Doesn’t sound as if anybody is off and running toward nailing down the No. 1 tailback job.
In fact, the leading rusher in Georgia’s scrimmage Monday wasn’t Caleb King or Carlton Thomas, the two healthy scholarship tailbacks currently competing for Knowshon Moreno’s old job. The leading rusher was walk-on Kalvin Daniels.
“I thought it was hot and cold, really,” Mark Richt said of the tailback play in the closed-to-the-media scrimmage. “I thought there were a couple of times we should have hit it up in there a little more physically and didn’t see it. Then the same guy the next play might really hit it up in there and break a tackle. I’d say pretty inconsistent overall.”
Richt on King: “I thought he was hot and cold.”
On Thomas: “Carlton didn’t get many yards per carry, but so far I think he’s been a little more consistent in his tempo and his willingness to stick it on in there.”
Several players mentioned that the shifty Thomas had a couple of nice runs in the scrimmage. “He took a play that was called to the right, ran and got into some traffic and reversed and ended up outrunning everybody,” QB Joe Cox said. But Thomas’ scrimmage stats – eight carries for 26 yards – weren’t much.
(King had six carries for 32 yards. Daniels nine carries for 45 yards.)
Georgia expects to get Dontavius Jackson, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in December, back into the tailback mix before the end of spring practice – possibly this week. Then Richard Samuel, out this spring after wrist surgery, is expected to join the competition come summer.
The Dogs had a habit in their three losses last season of letting bad situations snowball. And apparently they showed a bit of the same tendency in Monday’s scrimmage.
“I think we’ve got to handle adversity on both sides of the ball a little better,” Richt said afterward.
The defense was playing well in the early going, he said, but “started feeling sorry for themselves” after a 75-yard pass from freshman QB Aaron Murray to senior walk-on receiver Vernon Spellman.
“We got to understand things won’t always go our way, and we got to recover quickly and get back and play ball,” Richt said.
He said he made that point to the team after the scrimmage.
“So now the leaders got to do something about it.”
So what’s it like when college football coaches are recruiting the son of a college football coach?
“I don’t think anybody is going to feed me a bunch of baloney,” Richt said Monday.
Two days earlier, he and his son, Jon, were at Valdosta State, where Jon — a quarterback seeking a new school after leaving Clemson this spring — is considering transferring. They watched a Blazers scrimmage, sat in on a quarterbacks meeting, got an academics briefing and enjoyed a campus tour.
“I’d never been to Valdosta State before, and it’s a beautiful campus,” Richt said. “It’s about the right size, and I think he’d really feel comfortable.”
Richt said his son has already visited Georgia State, which will field its first football team in 2010, and also is considering Chattanooga and Mars Hill. “Maybe a couple more. A few more people are calling.” And the recruiting experience, Jon’s father said, is going well. “I enjoy it. It’s fun. . . . Everybody has just been great.”
OK, your turn . . .