Isaiah Crowell: Once again, he’s the ‘missing man’ for UGA

Isaiah Crowell gets a hug after scoring against Tennessee. (AP photo)

Isaiah Crowell is about to be hugged after scoring against Tennessee. (AP photo)

Georgia wanted Isaiah Crowell so much it committed a secondary violation to get him. It had 10 incumbent Bulldogs array themselves, in uniform, in an offensive set, and it had Crowell, who was on a recruiting visit, take his place in the backfield. This, Georgia was saying, is where you can be next season. (It was also a breach of byzantine NCAA rules.)

And, at least for part of the time, that’s where Crowell has been this season — ensconced as Georgia’s No. 1 tailback. He leads the team in rushing and has had three 100-yard games. He has also gone missing during games so often we’ve all taken to wondering what’s really going on. Is he taking himself out of the game because he’s tired? Does he get injured that often? Are the coaches holding him back? If so, why?

After Crowell didn’t play in the first quarter against Vanderbilt, Mark Richt told a halftime interviewer the freshman had been withheld “because we love him.” (”Undisclosed disciplinary reasons” were the real explanation, apparently.) On Tuesday, after Richt’s regular media briefing had concluded, Georgia announced that Crowell was one of three tailbacks — third-stringer Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome are the other two — who have been suspended for Saturday’s game against New Mexico State. No specific reason was given.

Thus will the Bulldogs be minus four tailbacks Saturday: Richard Samuel was hurt against Florida and has undergone ankle surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the regular season. But the greater issue is Crowell, of whom so much was expected. To be fair, he has come close to justifying the massive hype that preceded him, but the stop-and-start nature of his season — now you see him; now you don’t — has led some to wonder if he’ll be a Bulldog long.

Some cast Isaiah Crowell as the recruit who was going to save Richt’s job, and clearly the freshman has done his part to lift the Bulldogs to 6-2 and second place in the SEC East. But there have been warning signs over those eight games that make us ask: Will the “missing man” turn out to be more trouble than he’s worth?

By Mark Bradley

479 comments Add your comment

misterwax

November 1st, 2011
4:36 pm

first. and might be the best day vs. the Aggies… no big deal.

J.J.M.

November 1st, 2011
4:36 pm

dbc

November 1st, 2011
4:36 pm

At this point, yes…

Honey Badger

November 1st, 2011
4:38 pm

No big Whoop. Dawgs roll Aggies 50-7.

BillytheKid

November 1st, 2011
4:38 pm

Mark Bradley

November 1st, 2011
4:38 pm

Kudos, misterwax.

steve

November 1st, 2011
4:39 pm

Strike 2!!!!

FOIA Request?

November 1st, 2011
4:40 pm

Chuck & Chernoff were talking about rumors of failed drug tests LAST WEEK. It seems awfully convenient that these guys are serving a “1 game suspension” on the week of the New Mexico State game. Why not Florida? I was starting to believe that Richt was serious about weeding out the “bad apples” and “energy vampires”. Perhaps not…

GT Fan

November 1st, 2011
4:42 pm

UGA fanbase typical…no big deal.

Three of your players are suspended for a game for violating rules but it’s against NMSU so it’s no big deal. Sure for a football game it’s no big deal, but for the chemistry of the team and Crowell’s lack of discipline it IS a big deal.

Tom

November 1st, 2011
4:42 pm

Last week’s rumor was a coincidence….nothing more.

*snicker*

gregg

November 1st, 2011
4:43 pm

Crowell needs to grow up fast and UGA needs to sign Keith Marshall!

SimpleDawg

November 1st, 2011
4:45 pm

Stupid is as Stupid does – Alabama Alum, Forrest Gump.

I’m surprised these idiots’ involuntary reflexes haven’t shut down due to lack of sufficient brain activity.

Crowell will be another idiot who wasted a lot of talent and a great opportunity because he is so self absorbed that he can’t conform enough to stay out of trouble.

Sad.

dawgster

November 1st, 2011
4:45 pm

Unfortunately I heard rumors about some attitude problems before he got here, but to be fair every major college football team that thought thy had a sot at him wanted him badly…..I don’t know what’s going to happen with him, but I would think he is making a lot of people nervous…Yes hes is youn but at some point do you realize that its always going to be something. Of course for all the haters, lets keep in mind haow many chances Garcia got from Spurrier and yes as dawg fans we blasted him for that, LSU has had issues and we blasted the way they handled it, os dawg fans expect the critics to come out in force and bash Coach Richt and our program….We may not ever know the true timeline of the events of the drug screening alothough from all I have heard and read, they were suspicions last week but you have to confirm these test before you throw someone under the bus….Hopefully proper procedures were followed and according to our AD, they were, but some will not believe it, so we live with that.
As far as Malcome, I would say he probably sealed his own fate, I hpoe not, but I can see it happening. Maybe we expect too much out of these young men, they come in here usually as the stars of their high schools and then thorow into the limelight…Not excusing it, but maybe we shouldnm’t be surprised. One thing for sure…we need the Rb’s that we are after in this recrruiting class to come on board because there are plenty of opportunities in our backfield….go dawgs

GT Alum

November 1st, 2011
4:47 pm

“because we love him.” – lol

LCDawg

November 1st, 2011
4:47 pm

I’m sure it’s synthetic weed…just like th idiots at LSU. Gotta love how stupid these idtiots are. Recruit 2-3 running backs every year and let them compete for the starting job every year.

Bremen Dawg

November 1st, 2011
4:47 pm

ESPN is reporting they failed a drug test. I hope Crowell gets his head on straight.

GTBob

November 1st, 2011
4:48 pm

To be fair, if I was Richt I probably would have delayed the punishments until the cupcake week as well. It’s very shady and unethical but when your job is on the line you do things you might not normally do.

Dawgfan

November 1st, 2011
4:49 pm

FOIA Request…even without Crowell or any of the other two running backs that are suspended we still wouldve beat Florida. Obviously you didnt watch the game, Samuels was the difference at tailback.

Bremen Dawg

November 1st, 2011
4:49 pm

Kudos Mark for a “ok” article.

Summit Dawg

November 1st, 2011
4:49 pm

Appears someone isn’t coming forward with the “total truth!”……ESPN reports the test were given Thursday…….Maybe Richt really did need this win???? Just sayin’!!!! Where’s Washaun now????

Paddy

November 1st, 2011
4:49 pm

As John Wayne once said, “life is hard, especially when you are stupid” .

T3

November 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

The biggest challenge St. MArk has had to overcome at UGA,
is he has had to become a PROLIFIC LIAR…just to keep lid
on that Cesspool.

Richt aint a bad guy. He just has to deal with so many idiots & rednecks…all the time.

chickenman

November 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

not a big deal…he needs a week off anyways so stop trying to spin a story… uga can beat NMSU with your mother at rb

Paddy

November 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

Summit Dawg…..Washaun is playing 2nd string in Div 1AA.

Dawgs42-tech34

November 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

At least it was a cupcake like New Mexico State or georgia tech, would not want IC1 to be out against a decent defense like Auburn.

Mark Bradley

November 1st, 2011
4:51 pm

Samuel was big in the fourth quarter against the Gators, but Crowell did have 81 yards for the game. (Samuel had 58.)

Herschel Mocker

November 1st, 2011
4:53 pm

Let me back to Georgia!!!! I will run the rock for us and I will win us the SEC Championship

Bonnie

November 1st, 2011
4:54 pm

Crowell:
Thug
Punk
Dopehead
Me first

Just get rid of this jerk now before he embarrasses the team any more.

BBQMAN

November 1st, 2011
4:56 pm

more of the same Ol uga BS of suspending players when it’s convienient….LOL

Bama Mike

November 1st, 2011
4:56 pm

From experience results from random drug testing is usually back in 24 hours. Crowell has not been that much of a difference maker I have been more impressed with Jarvis Jones and Malcom Mitchell.

James

November 1st, 2011
4:56 pm

I hope Isaiah has a great 3 years at Georgia(he will leave early)but he’s starting to remind me of Washaun Ealy.Let’s just hope it’s lack of maturity and and having to ajust to not being the biggest fish in the bowl.

dap01

November 1st, 2011
4:56 pm

Crowell has more hair than maturity. There needs to be more substance than his style.

Come on Crowell, transferring to Jacksonville State is not all that fun.

george

November 1st, 2011
4:57 pm

what a shocker. Just another of many examples that UGA is the most classless program in the country from top to bottom.

Another bitter pill

November 1st, 2011
4:57 pm

If you thought Ealey and King were more trouble than they were worth…

DePort

November 1st, 2011
4:58 pm

This is seriously getting annoying…

Riddy

November 1st, 2011
4:58 pm

Tests were administered last week, results this week. Don’t assume the worst. Injury and suspensions this year have proved one thing…UGA is pretty deep at most positions. Running back may be the exception but we will see if some red shirts come off this week. Perhaps we are deeper than we think. Hear Richt will sign a 5 year deal after New Mexico game? Anyone else hearing that? Seems that AD is happy with improvement and wants to save recruiting–so a long-term contract is the only answer. Lots of folks on the fence waiting to hear if Richt will return. Even with a lot of Richt haters on the blogs there are a lot of parents who want their sons to play for Richt. So, unless something weird happens, I imagine that a long term contract is around the corner.

dean

November 1st, 2011
4:58 pm

Sounds like Crowell is down to his third strike.

NO player is bigger than the team. If he’s going to be a problem child send him on down the road.

Bama Mike

November 1st, 2011
5:00 pm

Understand why the family wanted him under the intimadating eye of Saban who has already booted two off. Notice the limited problems under Grantham. Washington manned up took his punishment learned from it and now leads by example.

FOIA Request?

November 1st, 2011
5:00 pm

Dawgfan, who knows? And as Bradley pointed out, Crowell did have 81 yards in that game. But even if you “would have won” without these three RBs, Richt certainly wouldn’t have known that at the time he made the “convenient” decision to delay these suspensions until the week of the Cupake U game…just saying.

bill

November 1st, 2011
5:00 pm

Who recruits these knuckleheads? Oh yeah, CMR & his crack staff…Crowell has quickly morphed into Ealey/King II!

Denver Dawg

November 1st, 2011
5:00 pm

it’s not about beating New Mexico State without him – it’s about him being another cancer on the team.

Believe it or not, gaytors and haters, lots of UGA fans want this mess to stop, too!

Dennis

November 1st, 2011
5:01 pm

UGA has aleady counted this one Saturday as a win. Stranger things have happened so don’t count it yet. The Georgia way is obviously an undisciplined way. By the way, have the guts to anounce this at your weekly press conference. Is Richt running for office or coaching a ball team.

reality check

November 1st, 2011
5:01 pm

Coach Richt keeps extending grace and that is the opportunity to grow up and be a man.

He’s getting his chances but they will soon run out. Now is the time to be a man or maybe better put “be a DAWG”

Each of these RB’s have a running total of mistakes so the ice is getting thin. NOW is the time to wake up before it’s too late if it that line hasn’t already been crossed.

Dawg Whisperer

November 1st, 2011
5:01 pm

GTBob… its generally a good idea to wait for all the facts to come out before casting aspersions. You don’t know what MR knew before the Gator game. GT hasn’t exactly been a vigin bride this fall with NCAA sanctions and the recent disclosure of their failure to graduate student-athletes. Is this really the most productive way to spend your time?

george

November 1st, 2011
5:01 pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha what a damn joke. The only way the sorry puppies can beat florida is by cheating. Failed drug tests BEFORE the florida game yet not suspended. The uga program is an embarasment to everyone else in the SEC. good lord what a joke.

Icing on the cupcake

November 1st, 2011
5:02 pm

How convenient for Richt to suspend the thugs for the cupcake-of-the-year game. Does anyone really believe Richt didn’t know about this last week?

What a freaking hypocrite.

hop

November 1st, 2011
5:02 pm

coach Richt is a wondeful man ,but he and university do a very poor job in recruiting high character players.

it is time to get a new coach who recruits with the same values that he promotes.

Reality

November 1st, 2011
5:03 pm

George- How does this make UGA a classless program? 3 kids out of 115 in the program get a little sideways, the head coach punishes them for it. But you’re right, “classless from top to bottom.” You’re an idiot.

Tom

November 1st, 2011
5:03 pm

Now playing…..Requiem for a Dream Team

FOIA Request?

November 1st, 2011
5:05 pm

Riddy, if the results were not in until this week, why were some local media folks discussing the rumor last week? Clairvoyance?