Washaun Ealey: From UGA freshman star to yesterday’s man

Washaun Ealey on his big night against Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Washaun Ealey at work against Georgia Tech in 2010. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

A year ago, Washaun Ealey’s departure from Georgia would have been big news. Today it’s news, but not nearly so big. A year ago, Ealey was the freshman who ran down a Top 10 Georgia Tech team at Bobby Dodd Stadium. In the days since he’d become the guy who kept getting suspended, and then, not incidentally, the guy who’d been rendered almost irrelevant by the tide of time.

Ealey led Georgia in rushing last season, which guaranteed him nothing once Isaiah Crowell signed his letter of intent. In a cruel way, a 21-year-old junior-to-be had already become yesterday’s man.

There were moments when you thought Ealey would be, if not the next Herschel Walker, then maybe the new Musa Smith. Ealey can hit a hole and break a tackle. But he became more a liability than an asset last season by fumbling twice on the goal line and via his vehicular misadventure in the parking garage.

Then he managed to get suspended on Feb. 8, 2011, which was a bad time for an incumbent tailback to get himself suspended. Only six days earlier, the famous Crowell had joined the Dream Team.

It’s unclear what finally led to this parting, but the rumors of Ealey leaving — or being asked to leave — had circulated for months. You can understand it from Mark Richt’s perspective: This is a huge season for the Bulldogs, and distractions of any sort won’t be welcomed. And that, sorry to say, is what this gifted back from Emanuel County Institute had become.

On Nov. 28, 2009, Washaun Ealey was the man — along with Caleb King, who has had issues himself — who helped prove Georgia still ran this state. On May 9, 2011, Ealey is a Bulldog no longer.

By Mark Bradley

309 comments Add your comment

missouridawg

May 9th, 2011
8:47 pm

First and sad

Steve

May 9th, 2011
8:47 pm

good luck to him.

Mark Bradley

May 9th, 2011
8:49 pm

Kudos, missouridawg.

Sean in a car

May 9th, 2011
8:53 pm

RxDawg

May 9th, 2011
8:54 pm

This is not shocking. What a waste.

J Clay

May 9th, 2011
8:56 pm

Why give unconditional release? Doesn’t that make him eligible next year?

LC Dawg

May 9th, 2011
8:57 pm

I wish him the best.

Sometimes we need to sit back and remember these are KIDS, and kids do stupid things and are hard headed when it comes to accepting responsibilities.

I will always remember the “Revenge Game” in Atlanta in 2009. He may have even been a victim of his own success in that game. Who knows.

He likely ends up in Statesboro with his buddy, Dexter Moody. And those very Eagles will be back in Athens on Nov 17th, 2012…… just before Armageddon.

Addition by subtraction….. we hope.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Buh Bye, Wash-Out

May 9th, 2011
9:00 pm

One less worthless punk in Athens. Now get rid of the other punk, Caleb King.

Kate

May 9th, 2011
9:02 pm

Ealey was like cancer to this team. I can’t imagine another BCS school risking a scholarship on him.

Good riddance to him!

Steve

May 9th, 2011
9:03 pm

Sad??? This is a good thing! We don’t need people like this on the team. Hopefully he will never play in the NFL. Waste!

DAWG

May 9th, 2011
9:05 pm

Some kids just don’t understand the big picture. All he had to do was follow the rules and play football, I guess he thinks the grass is greener away from Athens. As someone stated he will probably end up with his buddy in Statesboro.

RedPantsDawg

May 9th, 2011
9:06 pm

I would have bet King would have been kicked off the team before Ealey. Hope Crowell is as good as his hype. We don’t stand much of a chance running Carlton Thomas up the middle behind a line that can’t block.

Jerry

May 9th, 2011
9:06 pm

Ealey had a better per carry average at Georgia than Herschel Walker and the same td to rush ratio as Walker, 1 per 20.

Ealey won 100% of the games where Richt trusted him with 20+ carries.

Ealey saved Richt’s job in 09′ with a game against Tech, and again last season in a 5 td game against Kent.

Ealey outproduced Caleb King 5 to 1 in td’s last year, and was STILL rotated.

Ealey broke all of Herschel Walker’s records in High School, and beat Walker’s per carry average in college.

Ealey was one of 4 rb’s in the NCAA to score 11 td’s on 160 carries or less lastr seaosn, matching Moreno’s 14 to 1 run per td ratio..

Hammer Bammer

May 9th, 2011
9:07 pm

Save this article Mark so you can reprint it in 2 years and replace the name with Isaiah Crowell.

USMC DAWG

May 9th, 2011
9:07 pm

How can these morons keep doing stupid crap? They are getting a free education, all they have to do is play ball, and act like a decent human being. Dumba$$es…

Jerry

May 9th, 2011
9:10 pm

Richt announced Crowell as the starter, just like he announced Joe Cox the starter over Gray, before they competed.

You just can’t keep elite players if you practice blatant ENTITLEMENT, like Mark Richt does.

You bench Ealey for a turnover, yet Murray commits 4 and slides.

You indefinately suspend Ealey for missing some quirky punishment run, based off watching a video, where Joe T thought Ealey didn’t give 100%, like AJ Green was known for packing on weight in the weight room?

Ealey’s too good to be rotated with Caleb King.

jdawg

May 9th, 2011
9:11 pm

Maybe he did not like CMR running his mouth at the Bulldog meetings!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Dave

May 9th, 2011
9:14 pm

Jerry, Ealey had a knack for fumbling at key points in the game, like on the one yard line. Add this, and an uncanny ability to get into to trouble or not follow the rules, and even a guy with his talent ends up like this. He has no one to blame but himself. Hope he gets his life turned around….

REGGIE

May 9th, 2011
9:20 pm

Expect an announcment from Hutson Mason before the seaosn starts if Mason’s smart.

Mason will never start a game as long as mUrray’s around.

Call Mettenberger. Call Gray. Call Ealey.

Legend of Len Barker

May 9th, 2011
9:23 pm

Methinks that UGA’s semester just ended and Ealey’s just been let go are not coincidental.

Herschel Talker

May 9th, 2011
9:25 pm

TYPICAL MARK RICHT. HE LOOKS LIKE A FOOL TELLING THE WORLD THAT WASHAUN IS SUSPENDED, THEN HE IS BACK, THEN HE IS SUSPENDED, THEN HE IS BACK, FINALLY HE IS BOOTED. SABAN WOULD HAVE BOOTED THIS IDIOT A YEAR AGO. HECK, WASHAUN DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR HIS PENALTY RUN, AND EVEN THEN RICHT DIDN’T BOOT HIM. WHAT A JOKE.

THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE BEING FOOLED BY THE IDEA OF A “NEW” MARK RICHT STILL DON’T GET IT. WE WILL NEVER RECOVER UNTIL THIS DOOFUS, WHOSE PLAYERS LAUGH AT HIS “DISCIPLINE,” IS GONE. IT ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE.

The Grinch

May 9th, 2011
9:29 pm

I hate it that he couldn’t get his act together, and wish him good luck wherever he winds up. No need to be nasty.

Falcorave

May 9th, 2011
9:30 pm

i say good riddance. i mean, we’re gonna have some problems with consistancy on both sides of the ball this year, but i really feel that this opens up an opportunity for us to see if Crowell will live up to the hype earlier, so we may be able to form a backup plan.

JacketFanMarcus

May 9th, 2011
9:35 pm

UGA recruits thugs…plain and simple.

Tech recruits players based on athletics and character. I”ll take that anyday…

Elvis is dead and so is Osama

May 9th, 2011
9:35 pm

and so is the UGA football program. Mark Richt’s boys home is really starting to unravel.

The Original WDE

May 9th, 2011
9:36 pm

You are thinking of Clowney committing to SCar on the 14th… Crowell was on Feb 2nd according to Rivals and if my memory serves me correctly.

Barry

May 9th, 2011
9:36 pm

Phil

May 9th, 2011
9:37 pm

Some of you guys sure are harsh. It’s football, morons. Get a life. I go after these guys too sometimes but please.

JOHN CHEEK

May 9th, 2011
9:37 pm

If you don’t want to be a Dawg and are scared of competition, good riddance.

Bulldogs blog killed the anon poster

May 9th, 2011
9:40 pm

Its time to clean house and get rid of these clowns in Athens. Coaches getting raises for a 6 – 7 season and losing to Mickey Mouse U in the Liberty Bowl. Continuing to recruit players with charcter issues. This is just plain comical as hell.

Bawbie

May 9th, 2011
9:41 pm

Fire Dave Perno and Mark Richt too!

Ready

May 9th, 2011
9:42 pm

A true freshman running against boise in his first big game? Um that’s spells TROUBLE.
Won’t be surprsied at all to see 2-3 fumbles by him.

Falcorave

May 9th, 2011
9:43 pm

to all the haters of the haters, i have to say i agree with you
think about this: less than three years ago, Ealey was in nowheresville, GA, running the rock. I mean, there has to be a little bit of a culture shock and a competition level spike. Some are able to handle it, and some aren’t. Even though Ealey wasn’t one that could handle it, i still am able to wish him luck at another football institution because he’s a kid and all kids deserve second chances.
thats one of the things thats admirable about Richt, Herschel Talker, he gives his kids a chance or two because all college kids have a little bit of a bonehead in them. Saban loses out on great players and discourages them. Football coaches need to be teachers as well, maybe even before being a head football coach. Mark Richt makes players better men leaving campus, and that’s a coach i’d like to play for some day.

frannie mae

May 9th, 2011
9:45 pm

Like Tarkenton said” UGA ia in BIG BIG trouble”.

George Stein

May 9th, 2011
9:48 pm

I hope he gets his life and priorities straightened out. Just a waste of tremendous physical tools.

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
9:49 pm

Tarkenton missed English class.

Dick Butkus

May 9th, 2011
9:49 pm

Mark Richt is paid to coach a football team and win championships period! I get sick of him coddling players and running a boys home. Im tired of the excuses and I want to see some trophies , rings and championships.

frannie mae

May 9th, 2011
9:50 pm

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
9:51 pm

Falcorave,

Maybe a competition level spike, but Athens = nowheresville, GA on its best day. That is one of the reasons UGA’s mba program is falling behind Ga State.

George Stein

May 9th, 2011
9:52 pm

Mark, does UGA place standard restrictions limiting the schools he can transfer to? I know most schools don’t allow the SA to transfer to a conference rival or a school on the schedule but was wondering what Ealey’s options were.

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
9:54 pm

George, I believe if he was unconditionally released (based on reports), he can transfer to any FBS school as long as he sits out a year. If he still have a redshirt season, then that is not a problem. LSU has been known to take players with character issues.

George Stein

May 9th, 2011
9:56 pm

Thanks, Freddie.

Please don’t go bankrupt. Again.

Rabun Dawg

May 9th, 2011
9:56 pm

Well stated Falcorave. Good luck to Ealey, maybe Ga. Southern would be a good fit for him. Some of these kids from small towns do encounter a culture shock and just cannot handle all the glitter and glamour of the big school life. Although he did not handle his adversity well, no need to pounce on him. Hopefully he will learn from this and somehow be better off when he gains some maturity.

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
9:56 pm

glitter and glamour in athens? hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. thanks for that.

George Stein

May 9th, 2011
9:56 pm

Actually, Ealey would probably be a great B-back in the Paul Johnson offense down at Southern, Rabun Dawg. Probably a good place for him to get himself straightened out.

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
9:58 pm

Be nice, George. I only went bankrupt because certain politicians made me loan money to certain people that were clearly unable to pay.

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
10:00 pm

Actually, from fan of a team that is not uga (obviously), I belive ealy would have done well at Ohio State where problems are swept under the rug and the coaches are willing to lie rather than discipline.

Join the list

May 9th, 2011
10:00 pm

oh yeah forgot Boo Whooo tooo.

Rabun Dawg

May 9th, 2011
10:01 pm

Freddie Mac, I really doubt that Ealey cared what UGA’s MBA program was like, so what’s your point?

Freddie Mac

May 9th, 2011
10:03 pm

My pint is that being a cow college is not glamorous and is now hurting students chances of getting decent paying jobs.