Samuel discovers life as top Dog tailback

Athens — Welcome, Richard Samuel, to life as Georgia’s top tailback.

Named “a solid No. 1″ at the high-profile position by coach Mark Richt late last week, Samuel found himself surrounded by eight reporters after practice Monday evening.

Around campus, too, Samuel has noticed an increase in attention since word got out of his rise to the top of the depth chart at Knowshon Moreno’s old position.

“I’d say people are a little more excited,” Samuel said, “but I just go on with my day.”

The celebrity of the position holds no appeal for Samuel.

“It just doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “I can go without it.”

The sophomore from Cartersville did admit to some personal excitement about being named No. 1, especially, he said, considering that he missed spring practice after wrist surgery. But he seems to be taking a business-like approach to the whole deal.

“I’d say it probably makes my game go up to another level, to where I have to be able to execute better,” Samuel said. “Now that, I guess, I’m a ’solid No. 1,’ I have to step my game up to help the offense.”

“I’ll say that it is an achievement,” he said, “but I’ve still got work to do.”

Samuel entered the preseason in a five-way battle for playing time at tailback. One top competitor, Caleb King, has been sidelined with an injured hamstring for almost two weeks, and Samuel gradually pulled ahead of the field, although Carlton Thomas still expects to play substantially.

In retrospect, Samuel said he was able to use his inaction in the spring to his advantage.

“I was able to sit back and watch practice, watch why our offense does certain things, read the defense, learn more about the game,” he said. “Just because I wasn’t able to get out there and play and perform, I used that as basically learning time – [time to] learn all the fundamentals of the whole offense, not just being a running back.”

The 6-foot-2 Samuel said his weight is up to 224.

——————

The focus of Georgia’s practices is starting to turn to Oklahoma State, and that’s the case in the post-practice briefings, too.

Monday evening, Richt  was talking about the threat posed by Oklahoma State’s special teams, particularly punt returner Dez Bryant and kickoff returner Perrish Cox. Richt knew off the top of his head that Bryant had two punt returns for touchdowns last season and that Cox has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns in his career and needs just 110 kickoff return yards to set the Big 12 career record.

“Great return men,” Richt said.

“Our kicking game has just got to be outstanding,” he added.   “It starts with the kicker and punter, but our coverage teams [too] – when you talk about wanting to be in midseason form Game 1, we better be.”

Richt wouldn’t say who’ll kick off, Blair Walsh or Brandon Bogotay. In fact, he said he won’t say until Sept. 5. But he again expressed confidence in Drew Butler, who replaces the graduated Brian Mimbs at punter.

“I hope he punts in the games like he’s been punting in practice,” Richt said of Butler. “He’s been very good.”

Speaking of preparing for Oklahoma State: Two freshmen quarterbacks were wearing No. 11 on Georgia’s practice field Monday — Aaron Murray (because that’s his regular number) and Zach Mettenberger (because he’s working as a scout-team quarterback and that’s Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson’s number).

———————————–

Definitely look for freshmen receivers Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten on the field for Georgia in Stillwater on Sept. 5.

Richt said Monday  both are progressing and will see action immediately.

“Marlon and Wooten, both, we still expect to play,” he said. “I think both of them started out pretty good. I think both of them hit a little bit of a wall. And I think both of them now are beginning to pick it up again and make progress.

“They’re getting a ton of opportunities in practice, and they’ll definitely get playing time.”

They’re clearly needed because the Bulldogs are thin at receiver, where the top three right now are A.J. Green (of course), Michael Moore and Tavarres King. The only other scholarship receiver, aside from the two freshmen, is Israel Troupe.

Brown has been practicing through a right hand injury, but says he’s ready for the opener.

Moore, who becomes the No. 2 receiver, is a pivotal player.

“I think it’s pretty obvious A.J. is going to get the most attention, so the bottom line is that [Moore] has got to win when he has man coverage, which he’ll probably see a good bit of to start the season,” Richt said. “If he proves he can defeat it and become an issue for people, they’ll have to mix up what they’re doing or maybe try to double both. And then you’ve got a much better opportunity to run the football.”

———————————————-

Several of you asked for an update on freshman tailback Washaun Ealey, so I asked about him yesterday.

“He’s doing OK,” Richt said. “He hyper-extended his elbow that one time, and that slowed him down, I thought, considerably. And now he’s finally feeling good again, and we’re getting some of that energy back from him.

“He lost a little bit of his energy level – he wasn’t sticking it in there quite as hard, in my opinion — once that elbow was beat up a little bit. I’m sure it was because of the injury, because it coincided with the injury when he started being a little bit cautious when he ran. Now he’s freeing up to go hard again.”

53 comments Add your comment

hernia

August 25th, 2009
6:09 am

redshirt ealey

pokesfan

August 25th, 2009
7:18 am

42-21, Cowboys

Saint Simons

August 25th, 2009
7:54 am

(((((45-42)))))hahaha and then we went to Herty Field and had a great Tickle Pile!!!!!!!

UGA Grad '08

August 25th, 2009
7:56 am

Good Morning to all,
I don’t normally post during the day but I’ve posted the following below at night and nobody seems to give me a straight answer so here goes again.
Again, if you’re a tech “fan” and want to only come on here and hate on UGA as opposed to actually discussing CFB in a civil manner please answer some of the questions below
When was the last time Tech won their conference? UGA?
When was the last time Tech went to a BCS bowl? UGA?
When was the last time Tech won a major bowl game? (By major I mean the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange or pre BCS Cotton, to save u some time 1990 does not count since it was the Citrus)
What’s the series record?
How many times has CMR beaten Tech in a row before last year? What about if we include FSU?
How many times has each team finished in the top ten of ANY poll this decade?
What’s the winning percentage of each team this decade?
If you pull for Tech and want to hate on UGA, what personal ties do you have with the actual school.
ACC questions since they’re so underrated and the SEC is so overrated
How many at large BCS bids has each conference received?
How many BCS bowls has each conference won? Compare the ACC’s total BCS wins to UGA’s alone or Mark Richt’s alone.
How many BCS championships has the each conference won?
I know you’ve said time and again how Tech and the ACC are awesome and UGA and the SEC are overrated so I’m sure the correct answers to the questions above will support your argument
For the record I was accepted to Tech and UGA and graduated magna cum laude. I personally know several Tech grads and true fans. They are smart classy people that I respect and admire, or in short nothing like 90% of the Tech posters on here.
It’s really strange how guys like G&G, M, and yellow fuzz never seem to answer these questions. Strange.

Ropedawg

August 25th, 2009
8:08 am

Nice post UGA grad, but again… I’m sure you won’t get a response.

AC

August 25th, 2009
8:19 am

Boise State – High powered offense picked to beat UGA.

UGA 48
Boise State 13

UGA will be up and focused. Game will be done by halftime.

jborodave

August 25th, 2009
8:30 am

Okie State aint Boise State; no comparison. We better be ready. OSU’s probably saying the same thing about UGA.

Gooooo Dogs! Sic em! Woof-woof-woof-woof!

Spike

August 25th, 2009
8:47 am

UGA GRAD 08.. Excellent points. But please don’t make a mistake and confuse those bozos with facts, logic and common sense. Their pea pickin’ minds are already made up. Be prepared for the name calling to start. Bless thei little hearts.

Spike

August 25th, 2009
8:49 am

Sorry, “their”. Get spell check on here.

YellowandBlackAttack

August 25th, 2009
8:58 am

Well, “UGA grad 08″ I’m a Tech fan and I’ll respond to you. But first let me say I don’t consider myself a classless, immature Jacket’s fan like some that are on this forum…”Saint Simons” for instance is an embarrassment to us all and let me assure you he is not representative of all Tech fans…some of us are actually adults. Oh and BTW, there are as many classless, immature UGA fans that lurk these forums as there are Tech fans. Anyway, I’ll be the first to admit that UGA has obviously been the more successful program for the past decade, heck the past few decades even. And it pains me to say this, but why not? They are the flagship university in the state with a much larger fan base. You’ve got a great coach who is a very successful recruiter and a genuinely good guy and your university and facilities are second to none. How’s that for honesty? HOWEVER, despite our struggles, you must admit that Tech could very well be on the verge of breaking out of the state of mediocrity that we’ve been in for a while. Granted you guys had alot of injuries last season when we beat you, but you got to admit we showed some real heart coming back on you the way we did. The teams that Chan had would have given up at half time. And whether you want to admit it or not, Johnson is a great coach and his style of offense is STILL effective. We have some kinks to workout (see LSU meltdown) but I think GT will continue to improve and make our rivarly with UGA more competitive…and heck, isn’t that what we all want? What is college football without good-ol competitive rivalry games? We will not get the 4 and 5 star athletes in the state that UGA will get, but we will get good players (there’s plenty to go around these days) that are suited to our style of play and they will be effective (see Jonathan Dwyer). So here’s hoping both teams stay healthy and come Nov. may the best team win.

yeehaw8687

August 25th, 2009
9:04 am

dont reshirt ealey because he may can contribute later in the yr. and he may turn out better than the rest and we only have him for 2 yrs. dont make same mistake twice.

Sanford Drive

August 25th, 2009
9:12 am

“Our kicking game has to be outstanding.” I think we need kickers who don’t suck in order to make that happen.

Cuz

August 25th, 2009
9:18 am

I mean c’mon it is Okie State. It is not like we are playing some top notch team like Hawaii.

HamDawg11

August 25th, 2009
9:33 am

YellowandBlack,

Wow, now that was refreshing to read a post from a Tech fan and not feel hate! Thanks for being a good fan, that’s what we need more of from both sides. Yes, we’ve got our share of whacked-out, mindless fans on our side, I’ll admit that…every team has ‘em. It doesn’t make me feel any better to read their posts than it does to read SS, Y-fuzz, and the like.

On the rivalry: Am I glad we lost to GT last year? Heck no, but it’s good for the rivalry. For the past 15-20 years the majority of UGA fans have been focused on beating UF more than GT, that’s just a fact. The UF game means more to us because of what’s on the line in the SEC East. And, quite frankly, the GT game hasn’t been much of a rivalry for us of late. We all know PJ is a great coach, and he’ll get GT back to playing competitive football, that’s what we all want. The game loses it’s luster when one side continually wins. I look forward to years of great games between Richt and Johnson and hope that we can come out on the winning end of it every year, but it won’t be as easy as it’s been in the past.

Now, let’s get this season kicked off!

Go Dawgs!!!

Johnny Test

August 25th, 2009
10:02 am

Georgia has to do the following to beat Oklahoma State:
1. No turnovers… we turn it over we lose.
2. Kick away from the return men or kick it over their head. An easy touchdown will kill us.
3. Keep massive pressure on Zac. No one is as accurate when they are being chased.
4. Play ball control and keep their offense off the field.
5. Don’t let them get up early… stiffle their momentum and rattle their confidence.

NCMTNDawg

August 25th, 2009
10:12 am

YellowandBlack,

Well said! Agree, hope both teams stay healthy and have successful seasons.

Just learned that I will be attending a cousins 5pm wedding while the Dawgs kick off the season with the Pokes (3:30), ugh! I thought everyone in SEC country new that you don’t schedule weddings in the fall on Saturdays!

Anyhow, GO DAWGS!!!

[...] Read the entire article here (from AJC.com): Fretting Oklahoma State’s return men . . . [...]

[...] Dogs moved into preparation for the Cowboys on Monday, and one practice note caught my eye: true freshman Zach Mettenberger was wearing Zac Robinson’s number (11) while [...]

Dawgster

August 25th, 2009
10:58 am

You are right. OSU is no Boise State. Boise has actually played in and won a BCS game. So quit disrespecting BSU, by comparing them to OSU. OSU if you don’t like it, quit saying it. Again,you are right.

Georgia News – 8/25/09 | MrSEC.com

August 25th, 2009
11:03 am

[...] about him.Redshirt freshman tight end Bryce Ros will give up football due to a chronic foot injury.Mark Richt is warning his team about Oklahoma State’s “great return [...]

Nick

August 25th, 2009
11:58 am

Yeah, I think OK State will be a better team than that Boise team 4 years ago. But the similarities to the 2005 UGA team and this year’s are alot. I do still think Georgia will prevail against OKST but it won’t be a cakewalk (I don’t think) like the Boise game was. The talent level from OKST to Boise is a vast difference. We shall see. And as far as the Ealey thing goes, I always said before, redshirt those guys if you can spare them, but after the Moreno incident, now I’m not sold on that. I think he should play early and often.
Go Dawgs!

DamnGoodDawg

August 25th, 2009
11:58 am

YellowandBlackAttack: Now that’s what I’m talkin about. I think you are right on when you say that Tech is in a position to rise to a much higher level. All I would say is that, as has not been the case in times past, Tech MUST be able to hold on to a successful coach to develop a winning tradition. First of all this and the next couple of years will demonstrate whether Paul Johnson and his style of offense fill the bill. I personally think there are reasons why BCS caliber schools don’t run an old style option offense. If it worked over the long haul, Alabama would still be running the wishbone. We’ll see.

Nick

August 25th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hey, NCMTNDawg, I got married during football season (1996). The wedding was on a SUNDAY. The rehersal was Saturday morning (we had a night game against MS St., which was watched intently during the boys’ pre-wedding poker game) BTW, we (UGA) won that game 47-0. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg! How sweet it is!
Go Dawgs!

Wil Walton

August 25th, 2009
12:07 pm

NCMTNDawg, I feel your pain… Bro-in-law’s wedding is 9/26 at 5pm (LSU weekend). Last year it was someone else’s on Vanderbilt weekend, but I was able to tailgate in the parking lot with the rest of the groomsmen prior to the wedding. LOL

Wil Walton

August 25th, 2009
12:10 pm

Even worse, forgot about my OWN wedding… 11/26 2005. I was very grateful that it was a night game and too cold for an evening wedding!!!

YellowandBlackAttack

August 25th, 2009
12:39 pm

“DGD”….I see your point about Alabama and the wishbone. I’ve had the same concerns that most Tech fans have had about PJ’s scheme: 1) “We’re only successful because teams aren’t prepared for it and when they eventually catch on…” Thinking about the LSU debacle only fuels this fear. 2) “We won’t be able to recruit any athletes because they all want to go to schools where there are pro-style offenses so they will look good to the NFL guys” 3) “More of a chance of your QB getting injured with him running so much.” And there are a few more. BUT, I think (and pray) that after this season we will be able to rule out “1)” because teams are already working on stopping us this go around so we’ll know if we really made it work and not just caught everyone off guard. “2)” I’m not as worried anymore because as I said earlier, I just think there are so many talented players, especially running backs and O-linemen in Ga. that we’ll get our share…UGA can’t have ALL of the good ones (lol). Actually, “3)” concerns me the most. Imagine if Stafford would have went down in the middle of last season with all of the other injuries you guys had! I cringe everytime Nesbitt runs into a pile. Anyway, Like you said…time will tell.

UGA#1

August 25th, 2009
12:43 pm

Ok state has the hype and are going to play hard. They do have a good offense but a good defense is the question? Georgia has a good offense and a good defense. I believe UGA will beat Ok State pretty soundly but still they’ll have to work for it. We without injuries should have competited last year in a major bcs game. Even with the injuries last year we had a double digit wins season. This year I’m hoping Georgia actually plays to their full potential and win. I personally think even though we have a challenging schedule that we should win all our games besides the Florida game. I still think we have a good chance to win that game. If we unit as a team.

uga121

August 25th, 2009
1:00 pm

YELLOWANDBLACKATTACK IS THE BEST FAN I’VE HEARD ON THIS BLOG IN THREE YEARS. THANKS FOR BEING SO CLASSY!

FRED

August 25th, 2009
1:05 pm

I DON”T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT IN THE PIT OF MY STOMACH I HAVE A GREAT FEELING ABOUT THIS SEASON THAT I DID NOT HAVE LAST YEAR.

Pago Flyer

August 25th, 2009
2:51 pm

NCMTNDAWG…and others…we had to attend a football Saturday afternoon wedding in Ann Arbor, two UM grads and they couldn’t figure it out. They lasted about two years.

Anotherdawg

August 25th, 2009
3:14 pm

Is it possible that “YellowandBlackattack” could be appointed as a spokeman for Tech? That’s probably the most informative post I’ve ever read from a Tech fan; no hate and hard to argue his points. On the marriage during a Georgia game deal, I’ll never forget my son getting picked as an usher during the UGA – Auburn blackout game a couple of years ago. He ended up with a walk-man connected to his ear. When, people would ask, he smiled and responded “security”. Before long, everyone, both male and female, was asking for score updates. The reception ended up at a country club with a big screen TV. All in all, it ended up a Great night! Go DAWGS!

BurningRedBleedingBlack

August 25th, 2009
4:03 pm

WOW! A real Debate without name calling??? Big thumbs up to Yellow and Black and UGA Grad 08. This is what a blog should be like.

mdc

August 25th, 2009
4:22 pm

Yellow red and black
My cousin graduate from Tech and we talk all the time about these issues. What get folks upset is the crazy blogers on these vents who just ry to stir up the hate. Like all have said you are correct with your observations and remember everything goes in cycles…..So who knows what the future holds, but I will say sometimes I would like to see UGA run some diff offense to take advantage of the speed etc, but it all comes down to defense se LSU. We were lack last yr and we don’t make good halftime adjustemsnts and GT was more fired up because of the drought….This yr will be a real test for both…Thanks for your class. The AJC should be happy

reservoirDAWG

August 25th, 2009
4:23 pm

Back to this fall wedding business. What are these people thinking. My brother in law is having a “couples” shower(whatever that is) during the SC game and my wife’s cousin is getting married on ASU weekend. Thank God for DVR.

can't tackle, huh?

August 25th, 2009
4:33 pm

08, since when is there a litmus test before you may blog?

I have a question; what if you guys actually lose to the boys? Will you still be “prawd” of your difficult schedule? Or will your yearn for a cupcake ala Florida?
Of course, a win will jack you guys up even more.

Dawg Pound

August 25th, 2009
4:54 pm

You ever thought about the fact that Okie State has a pretty tough opening game of the season also???!!! Its not just the other way around. I feel like they better be in mid season form or it could get nasty for them as well.

can't tackle, huh?

August 25th, 2009
5:44 pm

Mr Pound, but why would you not be like most teams and start the season with a guarantee?

DawginLex

August 25th, 2009
5:44 pm

I like the tough opener. It will instantly tell us what we have. It doesn’t stop us from winning the SEC East or the SEC title. It will allow for improvement before Spurrier comes to town. Coach Dooley always said a team improves the most during the season between the first and 2nd games.

Joey

August 25th, 2009
6:01 pm

Yellowandblackattack, Dawg fan here. But one who pulls for Tech also. Paul Johnson has been successful everywhere he has coached against equal talent. He is already getting the talent at Tech and will continue to win. LSU had a month to prepare for your running game. Teams that have only a week to prepare won’t be so lucky. We had 2 weeks last season to prepare for it and look what happened… Oh yeah, we’ve got us a rivalry again…

gbp

August 25th, 2009
6:14 pm

get ready stillwater….here comes another sec program that will dominate you physically…..just look what ole miss did to texas tech…look what florida did to Oklahoma…look what georgia did to the “high powered” cowboys two years ago…..expect another beat down from the sec….to physical for the big 12….

joke 'em

August 25th, 2009
7:48 pm

UGA Grad ‘08: Don’t roll in the mud with the pigs, you’ll get dirty and they’ll enjoy it.
H B T D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

highaltitudedog

August 25th, 2009
7:51 pm

Yellow and Black:
Well said, nice job! You are a credit to you school and fan base! Now, Go Dawgs!!!!!!
H B T D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim

August 25th, 2009
7:53 pm

Saint Simons 45-42 shows our defense went south in that game. Could you please tell us about the 38-3. I will not go to your level with the Ha-ha-ha-ha’s, but I’m sure there are a lot of folks would like to hear your take on the 38-3 whipping LSU put on your boys. Oh yea, don’t forget to let everyone know what the score was at halftime.

Jim, it was the refs....

August 25th, 2009
8:21 pm

UGA Grad '08

August 25th, 2009
8:29 pm

hey yellowandblackattack, no disrespect to your program just get kind of fed up with some of the stupid bloggers on here like M and Ramble on. Like i mentioned earlier I personally know some fine foks who are tech grads. My eight grade Sunday school teacher was one as well as several of my classmates in the magnet program at Wheeler High School in Marietta. I think you defintely make some valid points. Personally, I think CPJ has Tech on the right track and I defintley wouldn’t mind having Dwyer as a RB at Georgia. In the mean time best of luck and hope we can beat an undefeated Tech team in an instant classic on the Flats.

YellowandBlackAttack

August 25th, 2009
9:34 pm

“UGA Grad 08″….Heck, I’m thinking big man…If we’re BOTH undefeated it will mean we’ve beaten Va Tech, FSU, Miami and Clemson and you guys have taken down Ok St. UF, LSU, Tenn and Auburn. Imagine where we’ll be in the polls…can you say “game of the century”? Let the season began!!!!

Denver Dog

August 25th, 2009
10:43 pm

Ok Ok Dogs and Jackets getting along. Well m hasn’t been on here yet and niether have I. I hope Tech does well as always except when they play us. We are 10 days from real time fun and I hope we beat Ok State and the Jackets have thier way with Jax State. If you guys keep it clean, then most of us Dog fans will love it. I’m tired of the same stuff from m, St Simons says, and some of these other;;;;; whatever they are come onto a UGA blog;hence Junkyard blog, and stir up trouble. It looks like it will be a great year in college football and we are all glad that we have good teams coming in this year. GO DOGS

BIGGATLDAWG

August 25th, 2009
11:09 pm

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH MT. KWAME ?

BIGGATLDAWG

August 25th, 2009
11:12 pm

OUR DEFENSE IS MUCH IMPROVED AND FASTER; THEY WILL BE THE REASON WE WILL WIN IN STILLWATER, OK. GOOOOOOO DAWGS

Camden Mark

August 26th, 2009
8:36 pm

ACC BCS winning per. .182
SEC .706
Mountain West 1.000