011
11:29 am

Justin Anderson should have never been a 4 star. I saw him play in high school, and I’m not sure what the recruiting services saw. He played for a weak class A team which at the time was also in a weak region.

Also the biggest mistake regarding Richard Samuel was his playing as a freshman. No 16-17 year old is ready for SEC competition, and I believe he enrolled at midyear. I do wonder if we had to promise immediate time at TB to secure his commitment out of high school. Otherwise, it would have made sense to have him play LB and redshirt. I think it’s pretty obvious, he’d rather play TB than LB.

I hope it works for Richard though. He’s seems like a great kid with a team-first attitude. Hopefully it all works out for the best. Go Dawgs.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 15th, 2011
11:29 am

George, you are missing the point, but thats fine. I had a couple of good laughs about it yesterday, but I am finished talking about Tech and Probation. I honestly think the penalty was a little stiff, but they gambled on playing Bey Bey and it backfired on them. O well you can’t strip the memories of the season from Tech fans.

McDawg

July 15th, 2011
11:30 am

any word on K. Turene qualifying?

BMDPD

July 15th, 2011
11:30 am

The NCAA is the Debil, Bobby Boucher! Tech gets slammed for 300 bucks, Green sells a jersey and gets 4 games. Newton gets away with murder. The NCAA is FLAWED.

However, I do have to smile after reading a lot of integrity posts from the self-righteous tech posters on these blogs.