Seems like we’ve been here before.
Another Georgia tailback’s career derailed — probably ended — by his own actions. This time it’s Isaiah Crowell, arrested early Friday morning on three weapons charges.
For Crowell, his immediate suspension from the Georgia Bulldogs is the least of his troubles. Two of those charges are felonies.
Update: Crowell has been dismissed from the team according to an announcement Friday afternoon by Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt. “We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season,” Richt said. “Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort.” That was the coach’s only comment.
The 19-year-old from Columbus came to Athens as one of the most heralded recruits signed by the Bulldogs since you know who, but almost from the start the vibes were bad.
Word leaked out last summer that Crowell wasn’t in good shape and had skipped some workouts. Members of the team felt the need to pay him a visit and tell him he needed to get it in gear.
Once the season started, we saw that Crowell was every bit as talented as had been billed, but fans couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t exactly the hardest working kid on the field, frequently taking himself out of the lineup.
He hit his stride midseason, carrying the ball 30 times against Ole Miss for 147 yards, one of four 100-yard rushing games he had for the Bulldogs.
Then Crowell sat out the first quarter of the Vandy game for an unspecified rules violation and was suspended for the entire New Mexico State game along with some other teammates who reportedly failed a drug test.
Struggling with an ankle injury, Crowell was never the same after that, running only 15 times for 31 yards in the Dogs’ last four games, and he wound up being booed by fans at the Georgia Dome when he limped off the field during the SEC championship game.
Still, the 850 yards and five touchdowns he did manage were good enough for him to be named SEC freshman of the year, and the happy talk in the offseason was that he was a rededicated and more mature player He wound up the spring sharing the No. 1 tailback spot with Boo Malcome.
But apparently even the more mature Isaiah Crowell still figured rules didn’t apply to him, and so we get this sorry story of him being arrested for having a 9mm Luger with an altered ID number hidden under the seat of the car he was driving when stopped by a police roadblock in Athens. Sheer stupidity.
So, where does that leave the Dawgs at tailback? Pretty much where they were a year ago, with a relatively unheralded veteran likely to be the starter and a super-talented, highly recruited true freshman — this time Keith Marshall — in the wings.
Actually, Georgia is better off this time around, because Marshall started school early and has already been through spring drills and shown himself to be a hard worker. Plus, there’s another super-talented, highly recruited freshman joining the team in August: Todd Gurley.
Bottom line: Isaiah Crowell had the talent to be one of the best running backs in the nation, but never showed the desire and dedication to make that happen. While fans were hoping that competition from Malcome, Marshall and Gurley would spur him to live up to his potential, chances are the rising sophomore’s obvious strong sense of entitlement would have tripped him up in the end.
The Dawgs likely will be better off without him.
Feel free to share your own views of Georgia’s prospects at tailback, but please keep your comments civil and within the bounds of good taste or they’ll be removed and you’ll be banned from future commenting.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg