Georgia scouring the South for game-breaking tailbacks

With 18 commitments already on the books and as few as 21 scholarships possibly available, Georgia would appear to be fairly well set for the Class of 2010. But there’s at least one glaring omission on the Bulldogs’ shopping list so far.

A game-breaking tailback.

Georgia has just one commitment from a running back so far and that’s from Southwest DeKalb’s bruising Kendrun Malcome. The 6-foot, 215-pound Malcome is good back in his own right — he rates four stars from Scout.com, three from Rivals.com — and no doubt will make a good college player. But he’s more of a “downhill runner” than a “home-run hitter,” to use recruiting jargon, and he might even end up being a fullback when it’s all said and done.

There are three consensus 5-star tailbacks uncommitted at this point. While Georgia has an outside shot at one of them, Auburn appears to be trying to corner the market all of them.

The consensus top three backs in America: Lache Seastrunk of Temple, Texas, Marcus Lattimore of Duncan, S.C. and Michael Dyer of Little Rock, Ark. Rivals.com lists them 1, 2, 3 in that order while Scout.com has them 2,1,3. In any case, they’re all very good and all three lists Auburn as a finalist.

But it’s doubtful Auburn will land them all, or even two of them. And Dyer, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound star at Little Rock Christian, sounds like he’s about ready to pull the trigger on a commitment to the Tigers. He’s traveling to The Plains for an official visit during the West Virginia game this weekend.

“Auburn is at the top of my list,” Dyer, who also likes Ole Miss, Arkansas and Florida, told Rivals.com. “They are without a doubt my top school right now.”

On video at least (see above), Seastrunk looks to me to be the best of the backs. But he still lists a handful of schools, including Auburn, LSU, Florida, Texas and Baylor. Rivals.com’s Jamie Newberg told me he thinks it’ll come down to LSU and Auburn. You’ve got to think Dyer’s committing to the Auburn might affect that scenario.

That leaves Lattimore, who just visited Athens this past weekend. To be sure, the Duncan, S.C., resident was there to see his home-state Gamecocks as much as he was Georgia, and he did not list the Bulldogs among his top five going into the weekend. But he did coming out, telling Scout.com that Georgia is “back in it for me.” South Carolina has long been considered the team to beat for Lattimore (along with Auburn, of course). But he’s also still considering Florida State, Penn State, North Carolina and Oregon. So who really knows?

Georgia thought it had this need covered coming into the fall. The Bulldogs put a lot of time and energy into recruiting Mack Brown of Lithonia’s M.L. King High. Brown is ranked No. 4 and 5 nationally by Scout and Rivals, respectively, and No. 1 in Georgia. He camped with the Bulldogs and has numerous friends already there or headed there. But he abruptly committed to Florida on a visit in late July.

However, it doesn’t appear the Bulldogs have given up on Brown entirely.

“They’re still recruiting me,” Brown said in text Wednesday night. “I haven’t talked to them lately though.”

Short of someone of that stature, it doesn’t appear likely Georgia will be in the market for another tailback type. The Dogs are recruiting four-star prospect Eduardo Clements of Miami but are likely chasing the Hurricanes and Florida State in that battle.

Meanwhile, Georgia is surely keeping an eye on the state, waiting to see if one of its own blossoms this season. There are few candidates so far.

McEachern’s Rajaan Bennett (9 TDs), Houston County’s Robert Williams (672 yards, 9 TDs), Westside Macon’s Robert Brown (290 yards, 3 TDs last week) have all put up big numbers but don’t appear to have the speed needed to compete in the SEC. And for whatever reason there does not seem to be a connection between Georgia and Loganville’s Storm Johnson, a one-time LSU commitment who’s back on the market.

Whatever the case, the Bulldogs can afford to be picky. Barring injury or other unseen attrition, Georgia will return all five tailbacks next season. Here they are with their current class followed by their recruiting rankings coming out of high school:

Player, class, Rivals, Scout

  • Richard Samuel, So., 5-star, 5-star
  • Caleb King, RSo., 4-star, 5-star
  • Dontavius Jackson, RFr., 4-star, 4-star
  • Carlton Thomas, RFr, 3-star, 4-star
  • Washaun Ealey, Fr, 4-star, 4-star

82 comments Add your comment

RedKneckerson

September 17th, 2009
5:21 am

UGA don’t need no tailback. They have Caleb King.

Dawgguy

September 17th, 2009
6:38 am

Is there any way that we can recruit new coordinators instead?

Sowega Dawg

September 17th, 2009
6:38 am

Caleb King looks to be very overrated. He can’t even get on the field.

Dawg Pound

September 17th, 2009
7:26 am

Does any one of em have “it”!??

SatchelBuzz

September 17th, 2009
7:28 am

“And on this day we give thanks,..that they gave the ball to Jasper Sanks”.

THWG!!!

chazzo

September 17th, 2009
7:43 am

Shouldn’t the dawgs be chasing defensive players. Offense seems covered for a couple of years.

Hey Dogtards

September 17th, 2009
7:45 am

Chip puts entirely too much stock in the recruiting websites. I wouldn’t call it a “consensus” if they are picked top 3 by scout and rivals – particularly before the high school season is even over. Just another bum infatuated with stars. They are often wrong on who the top backs are – year in / year out.

2006 top 3 – Stafon Johnson, USC #2; Keiland Williams, LSU #3. Williams has never broken 500 yards in a season. Stafon hit 700 last year, but won’t come close to that this year (only 17 carries so far)

2005 – Antone Smith, FSU #1 (undrafted by NFL); Marlon Lucky #2 (500 yards rushing senior season, undrafted, signed, and released)

You can pretty much do that for every year. Usually one of them ends up great, but the other two don’t do much. Maybe you should go to the games instead of writing your articles by relying solely on a subscription to the recruiting services. If you do go to the games, you sure can’t tell.

Cuz

September 17th, 2009
8:17 am

I think we have a shot with Lattimore, time will tell.

Pez Hilton

September 17th, 2009
8:18 am

Has anyone seen Saint Simey??? My Bobo is mad and I bet his Bingy is getting tight again. We’ll take care of that this weekend though won’t we honey. Love you Saint Simey!!! Miss seeing you on here!

kevinbarnett

September 17th, 2009
9:12 am

i like fooball to win the superbowl

YoungDawg

September 17th, 2009
9:21 am

Looks like Garner will need to deliver on Lattimore like he did Marlon Brown did last year!

Rolo

September 17th, 2009
9:26 am

UGA needs a couple RBs. C King is the most overrated RB on the roster. He’ll never do anything. He has no speed or toughness. RS can be a very good back if he can start breaking tackles.

tenn.DAWG

September 17th, 2009
9:39 am

This would be a great opportunity for someone.I think any TB with breakaway speed would have a chance to come in and be a feature back.With UGAs location,like CMR said,not too close,not too far no doubt for Lattimore it would be a perfect fit.

#2 BAMA FAN

September 17th, 2009
9:47 am

Lattimore is going to be the big freshman running back superstar next year like Trent Richardson is this year!! If Auburn gets 2 or 3 of these players watch out!!

Roll Tide Roll

September 17th, 2009
9:53 am

The question is who will be coaching them at UGA. That is the problem.

fan

September 17th, 2009
10:22 am

some of yall are just friggin idiots. Caleb has been HURT, injured, not able to play, do I need to spell it out for you? How can he be Overrated when he’s played one season and was behind a Number one draft pick? Rolo your an idiot. Its obvious that you only go by stats and can’t see talent. Caleb brings a different style than Sammuels. RS is a good back but he’s a back that likes to run over people. Caleb has the “Knowshon effect” in that he will make people miss. Come saturday night you so called fans will see what caleb can do. GO DAWGS!!

BullDawg Rick

September 17th, 2009
10:32 am

I have seen Lattimore play twice in Ga.. vs N. Gwinnett last year & vs Central this year… He’s a stud RB!!! It also hwlps running behind the O-line Byrnes HS has too.. He’ll be a good ‘en wherever he plays… Good luck to him..

ugajersey.com

September 17th, 2009
10:32 am

Uga VII Replica Dog Jerseys on SALE at http://www.UgaJersey.com.

DawgFan36

September 17th, 2009
10:33 am

We don’t need any more tailbacks this year…and do we even want Mack Brown if he changes his mind about Florida? Just the fact that he wants to be a gayturd right now makes me not want him to change his mind and come to Georgia. Also, if Caleb can get that hammy healthy, he will be special. Mark it down.

jcurtis62

September 17th, 2009
10:38 am

The Dawgs have a great running back, they just got him on the wrong side of the ball. Somebody please tell Coach Richt, to give the ball to Bicardo Rambo and see things turn around in the running game

Storm Johnson's Daddy

September 17th, 2009
10:40 am

In no way shape or form will I allow Storm to go to UGA. I, I mean he wants a spot handed to him and will not tolerate having to sit behind more talented running backs.

Air Force Recruiter

September 17th, 2009
10:41 am

Hey Storm, come to Air Force. Cody would be happy to have you behind him on the depth chart AGAIN. :)

Topp Dogg

September 17th, 2009
10:57 am

Give King a fair chance then you can decide if he sucks or not.

Pi$$onaDawg

September 17th, 2009
11:09 am

I thought UGA had all the Greek Gods Athens could stand at running back already? Why would a kid come to UGA next year with all the supposed Talented Running Backs just waiting to play? The running back will just have to wait his turn behind the older player because that is the RICHT RULE right?

Alabamadawg

September 17th, 2009
11:13 am

The dawgs are loaded at tailback. Some of you need to chill out a little, King has been hurt, so lighten up on him, these are just young kids for heavens sake !!! Also, I want to see more of Carlton Thomas with the ball in his hands, he’s a nice change of speed after Samuel. Honestly, I’d rather not sign a runningback this year and concetrate on the defensive side…but thats me…

Halsey

September 17th, 2009
11:23 am

You can argue about whether YOU think the Dawgs need a tailback all you want, but the fact that UGA is recruiting tailbacks means the COACHES feel they would like to sign. It’s up to them, not you. I hope this doesn’t mean they don’t have confidence in the guys they already have going forward…

Robert

September 17th, 2009
11:25 am

I hope Mack Brown never plays a down of college ball. Traitor.

Jborodawg

September 17th, 2009
11:30 am

Everybody…please re-read ‘fan’ and ‘Alabamafan’.

“We don’t need more RBs…” is shortsighted. Can’t have enough good RBs, especially breakaway speedsters and good, strong, heavy FBs.

Dez White

September 17th, 2009
11:31 am

southgadawg88

September 17th, 2009
11:37 am

Looks like 14 of the 18 we have right now are defensive players.We have 2 WR,1 RB and 1 OT.We are still after a couple of CB AND LB so it will be interesting how it plays out.Starting to get the feeling we may sign more than 21.

78 DAWG

September 17th, 2009
11:44 am

This article is dead wrong! King and Ealey were 5 star across the board, both close to #1 nationally. If CMR wants the kid from SC he’ll get him, you know he wants to come to Georgia, he’s just worried he won’t get any playing time behind Samuel, King and Ealey.

Murray County Indian

September 17th, 2009
11:48 am

We are fine at rb & wr, our top needs are:
1) brains
2) class
3) hair transplant for CMR
4) wins against any team ranked higher than #40 in the country
5) clean rap sheet
6) MORE 6 STAR recruits, look at espn’s top 150, starting at the top and going down there are at least 8 players going to FL before the 1st to UGA, when it rains you get your brains beat out every year

Bishop

September 17th, 2009
11:52 am

Caleb King…There is a spot for you in Georgia State’s backfield. Transfer baby!

VolsRule

September 17th, 2009
11:53 am

What about WaShaun Ealy???

I thing that RS looks pretty good – he does run kind of high and goes strait at you – very physical and punishing – but will probably end up hurt due to his style.

C. King – thought he looked a little lost last year and very tentative. If he can get over his HAMMY – UGA will figure out if they have an SEC elite back – or a great HS back that does not translate to the SEC. Probably should have gone to Carson Newman or UTC!!!

Is Dontavious Jackson a flop? He was recruited pretty hard – heard nothing from him.

How about Bryce Brown at TENNESSEE! This kid is very good! WE need a QB!!!!!

Good luck to UGA against the Petrino Pigs!!!

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 17th, 2009
12:53 pm

Tech Nerds like you can make fun of Jasper Sanks. Replays showed that the “fumble Call” in the end zone that GAVE Tech one of their rare victories over Georiga never happened. There was no fumble so quit ragging Jasper Sanks. At least he worked to get a chance to play college football and had the courage to step on the field. Where was a jerk like you? In one of the gay bath houses on Peachtree most likely!

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 17th, 2009
1:02 pm

Redneckerson is a gay boy …. you don’t fool me – I know you live in that ghetto around the Tech campus.

Tallcarl

September 17th, 2009
1:23 pm

Bobo forgits he has very good full backs that he never gives a chance to handle the ball on short downs therefore the defences can key on any RB we put in.

howboutchee

September 17th, 2009
1:35 pm

RIchard Samuel is a beast!! IF coach BOZO would get his head out of his A** and give the ball to him 25 times a game he would prove this to the whole nation!!

dcp

September 17th, 2009
1:41 pm

I had a chance to see King play in the State playoffs vs. Roswell and he dominated a Roswell team that won it all the next year. He took a kickoff back 99 yards for a TD and they could not stop him all night. He has a lot of tools and UGA has a good runner in King. He was bouncing off players like they were not even there. When he is healthy, he will bring a great deal to the table. This from a Tech fan. I am happy with Dwyer and Jones, but King is not a slouch, nor is Samuel or Ealey or Thomas. Give him time – I know everyone is impatient.

Whopper Dawg

September 17th, 2009
1:44 pm

I am not concerned. The running game doesn’t count in Mr. Bobo’s offense anyway.

JoeFann

September 17th, 2009
1:51 pm

I wondered what the deal is with Storm Johnson. He was playing in one of the best HS programs at Buford, then he transfers before his senior senior season to Loganville. (?) I don’t know, but I’m just saying… Have the Dawgs looked at Ean Pemberton at Grayson? I know he’s smallish. Don’t know about his top end speed, but that kid’s had “it” since youth ball in the GFL.

Go Dawgs!

Sanford Drive

September 17th, 2009
2:29 pm

What happened w/ Dontavius Jackson? Would love an update on him. I guess he just didn’t turn out to be good.

Big Dawg

September 17th, 2009
3:53 pm

First off IMHO we don’t need anymore RB in this class we need to be signing offensive linemen one in this class will not, I repeat will not cut it. You need to sign at least 3 to 4 OL in every class that way you aren’t caught short on experienced and battle tested OL and forced to play freshmen as we were forced to the last 2 years. We were extremely fortunate that Sturdivant, Jones, Boling and Glenn were able to step right in and compete at a high level right out of high school but they did make a lot of mistakes as freshmen. As far as those having negative comments about Caleb King he has been hurt, he was also slowed in his progress by being redshirted as a freshman and then playing behind Knowshon Moreno last year. We have a walk on TB named Daniels who would be starting at a lot of schools but just can’t seem to get on the field for us. Anyway it is a nice situation to be in when you have so many talented players at a particular position.

Go Dawgs

Chip Towers

September 17th, 2009
4:20 pm

Sanford Drive: Dontavius Jackson played in the first two games but only on special teams. He’s had some injury issues but in general seems to be falling behind in the competition. . . .

78 Dawg: Ealey may have had five stars at one point but did not by the time he signed. . . . Caleb actually came out of his junior year rated as the No. 1 tailback in America but fell back in the rankings after breaking his leg his senior year.

shards1967

September 17th, 2009
5:05 pm

With Caleb healthy, he will allow RS to periodically rest. RS is still pretty young at 18. He is learning the ropes and doing nicely, I might add. Caleb can get hot and suddenly reel off 65 yards over two or three, four, five carries in a tight game. With both backs rested, then Carlton Thomas can come in and punch one out to the corner and then …………..his speed is very, very close to # 1 Brandon Smith. Carlton will score three or four looooooooooong TDS this year, I’ll bet. Sprinters speed he has. Y’all will see soon enough.

This above tandem working and clicking for UGA, as the season wears on, will prove to be very valuable to UGA. It can eat some clock and it can dominate in tight games.

Supplement the above three backs with a good dose of our BIG Fullbacks and UGA will be fine. Maybe we see this scenario Saturday night on a very wet field, I suspect.
Ealey? If he plays ………….then just add him to the above scenario and call it gravy baby.

Otto

September 17th, 2009
5:28 pm

Last I heard on Jackson he was still slow with that ACL that was done. Granted I had to search back to the spring game to find that.

UGA needs another RB and we can always use more on the OL. CMR has 4 Elite QBs on scholarship but we always seem to have depth problems elsewhere. This is not the 90s and FSU when they had 10 more scholarships.

Otto

September 17th, 2009
5:31 pm

TallCarl, I agree on the FB. FBs were the go to guys on short yardage and often slipped out for good catches up until 2007 when play calling changed.

Einsteindawg

September 17th, 2009
5:55 pm

Chip, thanks for the update on Dontavious. While most successful teams play their better players on special teams, UGA tends to play the walk-on, third-teamers, fodder. So, I guess Mr. Jackson is another in our long line of running back underachievers…Sterling Boyd, Torin Kirtsey, Cecil Collins, Larry Bowa, Marisa Simpson, Tony Milton, Jasper Sanks, etal. Maybe we should be more diligent in offering players that are hurt their senior year and stay chronically hurt. With football scholarships worth $38,000+ a year, I’m tired of my GEEF money being wasted. Just my opinion. Peace.

shawn

September 17th, 2009
6:27 pm

Leave Jasper Sanks alone. That was what 10 years ago? The man’s twin was murdered recently, he has been thur enough.

Terminator

September 17th, 2009
6:29 pm

UGA believed Buford’s trash talk about Storm Johnson. They might want to talk to his coach at Loganville and watch his game film… last game 25 carries, 230 yards, 4TD’s. He’s running over CB’s, pushing the offensive linemen into the end zone, he’ll make believers of all,,,they are missing out on a great back.