Fan talk: With or without Derrick Henry, Dawgs are stacked at running back

Competition should help spur Isaiah Crowell to greater heights this season. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Competition should help spur Isaiah Crowell to greater heights this season. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Let’s see what folks are talking about in the Junkyard Mail. …

Garrett Kee writes: Hey Bill, fall is getting closer and closer and I’m getting more excited as each day passes by, just gotta get through these DAWG days of summer! I wanted to see what you thought about all of our RBs. First off, right now do you think any will be redshirted? I keep telling people who are doubting the Dawgs this year to just watch out and I use the LSU of last year as my example. As LSU used a running back by committee and had four RBs each get 7 TDs a piece, my question to you is can Georgia sort of repeat that? Obviously with the MANY talented RBs we have, Crowell, Marshall, Gurley, Samuel, Harton, and Malcome can Georgia achieve such success you think? Even though our O-line is in question (isn’t that every year), I feel that if all our RBs can be effective, we can wear down many SEC defenses because that is a lot of fresh legs coming in. Just wanted to get your thoughts on that! Go Dawgs!

I’m of the same mind, Garrett. I think the addition of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley and the progression of Boo Malcome is going to be huge for the Dawgs this season, not only for what they can contribute themselves on the field but from what the competition with them will do to elevate Isaiah Crowell’s game. And I think you’re right to point to LSU last season as a prime example of what a team can do with four strong tailbacks. As for redshirting, considering how many backs it generally takes to get through a season, I’d be surprised if all of them don’t play this year.

Dooley Tate writes: Bill, what’s your take on Derrick Henry decommitting and the likelihood of him winding up at Alabama? What can Mark Richt and the Georgia staff do to stop Nick Saban from stealing our state’s best football talent?

I’m not as upset over the wavering of Derrick Henry as some folks are. Sure, from a perception standpoint it would hurt to have Bama (or anybody) poach our top-rated recruit, but the reality is that, as I noted above, Georgia is loaded at tailback, which is probably why Henry is looking elsewhere. Of course, Bama also is loaded at tailback, so if he does go there, he could wind up playing linebacker (which some analysts think is where he belongs anyway). As for what Georgia can do to stem the Tide in recruiting? Easy. Win the SEC. Or better yet, the BCS.

Are traditional elements like the band a key to the best game day atmosphere? (University of Georgia)

Are traditional elements like the band a key to the best game day atmosphere? (University of Georgia)

Matt McKinney writes: I am a UGA alum and currently a grad student at Mississippi State, and your column has helped sustain me through the dark spring and summer where all I hear about is these “other” Bulldogs; many thanks to you. I believe that a vibrant, authentic home atmosphere is the best recruiting tool available. I have noticed that the teams with the best home atmosphere, like Georgia, LSU, and Auburn, are the ones that maintain the “human element” to pre-game and in-game activities (e.g. focus on the band, team pre-game warm-ups, Dawg Walk), and the teams with the worst atmosphere, like Ole Miss — no disrespect to Grove-goers; they are super nice — seem to rely on canned music pumped in through speakers, scoreboard videos/graphics, and the P.A. to rile people. The latter is just boring, artificial, and ineffective, and reeks of an NBA game, and until Ole Miss, for example, can find a way to remedy that, they will never recruit well. What are the chances Georgia’s organizers are seduced by the convenience technology and pop-culture, and stray from what makes home games so darn exciting (big mistake, in my opinion)?

I think UGA already overdoes it a bit in terms of the canned pre-game music, but overall I think game day at Sanford Stadium features a pretty nice balance between the traditional on-field elements and use of the giant video screen to pump up the crowd. I really liked last season’s “this is Athens” video and I think using the players to deliver motivational messages to the crowd on the big screen is a good thing. I’d be interested in hearing what readers think of Sanford’s game day atmosphere, and if there’s anything you think needs changing.

Jim Cooney writes: It seems to me, and some of my Dawg friends, that since 2003, when Bartley Miller went out with shoulder problems, that we have been thin on the O-line. Sure, there have been some years where we had talent and depth, but generally speaking, it seems like we are lacking depth at O line. This year, 2 out of the now 19 commitments are O-linemen. Is there a reason why we do not consistently sign 4 to 5 linemen a year?

And Roy Brown writes: I’m a forever Georgia fan. Sure wish I felt better aout our O-line recruiting. We just lost out on 2 good prospects to South Carolina (uggh). It seems we struggle every year. Can’t someone address this problem, our track record is terrible. Does anyone give a flip? O-Line recruiting will make or break your team.

As I noted a few weeks ago, the offensive line has been a weak point for Mark Richt’s program in recent years and recruiting no doubt lies at the heart of that. Will Friend is only in his second year as OL coach and Georgia did manage to sign a five-star likely future OL star in John Theus (thank goodness!), but I’ve got to agree with you that it would appear a greater emphasis needs to be put on recruiting in that area. Since Richt can sign a larger than usual class this year, it’ll be disappointing, if not downright alarming, if there aren’t several offensive linemen in the class of 2013.

Jay Unger writes: Bill, in my view the current Georgia substance abuse suspension policy, while obviously well intentioned, is a case study in bad business and brand management. While I hate to use such corporate terms to describe collegiate athletics, it would be pretty quaint to ignore that aspect of it. Yet that seems to be what UGA is doing here. Andy Staples’ column, which was a refreshing island of honesty about UGA athletics in a sea of seemingly endless ridicule by the haters, puts everything in proper perspective. He pointed out the fact that the university is getting virtually zero cred for its stance on this issue. It seems to me that in the process it is rendering itself into an uneven competitive posture to virtually the rest of the conference and country. I know that doing the right thing shouldn’t be about receiving kudos, but from a business standpoint wouldn’t it be smarter to take this high road to the conference and beyond? In other words, be a force for greater change organizationally rather than unilaterally disarming to make a point.

Well said. For those who missed Staples’ Sports Illustrated piece, you can find it here. He wrote that “the Bulldogs’ substance-abuse policy is a prime example of the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished world of major college sports. Georgia tries to do the right thing by creating one of the toughest anti-drug policies in the nation, but that policy makes the Bulldogs the butt of jokes and could cost the football team wins.” He noted that it puts the program at a competitive disadvantage and harms the reputation of the school and its players. But athletic director Greg McGarity took a pretty firm stance. “If we get beat up for that, it’s fine,” McGarity told Staples, “because it’s the right thing to do” in trying to keep Georgia athletes from using drugs. I respect McGarity’s stance, but if that’s how Georgia’s going to continue to play it, then I think at the very least they need to go on a public relations offensive and campaign loud and long to get the SEC and/or NCAA to mandate a uniform policy. Frankly, I think it’s highly unlikely that such a policy would result, because it wouldn’t fit with other schools’ self-interest, but at least it would get UGA some positive attention to balance the unfortunate game suspensions that result from the school’s hard-line policy.

Jim Parry writes: Bill, Noticed an online AJC ad by the University of Florida trying to sell season and single game tickets. And so many must be available because the ad reads “Pick your seat for 2012.” This is funny on so many levels! First and foremost having to advertise in such a large manner in the first place. And advertise so far away as Atlanta, GEORGIA, and who knows where else! (regardless of an alumni base that got the heck out of that god-forsaken state. hehe). To be able to advertise to “pick” one’s seat sure gives the impression their ticket sales and/or fan support have substantially diminished! That will tell you where the state of their program is at the moment. UGA just typically has to worry about selling a few, extra tix a year to the non-competitive, non-conference foes that are on EVERY school’s schedule. And maybe wonder if a hung-over from Friday night, student body will show up on time for the big games or show up at all for the patsy games. But at least we know those seats are already sold. The Florida Lizards seem to have a totally different problem going on…..and I’ve just got one thing to say … HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

Since Florida has long been a practioner of the cupcake theory of nonconference scheduling that UGA has now adopted, perhaps this should serve as a cautionary tale for the folks at Butts-Mehre.

We’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week, so if you have something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg, send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

218 comments Add your comment

freedyg

June 16th, 2012
11:38 am

Destin Dawg

June 16th, 2012
11:54 am

Yes O LINE … then D backs

Destin Dawg

June 16th, 2012
12:02 pm

Yes Crowell… Boo Malcome coming on strong !!! Gurley , Harton, and Marshall with Samuel and Ogletree at FB.. go dawgs and did we mention 2 or 3 more Big Lovelies ( Not Uglies ) we need “em.. early playing time !! GGGOOOOOOO DAWGS !! this is the YEAR

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
12:03 pm

“the offensive line has been a weak point for Mark Richt’s program in recent years”

“Dawgs are stacked at running back”

Translation: It doesn’t really matter how many running backs you have if you also have an ineffective offensive line. But then again, I guess Richt knows this since he is being paid the big bucks, so he must have some sort of a plan.

GoForTwo

June 16th, 2012
12:10 pm

Make the recruiting of offensive linemen an incentive in the coaches contract. An extra $25,000 for each 5 star recruit should be a good start.

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
12:12 pm

Jay Unger – “While I hate to use such corporate terms to describe collegiate athletics”

Why Jay? Where have you been? College football is a corporate product and has been for quite some time now. Ask the president of any major university and also take a look at percentage of income that a football program generates. Your original comment is most accurate.

dale

June 16th, 2012
12:16 pm

And I repeat, bring back the black jerseys (for a night game or games, as someone else suggested), and make student tickets first come first serve at the gate on gameday, must be present.

chilidawg

June 16th, 2012
12:29 pm

I agree with all of your answers, Bill.

This is reality dreamers

June 16th, 2012
12:35 pm

You will lose to Vandy, SC, UF, Aub and Missou this year.

Rampdawg

June 16th, 2012
12:41 pm

This is reality dreamers

June 16th, 2012
12:35 pm

You will lose to Vandy, SC, UF, Aub and Missou this year.

——————————————————————————————————————

HAHAHAHAHA!! Don’t think so, but you will lose to us little bee

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
12:54 pm

STACKED?
Stacked like DEAD WOOD waiting to burn.
NO PROVEN RB’s as of yet.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
12:55 pm

Bring in White players Wearing Black jerseys caus it worked so well for the FALCONS wearing that same basic uniform.

GtDawg

June 16th, 2012
12:59 pm

Once Theus is in the mix, I see an Oline with lots of potential and enough depth. It will fall on the Oline’s attitude to succeed.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
1:03 pm

Theus is Molly Ringwald on roller skates but with bigger breasts.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
1:05 pm

Biggest Question is

Will Uga(title)IX be a girl DWAG finally?

Everybody knows ONLY GIRL teams win Championships at UGa.
Maybe a GIRL UgaIX can help the dWags win.

BigDawg

June 16th, 2012
1:05 pm

Remember, Derrick Henry committed to the Dawgs before the dynamic duo from NC!

GtDawg

June 16th, 2012
1:10 pm

Five star LB Reuben Foster has arrived at #UGA and is chatting it up with head coach Mark Richt.

01HAWK

June 16th, 2012
1:18 pm

As BAMA proved against LSU……………………The game is won on the DEFENSIVE side of the ball. It did not matter how many good backs LSU had.

BAMA held those so called great backs to 39 yards rushing, Great coaching and great defense wins games.

DIT

June 16th, 2012
1:20 pm

Very True about none of the RB’s doing anything……..yet.
I hate to lose Henry, but all is not lost. Focus needs to be on both sides of the ball when it comes to linemen. Need to find another strong nose guard to replace the two we have now. Need at least 3 Offensive linemen.
Look forward to see what happens after this weekend. I am not getting my hopes up about Foster. Then again, I thought ND was a Bama lock. I guess crazier things have happened.

GtDawg

June 16th, 2012
1:22 pm

Bama Lock lol

DIT

June 16th, 2012
1:25 pm

Yep, missed that one!

Ty

June 16th, 2012
1:29 pm

“Everybody knows ONLY GIRL teams win Championships at UGa.”

What a moronic statement, but i would expect nothing less from this tool. What does that say about tek when your team loses to you so-called girls team the past 10 out of 11.
Again, here we have another tek-mite that spends all day every day on UGA blogs because the envy hurts and runs so deep.
What’s really sad is that your envy & hate is for a team that has been average at best the past couple of years. Between you and not so Smart, I’m not sure who get’s the moron tek poster of the month……. OK, you do!

Humiliations for Kriby NOT So Smart and Hat Trick Nick.

June 16th, 2012
1:48 pm

Alabama fans ( locals calling themselves Bama fans) are very quiet, due to the humiliating drubbing they took at the hands of Coach Conn at Grayson HS> He sent his big named # 1 kid Robert Nkimdiche to his ALABAMA ROOMIE, DABO SWINNEY to play college ball at Clemson. Sad, as the Bama fans insisted that they locked up the young man. We shall see how well he does vs Tech’s vaunted Triple Option at D End. ACC? That is a joke. He ahd better hope that U of WVA does not re appear. What was that? 80 points???

Kirby Smart thought that he was locked up. Can you imagine being in Nick’s office Monday morning if you are Kirby??? WOW !!

Dogs are laughing loudly.

Snafu

June 16th, 2012
2:01 pm

1. Running back depth
We got 1 guy who scored 1 td in his last 7 games (Crowell)
Another who used to be a linebacker, now moved to fullback because he’s too slow (Samuel)
And then Malcome (never scored a td)
And then a bunch of guys with potential who have never rushed a yard or scored a td–RB’s at UGA usually don’t live up to the hype, rarely get a 1000 yard rusher

@snafu

June 16th, 2012
2:46 pm

Samuels 4.5 forty too slow? Fail to mention Crowell didn’t play very much in those last 7 games. Typical troll.

derekross

June 16th, 2012
2:48 pm

Bobo isn’t going to use the stable at running back. I doubt Gurly even sees the ball except for against the cupcakes. Marshall will probably only get 5-8 touches a game. Crowell to probably only get 15-20 and Malcome will come in and grab another 5 or so maybe.

Even with Knowshon Moreno, Bobo only ran him 15-20 times a game and let Stafford sling it 25-35 times. Bobo knows nothing about balance except to run an inside draw on 3rd and long.

tide roll

June 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

It’s not just Richt’s failure to sign offensive linemen, it’s his strange evaluation of those he does sign. Theus, Long, Long, Pyke,Andrews,and Bynum all played for private schools. You wonder if Richt Bobo and Friend are watching the same tape on these kids that we are. The level of competiiton is a joke. Even Lee Houston and Nardiello played at Buford, a AA school that competes against small enrollment schools like Lovett. If this wasn’t enough, they then fail to sign in state offensive lineman and in doing so actually strengthen the very opponents they need to beat. They did it for Alabama with James Carpenter and Chance Warmack, and they’ve done it again for Ga. Tech with Shamire Devive and Jeremi Hall. It’s insane, and it’s preventing you from getting where you need to be,while helping your competitors get where they want to be. It borders on negligence and makes you wonder if Richt, Bobo, and Friend really know what they’re doing.

Still@BoneShakers

June 16th, 2012
3:37 pm

1 win over the Dawgs since 2001?

Stacey

June 16th, 2012
3:39 pm

Don’t count on Crowell. He may not make it through the summer, and even if he does, he’ll be gone by mid-season, booted off the team for failing a drug test, DUI, or something else.

When you recruit low class, that’s exactly what you get.

Don't want your advice, tide roll

June 16th, 2012
3:42 pm

Since you have made it plain you do not have UGA’s best interest at heart. The linemen Richt has recruited have done very well against your Jackets over the years. Saban seems to like private school linemen, but then again you would know that if you bothered to look at Bama’s roster.

UGA National championships

June 16th, 2012
3:49 pm

Men only- baseball 1, football 2, golf 2, tennis 6. How many other SEC schools have won 11 NCs in 4 different sports? Dogs have nearly 140 SEC titles with well over half coming from the men. UGA fans are proud to have an athletic program that is not a one trick pony. Women have NCs in golf, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
3:58 pm

UGA National championships……

Men only- baseball 1, football 2, golf 2, tennis 6. How many other SEC schools have won 11 NCs in 4 different sports? Dogs have nearly 140 SEC titles with well over half coming from the men

TRY again…………..Come back after TITLE IX and give those Numbers…….

Still@BoneShakers

June 16th, 2012
4:01 pm

GT: ACC Champs 2009!!

Oh wait, it was stripped because they cheated, I forgot.

PS. They still lost to the Dawgs that year with their ineligible players…..

UGA National championships again

June 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

How does that change the number of NCs won by UGA men’s teams? Women have 17 NCs in gymnastics, golf, tennis and swimming. I am proud of our overall athletic program at UGA. Please name a MEN’s program in the SEC that can equal 11 NCs in a MINIMUM of 4 different sports as the Dogs have done. Not saying UGA is in a class by themselves in the SEC, but it doesn’t take long to call roll.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
4:19 pm

Still@BoneShakers………..Cheated? You don’t READ too GOODZ either……..Did less than AJ GREEN or Ohio St……………NCAA is the JOKE we ALL agree on.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
4:22 pm

UGA National championships again……..nice…….Minimum of 4 sports……..AHHHAHHAAH Did all the OTHER SEC school field teams in ALL those 4 Sports at the same time? TRY #’s when ALL SEC teams had those 4 teams you call the Minimum.

just a fan

June 16th, 2012
4:27 pm

I have recently been transferred to Tampa fl and have two season tickets for sale email me at fantasynfl3100@yahoo.com if interested.

NCs again

June 16th, 2012
4:28 pm

I think every SEC school has been fielding tennis, golf, baseball, and football (4 sports with UGA NCs) for decades. I am guessing at least 60-70 years. And I did not specify those 4 sports, just name an SEC men’s program with 11 NCs in at least 4 sports, could count track, basketball, etc.

Hearing good things out of Athens

June 16th, 2012
4:31 pm

Tunsil and Foster there, along with top 2014 prospect Raekem McMillian (who Dogs lead for). Also hearing good news about 5* DL Montravious Adams, who is not in town this weekend, but in Tuscaloosa.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
4:33 pm

NCs again
Here is WHY UGa wins in women’s sports and not men’s
Richt & Bobo couldn’t fill Yoculan’s Jock strap without a rolled up Gym Sock
Ane she is a DRUNK ADULTERER.

March 26, 2006

Finebaum Interviews Yoculan / Gym Dogs Win SEC
First off, the Gym Dogs won the SEC…again….the 6th time and 7 years. Congrats to the Gym Dogs.

That’s all well and good, but if you want a real comedy check Suzanne’s interview with Finebaum before the tourney last week (if that link doesn’t work go here). She talks about her personal rivalry with Sarah Patterson at Alabama. Paraphrase:
Paul Finebaum: It always seems like Sarah Patterson comes off as the goodie two shoes and you’re the evil one. In wrestling terms you’re the masked woman, and she’s Shirley Temple.

Suzanne: The media started some of it. I’m definitely more spontaneous than Sarah. Even in press conferences, she’s more calculated, protective and careful, and I’m more spontaneous.

Sometimes I’ll stick my foot in my mouth, but I say what I feel. If I think my team is unbeatable or whatever, I’ll usually say so. There have been some times where we’ve beaten them and she has said things about equipment, the bars, or judging or whatever.

Whatever, winners make adjustments. So we go back and forth alot, and I probably fuel the fire more with my comments. She’s able to keep her Shirley Temple persona, but if you listen to who says what a lot of it starts in Alabama.

I don’t mind being the Darth Vader team of the SEC. In fact, 10 years ago we made the decision to just embrace that Darth Vader image, and we wear black everywhere we go on the road. We’re an aggressive, confident team. That’s our style. That’s my style. I like enthusiasm. I like excitement. We’ve won a lot of championships because of that.

I don’t believe in failure. I’d rather go out on a limb now and have it break once and a while than to never go out there. That’s just my approach. It’s offensive to some people, but it wins for Georgia. So I recruit athletes who can embrace going for it.

We’re like Steve Spurrier vs. Georgia. No one in Georgia likes Spurrier because he beats us a lot. (PWD: Inferring that no one in Bama likes them b/c they never beat Georgia anymore).

Sarah is more of a southern lady than I am. She does and says the right thing, and has better manners than I do. But that’s not my style. I say what I think.

I respect her. She’s had the same challenges at Bama that I have had at UGA.

I don’t use nouns when I can use verbs. I don’t call my team “underachievers.” I say that they are “underachieving.” I don’t call Sarah Patterson a “loser,” I said “don’t gripe about losing.” I don’t hate anything but cauliflower and turnips.

I have never had a girl transfer away from Georgia in my entire career. What other coach in any sport at any school can say that?

The entire interview is a blast. Honestly, I could do without Suzanne’s off the field antics related to Don Leebern, but I really do get a kick out of the Steve Spurrier personality. I enjoy the smack talk, and I think it has added tremendous interest to women’s gymnastics in college. She has made the rivalry with Bama what it is. It’s fun, and she’s having a blast with it. Plus, she’s one helluva a coach.

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
4:38 pm

UGA National championships -

June 16th, 2012
3:49 pm

How many other SEC schools have won 11 NCs in 4 different sports?

Answer: The University of Florida with 14 in 5 different sports

Football – 3; Basketball – 2; Golf – 4; Track – 3; Swimming – 2

Still@theKool-aidBAR

June 16th, 2012
4:41 pm

SSI…BUT BUT Track and Swimming are not BASEBALL!
LOL

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
4:50 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR -

I do have to give credit where credit is due though. UGA certainly has nore dumb, fake blond, drunk girls than UF. They win that one hands down. I can’t even think of another school that is a close second.

@SSigator

June 16th, 2012
4:51 pm

Thanks for putting some numbers down. I suspected Florida was the school that could meet my challenge, and to clarify my point- I did not limit it to just the NCs in sports UGA men had won, but count basketball, track, baseball, all of them, just show me FOUR or more sports, and SSigator did that.

My point has been that UGA has an overall sports program that is well-rounded, and competitive in many sports, men and women, and would stack up well in the SEC and nation when considering OVERALL athletic success. Obviously, UGA does not match Bama in football, LSU in baseball, LSU and Arkansas in track and field, Kentucky in basketball, UT in women’s basketball, Florida in women’s tennis, Auburn in men’s swimming, etc. I have tried to list the SEC leaders to my knowledge in various sports. In that regard, UGA is clearly the SEC’s best in men’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, possibly women’s swimming.

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
4:52 pm

NCs again -

Thanks for playing. Come back again real soon.

KJ

June 16th, 2012
4:54 pm

Kudos again, AJC, on letting pathetic loser trolls like SSI and Koolaid make the blogs unreadable.

chazzo

June 16th, 2012
5:02 pm

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh my!

A couple of recruits decommitted. A couple of players smoked weed. We have an easy schedule. We can’t beat Florida twice in a row. Our line is young. We have a new kicker. Should we wear black jerseys?

Why do we Dawg fans have such an inferiority complex? None of this stuff matters.

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
5:03 pm

KJ -

Why don’t you go watch the College World Series. It is starting in just a minute. UF is the 9;00 pm game vs. South Carolina. The early game at 5:00 pm is Arkansas vs. UGA, isn’t it? No, wait a minute – scratch that – it is Arkansas vs. that other powerhouse in college baseball – Kent State. Enjoy watching.

Sugar Hill Dawg

June 16th, 2012
5:16 pm

The Gators are pulling a “Four Cokes, Four Dogs, etc.”? Anyone have a link to the ad? I’d love to see it and compare how it looks to the folks at the Joke by Coke.

SSIgator

June 16th, 2012
5:16 pm

chazzo -

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh my!

“The Wizard of Athens”

Starring:

Mark Richt as “The Scarecrow”

Mike Bobo as “The Tinman”

AD Mr. McGarrity as “The Lion”

and also Isabel Crowell as Dorothy