Athens – Truth is, you won’t know who’s starting at tailback for Georgia until August, at the earliest. But I thought you might like to hear how Mark Richt evaluates two leading candidates at this ridiculously early juncture.
“I think that they’re both doing a nice job,” Richt said Tuesday evening, referring to Caleb King and Carlton Thomas. “It’s just hard to sit there [after five spring practices] and start deciding who should be where.
“I think Carlton has done a very nice job of running the ball. He probably has made more people miss and broken more tackles at this point than Caleb has.
“But Caleb is doing an outstanding job himself. Caleb has a little bit more experience at pass protecting and things like that.
“We just need to get both of those guys a lot more reps in pass protection, quite frankly, to be able to start separating them.”
King, who will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, and Thomas, the 5-7, 170-pounder who will be a redshirt freshman, have generally been splitting reps with the No. 1 offense in spring drills. That’s “the only fair way” to evaluate them, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said – “see what they do with the same guys and against the same guys.” Here’s a full interview with McClendon about the position.
King and Thomas will be joined in competition soon by another scholarship tailback, redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson, who is working his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery. He practiced on a limited basis in a green non-contact jersey Tuesday. “He actually got knocked down one time,” Richt said. “Somebody hit him when they shouldn’t have. But he popped up and was fine, and that was good.” Richt said Jackson might be cleared to fully participate in practice by next week, certainly by the end of spring drills.
Another prime candidate for the starting tailback position, sophomore Richard Samuel, is sidelined after undergoing wrist surgery in January. He won’t be able to join the competition for Knowshon Moreno’s old job until summer.
King? Thomas? Jackson? Samuel? Or tailback by committee? How do you see this shaping up come Sept. 5 at Oklahoma State?