UGA signing Keith Marshall can only help Isaiah Crowell

Isaiah Crowell disappointed many fans and yet still was SEC freshman of the year. (Associated Press)

Isaiah Crowell disappointed many fans and yet still was SEC freshman of the year. (Associated Press)

The shift in UGA fan support away from Isaiah Crowell and toward Keith Marshall has been swift and decisive, at least online.

But I really don’t understand some folks’ penchant for viewing Georgia’s tailback situation next year as an either-or proposition where Marshall, the new golden boy, supplants Crowell, the disappointing former favorite.

Let’s keep some perspective here. Yes, the injury-prone Crowell rubbed many the wrong way to start with this season by frequently taking himself out of games after a couple of runs. Then there was the immaturity that manifested itself in a couple of suspensions.

And there definitely seems to be a bit of an attitude problem, evident when we saw Crowell turn his back on his head coach in the middle of a dressing down for drawing a penalty with his mouthing off during the SEC championship game. That’s something even the ever-patient Mark Richt shouldn’t tolerate.

But Crowell still ran well enough this season to be the SEC’s freshman of the year and the Dogs would not have 10 wins without him.

Keith Marshall says he'll enroll at UGA in January. (Associated Press)

Keith Marshall says he'll enroll at UGA in January. (Associated Press)

More importantly, Georgia will need to utilize the talents of both Crowell and Marshall next season and probably Richard Samuel, Boo Malcome and any other running back who is still on the roster.

LSU and its four-headed running attack is a prime example of what a successful SEC offense needs these days. Tailbacks get hurt; it’s just part of the game. If the talent gap between your starter and the backups is as stark as it was at Georgia this year, it puts you at a severe disadvantage (unless you’re playing Georgia Tech).

I believe Marshall competing with Crowell for playing time could be the best thing that has happened to Isaiah at UGA. But whichever one ends up the starter (and my money would be on a healthy Crowell), there’ll be plenty of carries for the other one. And if they’re both living up to their potential, well, Alabama didn’t do so badly splitting time between Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.

Georgia signing the nation’s most wanted tailback two years in a row will be quite an accomplishment, but it shouldn’t be a rarity. You can never have too many good tailbacks in the SEC and Richt and his staff should be signing a five-star running back every season.

Go Dogs!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

433 comments Add your comment

bobwilliams

December 7th, 2011
10:12 am

first…maybe

MIKE

December 7th, 2011
10:13 am

Look for dawgs to also sign Gurley and . Future of Malcome, Thomas is huge question mark and they need to upgrade the whole position

UGA Insider

December 7th, 2011
10:13 am

I’m worried about #1 for sure.

Agreed!!

December 7th, 2011
10:14 am

People need to get off of Crowell’s back, up until this year most incoming freshman were getting redshirted probably for maturity and growth. This year was different and helped out in a big way. The kid is good on the football field no matter how you look at it when healthy. Some people need to just stop and look in the mirror before they start throwing all those rocks.

Statick

December 7th, 2011
10:15 am

Statick

December 7th, 2011
10:15 am

Statick

December 7th, 2011
10:16 am

…oh well

GO DAWGS!!!

DAWGLIFER

December 7th, 2011
10:16 am

First! But I agree with you Bill 100%. Crowell is young and will benefit tremendously wit Coach T and the offseason training program.

Satchdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:19 am

Crowell just needs time……Lot of pressure for anybody coming in this season after last season’s record for UGA. With this class getting better, bright future ahead for the Dawgs.

Goat dawg

December 7th, 2011
10:19 am

Malcome ran pretty well in the sec championship game…let’s hope Marshall can protect the rock and not fumble…should have a pretty good running gamegping into next year but how to replace Ben jones Justin Anderson and especially Cordy glynn will be challenging…

Back Then

December 7th, 2011
10:20 am

Georgia appears to be getting its team first attitude back. These RB’s need to look back a few years. Remember having Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware, Mr. Brown together? Remember how our second and third sting RB’s like Olandis Gary, Terrell Davis, etc. got drafted and had successful careers. Work hard, take your best to the field, and scouts will notice. Your work will show on the field and at the combine.

huntdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:21 am

PaulUGA

December 7th, 2011
10:21 am

This kid is an upset. I can deal with injuries, as they are a part of the game. I cannot deal with immaturity and attitude issues. When i was at the SEC championship game last week, it was very clear that this kid is a PROBLEM. He did not put ANY effort in during warm ups and was constantly taking breaks, EVEN DURING WARM UPS. Also, from what I understand, Mr. Crowell has missed quite a few classes in the past weeks. I am betting we have some upcoming eligibility issues.

bjohndawg

December 7th, 2011
10:22 am

Great pick up. Dont discount Crowell. But you always need four or five good backs.
It was good to see Malcome running hard in the SEC game. NOW…we need some O linemen.
Maybe a JuCo or two that can compete right away for playing time.

coachx

December 7th, 2011
10:23 am

Crowell + Marshall will be lethal next year.

Crowell has my full support. Hopefully he is workling hard and can pass these final exams coming up.

GO DAWGS !

cb

December 7th, 2011
10:23 am

Comparing those pip squeaks (Crowell and Marshall) to beasts like Ingram and Richardson is laughable. And it is amazing how all of last year all you wanted was one back to step up and be the man like Lattimore and Hershel used to be. Now you are saying that the four back approach used by LSU is the way to go. Geeze. It’s all about the flavor of the week with you.

Georgia will learn one day to recruit good kids that want to work hard and “be the man” rather than use Rivals’ star system as the end all be all to their recruitment. Will see how Marshall pans out, but none of the SEC is too worried. Ya’lls recent track record with highly-rated backs speaks for itself. Moreno was the only back in the last 10 years that was of any note and he came from New Jersey and did it on ability alone. He overcame UGA coaching and S&C to be a good back.

Anywhoo – best of luck to you’s guys. I am turning my back on you now as you start to give me my verbal dress down.

HM

December 7th, 2011
10:24 am

Hope IC is on the road to gaining the maturity that he was evidently lacking this season. Time will tell whether he’s able to take advantage of the opportunity provided to him.

True Dawg

December 7th, 2011
10:24 am

Go dawgs there will be plenty of carrys for all of them

ARdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:25 am

Bill,

There has been much confusion it appears over Crowell’s “injuries” . Dings and pains are not necessarily “injuries”. Many footballers not just RBs play with dins , pains and have since the game began. Crowell has proven him self to be a bit on the soft side. From my experience many years ago, it’s a state of mind and all the physical condition won’t get him over it. He’s got to accept it psychologically. He hasn’t missed any games or playing time from “injuries”. Hopefully, you bloggers and writers will point that out.

That said, I like the rest of the free world recognizes the abundance of talent IC possesses. And I, like the rest of the world hopes that he gets his head on straight and grows out of his immaturity. Time is a wasting.

Marshall is going to make a great compliment no matter who is on the roster next year.

ole dawg

December 7th, 2011
10:27 am

uit stirring the pot Bill. Not certain that your pereception that majority of UGA fans turned their backs on IC is accurate. I read the blogs and and a heck of a lot of UGA fans have offered support for this 18 year old kid. Do you have IC’s medical records to know exactly what was ailing him. Maybe he is a lot tougher than some of you think. Also your vcomments about him turning his back on CMR are simply sensationalizing a small event that you quite frankly have no knowledge of. Have you interviewed CMR to know what was said during the exchange? Easy for a bunch of old farts to put this kid down but you should quit. He is a Bulldog and as long as he is I will stand up for him. Let’s not crucify our own. I trust CMR to handle IC. He needs to grow up but we all did at 18. I agree that KM and IC will be good for each other and … GLAD TO HAVE YOU AS PART OF THE BULLDOG FAMILY MR> MARSHALL!!! I am a Dawg and I will stand up for you if ever I am needed. GO DAWGS!

ARdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:27 am

cb

The grass is always greener on the other side huh? Maybe you should do some honest size comparisons before running your mouth in that manner.

Fridawg

December 7th, 2011
10:29 am

The BEST part of this scenario is the Marshall is an early enrollee and will get to practice with the team this Spring. I haven’t been too upset with Crowell. The cupboard was/is bare at the RB position, and we asked an 18 year old kid to take the FULL load. Our expectations need to be tempered with reality folks. Freshmen can’t be the sole RB on an SEC team. We’re getting better, and after this season, that’s really exciting to think about!

G

December 7th, 2011
10:29 am

I don’t see what the big problem is with Crowell…. Listen most 18 year old’s that I know are pretty immature, heck most adults I know are immature. He played very well… He admits he did not come in and get in shape like he should have… I believe that will change with a full season of off season workouts… This guy is a player and I agree Marshall helps with depth and adds a different weapon..

yeah c'mon

December 7th, 2011
10:30 am

Marshall is a great pick up for Georgia. Can’t wait to see him on the field.

Couldn’t agreee more with you Bill. This only makes Isaiah better. Any true UGA fan will still support Crowell.

Don in DC

December 7th, 2011
10:30 am

Nice job, Mr. King!

Dap01

December 7th, 2011
10:30 am

Crowell was freshman of the year. i bet he is a great back for the next couple of years at UGA and then off to the pros.

Crowell is extremely talented. One year of conditioning and he and Marshall will help lead UGA to the promise land.

Lewis Grizzard was King

December 7th, 2011
10:31 am

I dont think anyone should judge unless they’ve been in these young men”s shoes. God bless em and theyre futures in life first and foremost. Go Dawgs!!!

RiffRaff

December 7th, 2011
10:32 am

This is what Marshall’s coach said about him: “There was never a moment when it was about him. There was never a moment when he put himself above the team. He’s everything a coach dreams of coaching.”

Kind of kid CMR needs tor recruit.

Lewis Grizzard was King

December 7th, 2011
10:33 am

I also agree with Don. Nice article Mr. King

Deep Ball

December 7th, 2011
10:33 am

I love the fact that Georgia has more leverage to hold Crowell accountable with the addition on Marshall. Ealey couldn’t get his act together and having Crowell on board made it more feasible to show Ealey the door. Personally, I’m pulling hard for IC to get his act together. and I think the offseason competition with Marshall can help as well. However, if he continues to be an “energy vampire”, he and Ealey would make a great 1-2 punch at Jax State.

anotherdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:34 am

Rather than look at Marshall as Crowell’s replacement, I prefer to view him as a solid addition to a position of need. Now, if we can add some solid offensive linemen, a successful field goal kicker, and figure out punt coverages, maybe we can continue to improve, and hopefully have some “dream” seasons.

ARdawg

December 7th, 2011
10:34 am

Lewis

Cheer, criticize and praise is what fans do. I am not seeing anyone “turning their backs” to IC. It’s a fish bowl, like all big time college programs. I do not know one single UGA fan who is not pleased IC is a Bulldog.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 7th, 2011
10:37 am

Posted on Schultz blog that the three-four backs working together give UGA a boost at RB. Samuels having a full offseason at RB gives UGA a power back along with Malcome. Crowell gives UGA the combo of Power and Speed while Marshall will come in and give them the Speed impact at the position initially. UGA heading into 2012 looks primed to have RB as a strength for the team.

Snow Dawg

December 7th, 2011
10:39 am

I hope you are right about this motivating IC. Based on what we have seen so far from Crowell, Malcome, and Thomas it seems pretty far fetched to believe all of them will be back next year either because of suspensions, grades, or transfers. I hope they are all back but it I highly doubt it. The bottom line is the Dawgs need at least three RB’s in this years class with the expectation that 2 will likely have to play. IC is a freshman and will be given to opportunity mature but I suspect one more miss step from CT and he is gone…Malcome has already threatened to transfer once and now that Marshall is coming in I suspect he will leave…I hope not but I bet he will…

Coach

December 7th, 2011
10:39 am

You might look to the position coach for some of the on-field and off-field problems.

HBTD

December 7th, 2011
10:39 am

Bil – You’re dead on with your assessment. Great job!!

DawginTN

December 7th, 2011
10:40 am

Is there any chance that Marshall enrolling early will be able to watch practice with the Dogs for bowl preparation?

artful codger

December 7th, 2011
10:42 am

Got another good one as an early committ for 2013 too

To Hech with Tech

December 7th, 2011
10:44 am

LOVE the stab at Georgia Tech!!!

They deserve it!

Need For Dawgs

December 7th, 2011
10:45 am

Now go sign some 4 & 5 star offensive linemen and receivers that can catch the ball.

bitter thuggnificent dawg fan

December 7th, 2011
10:45 am

this kid wont be hanging out with—-crow-face—–no pot in his system—————–jeckal and hyde

——————-hahahahahahh——drama to come——-crow wont make it through spring

————————-bobo malcom will be the go too guy next fall—–he looked great late in the last

—————————- game.———————-you just cant tell if a kid will turn into a ros-ta-ferry-on

HBTD

December 7th, 2011
10:45 am

Tyron Jones out of Walton. Sure hope he’s on the Dawgs short list for 2013

faithfuldawg86

December 7th, 2011
10:46 am

Crowell will be fine, lay off. This kind of depth and a two-headed attack of Crowell and Marshall in the backfield is exactly what we need! Georgia isn’t called Tailback U for nothing… DGDs, both of them! I predict an SEC Championship next year for sure!!!!

Need For Dawgs

December 7th, 2011
10:47 am

Can Crowell give up his weed habit ? If he can then he can be a great running back. The dreadlocks seem to tell me he is a pothead for life…

faithfuldawg86

December 7th, 2011
10:47 am

@Bigger thug… Get a life and go post on a children’s blog – the grown ups are talking here.

maconbulldog

December 7th, 2011
10:49 am

I get so mad at some of us”fans” of the Dawgs. Almost a year ago most of us didn’t even think we had a chance to get Crowell …and heck we did now we think he sucks or not good….let it go man he is not Washun…who just …well is. Anyway…the kid is a Freshman let him grow up!!! Keith glad he is with us….hope it will make him grow up some..anyway Go Dawgs beat MSU

Newman

December 7th, 2011
10:49 am

Isabel Crowell will not be at UGA next year…

Need For Dawgs

December 7th, 2011
10:49 am

Ricky Williams had the dreadlocks and weed problem too ! There’s precedence.

ProudDawg

December 7th, 2011
10:51 am

Bill, great perspective and article. Give Crowell some time. I expect him to mature (just like most kids do in college) and continue to get better. He had an excellent freshman season, as evidenced by his award. It’s a learning and growing process.

Bob

December 7th, 2011
10:51 am

I seem to remember Knowshon taking quite a few plays off as well. It’s something that running backs do. Crowell being a freshman, he should take more plays off. If he were a senior, then you could make the argument that he needs to get better.