Running backs: How will Ealey and King divide carries, starts?

(Fourth in a summer series looking at Georgia’s football team by position.)

TODAY: RUNNING BACKS

  • Returning starters: TB Caleb King, FB Shaun Chapas.
  • Others to watch: Although King started the final five games last season, Washaun Ealey was Georgia’s leading rusher (717 yards on 125 carries to King’s 594 on 114). Fred Munzenmaier, like Chapas a senior, is a solid backup at fullback.
  • Key change: Richard Samuel, who started the first six games last season at tailback but fell well behind Ealey and King by season’s end, has moved to defense (inside linebacker).
  • Key fact: Despite King missing three games with injuries and Ealey missing four games before shedding his redshirt, the tandem combined for 1,311 yards on 239 carries last season –- an average of 5.4 yards per carry. About 25 percent of their combined yards (349) came in the victory at Georgia Tech.
  • Key questions: How will Georgia distribute the carries between Ealey and King? And while last season demonstrated there are enough carries for both to thrive, which one will start?
  • Recent developments: The question of a pecking order between King and Ealey wasn’t addressed on the post-spring depth chart because King, like other players who were injured at the end of spring ball, was not listed. King missed the final two weeks of spring  with a strained knee. Ealey was listed as the No. 1 tailback on the post-spring depth chart, but Mark Richt said that in reality Ealey and King are co-No. 1’s. Richt said Ealey made much progress from his freshman season to this spring in terms of physical conditioning and understanding the offense, and Ealey was pleased with his improvement as a blocker. Richt and Mike Bobo also said Carlton Thomas made strides and can help at tailback.
  • Outlook: The King-Ealey tandem, supported by an experienced offensive line, has Georgia feeling good about its running game. At fullback, Chapas and Munzenmaier are known for their run-blocking and (very) occasional forays with the ball (they scored two TDs apiece last season and Chapas had career-high five carries for 43 yards against Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl).
  • Your turn: What say you about the running backs?

———-

Links to previous entries in this series:

Tight ends.

Wide receivers.

Offensive line.

Tomorrow: Quarterbacks.

174 comments Add your comment

DawginGermany

June 17th, 2010
6:22 am

The ball ain’t heavy!

I think if we can run the ball well this season we have a good shot at 10 wins. I look for Ealey to have a monster season if the offensive line holds together and becomes the strength they should be. Can’t wait for the season to start. This World Cup garbage just isn’t doing it for me!
GO DAWGS!

Paddy

June 17th, 2010
6:22 am

With depth at FB and at TE on this team, UGA should have a devestating running attack. Oh, and the O-Line is a factor also. Best shape they have been in for running the ball in decades.

Stacey Thomas

June 17th, 2010
6:24 am

Looking good at running back, go dawgs!!!!!! Beat Florida!!!

Vinny D

June 17th, 2010
6:43 am

A strong running game gives you a great chance to win every game. It will make every Aaron Murray play action pass so much better. I loved watching that tech game where the offense was simplified. Run until they stop it. If they don’t stop it, too bad. I hate seeing the running game going great and then we start trying to get cute with pass plays. Lets find out if our Oline is as good as we think they can be.

Douglas

June 17th, 2010
6:47 am

I still do not think they use Carlton Thomas enough…the guy is really good. Put him in at receiver or some where..he is too good of a talent to be wasted.

TommyP

June 17th, 2010
6:47 am

Add Crowell to this RB mix next year and we’ll be so explosive.

Getting Figgins back at TE is going to help the run game immensely. He might be the best blocking TE in the college game.

CHDawg

June 17th, 2010
7:03 am

What a difference a year makes. I also have my eye on incoming freshman, Ken Malcome. He may be a contributor sooner than folks think. We might see him if a back or two get injured, but having King, Ealey, and Thomas this year makes us much deeper than in the past. One other point: looking at King’s tapes from HS makes me think he is a very unique runner. His gift is elusiveness, and I mean gift. So whereas 80-90% of incoming backs benefit from putting on weight, I think it hurts King. If I were his coach, I would try taking 10-20 pounds off of him, while really working on his strength and speed. Think about trying to put 20 pounds on Dexter McCluster–does it make him a better back in the SEC? King still has the gift, but he needs more speed and quickness to unleash it at this level imo.

Frank Lane

June 17th, 2010
7:09 am

All comes down to injuries. If everyone stays healthy we run over people. If not, another difficult year.

destin dawg

June 17th, 2010
7:10 am

Great to have a balanced attack…. running.. mix the 2 great TB’s… FB once in a while…. BIG line and TE’s… we’ll need a strong running game to win the 1st two huge games in the mid day heat… SC. and Ark… will be close games.. we’ll probably be under DAWGS…. that will shape the season !!!!! conditioning !!!!! get in shape !!! Go Dawgs !!!!

secsecsec

June 17th, 2010
7:12 am

It will be interesting to see Ealey and King for the full season this year. Ealey’s late start and King’s broken jaw damped both of them in ways we won’t know until we get to see them run this year.

Go Dawgs!

destin dawg

June 17th, 2010
7:13 am

yes !!! Boo Malcome is a sleeper.. will be great in the future…

John

June 17th, 2010
7:20 am

CHDAWG-Good Point. For example, I realize the Rodney Hampton had a very good NFL career with the Giants as a big, bruising runningback. However, I remember him his freshman year making incredible moves: Elusiveness was his his gift.He was one of my favorites to watch. I hope King doesn’t continue to get too big diminishing his natural running style.

Dawgbreath

June 17th, 2010
7:28 am

Just hope we all stick together after the SC and Arky game. One a test for our offense and the other for our defense. Season breakers IMO.

Pi$$onaDAWG

June 17th, 2010
7:51 am

Did I mention, I DRIVE A LEXUS SUV and when I get stuck in the mud in a ditch, I can hire a UGA graduate to help me get out. I bet he would stare at my wife and make us feel uncofortable. Why do my children keep a brown paper bag with them always?

Dawg House

June 17th, 2010
7:55 am

HAAAAAAATE ON HATERS, HATERS HATE ON!!!

Your jealousy and envy of the UGA football program makes me :)

The rest of us

June 17th, 2010
8:09 am

Pi$$onaDAWG

June 17th, 2010
7:51 am
Did I mention, I DRIVE A LEXUS SUV and when I get stuck in the mud in a ditch, I can hire a UGA graduate to help me get out. I bet he would stare at my wife and make us feel uncofortable. Why do my children keep a brown paper bag with them always?

So even people in a Lexus SUV can’t spell. Try uncomfortable next time, tough guy.

bob k in nc

June 17th, 2010
8:14 am

Someone forgot about Donta… Jackson He looked good at the end of games and in spring game. Maybe they give him some playing time withtherth the ones and see him shine or outshine some of the others

SickandTired

June 17th, 2010
8:16 am

Mismanaging running backs is a Mark Richt trademark. One only has to go to recent history to see that Mark cost UGA an entire season of Knowshon by redshirting him. To do that with such a talent borders on malpractice. Now he has Ealy and King. Ealy is so clearly the better of the two it is hilarious to even see this as part of any discussion. King had a big day against Tech, but who didn’t have a great day against that defense late in the season. Ealy deservers to start, he deserves every meaningful carry unless he is gassed. Any thing giving King carries when Ealey is healthy is not only crazy it’s hurting the offense. Mark Richt can’t handle running backs period. He’s recruiting good players, coaching them down and destroying Georgia’s chances of winning a championship as long as he’s there.
Georgia: The Wisconsin of the SEC
Georgia deserves better.

meansonny

June 17th, 2010
8:20 am

I’ll be excited to see Ealey get a broader playbook.
Last season, he was a workhorse getting downfield.

But in passing situations or goalline, we had King down there more often than not (and he did a fine job). Caleb had 3 times the catches and almost 3 times the touchdowns as Washaun.

If the two of them consistently improve in all facets of the game, they’ll be Murray’s best friend this season.

GT Dog

June 17th, 2010
8:26 am

Please don’t reply to PI$$ guys. It’s obvious he’s an illiterate moron who never went to ANY institution of higher learning. He hates UGA because he wasn’t allowed to apply there without a HS diploma….so sad.

GT Dog

June 17th, 2010
8:28 am

Remember “sick&tired” why Moreno didn’t play as a freshman…

tony

June 17th, 2010
8:33 am

I am so tired of Mr Richt poor decision making when it comes to putting the best players on the football. This is the reason why he hasn’t won a nc. The man just doesn’t get it. If he had started DJ Shockley over David Greene the dawgs would have won at least 1 nc. He redshirted his best rb(Moreno) and he started Richard Samuel as a rb when Richard was a 5 star lb coming out of hs. Now the young man is having trouble making adjustment to play lb. The kid was a head hunter in hs.

Anyone in their right mind knows Washaun Ealey is the best rb on that football team and Mr.Richt should use him the way coach Dooly used Hearshel Walker. The only time Ealey should come out the game is when he needs a breather not before. It’s about time for Mr.Richt to learn that he can’t satisfied every player on that football team. Put your best players on the football field and let them bring a nc to Athens.

The Real SugarHillDawg

June 17th, 2010
8:42 am

It’s EASY! When Ealey gets tired,put in King.

How2fish

June 17th, 2010
8:46 am

tony any your win/loss record coaching in D1 college football is exactly ?

The Real SugarHillDawg

June 17th, 2010
8:47 am

Hey The rest of us, I bet your wife couldn’t get that UGA grad out of her mind that day I KNOW she wished that it was him instead of you pawing on her later that night too.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

June 17th, 2010
8:52 am

tony’s not really stupid, but he plays stupid on blogs

SickandTired

June 17th, 2010
8:55 am

SugarHillDawg that’s exactly what the rotation should look like. Ealy until Ealy is tired. Then and only then should King go in. If Ealy can’t carry the ball 25 times a game easily, they need to look closely at the conditioning and make them run more after practice. Get them in shape. I know I couldn’t stand seeing Knowshon tap his helmet and come out of the game when the red zone was reached. That’s the most perplexing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Almost every running back I’ve ever seen wants to be in the game the closer to the goal line he gets……but yet, time after time, he’s taking himself out. I’d call a timeout, look him in the eye and tell him he comes out when I day he comes out. You put your best players on the field and leave them there. Taking David Greene out of the game as a planned substitution was so stupid it baffles the imagination. Would Nick Saban do that? Would Urban Meyer do that? Hell would Tommy Tubberville do that? The answer is no.
Georgia: The Wisconsin of the SEC
Georgia deserves better.

destin dawg

June 17th, 2010
9:00 am

He WILL get his Lexus stuck in the mud and a Dawg WILL probably pull him out…. and wife WILL look at his butt !!!

U of Wisconsin comp is not a knock of UGA

June 17th, 2010
9:02 am

UGA grad here ……….. to be mentioned with Iowa or Wisconsin is not a knock, let’s face it. There are the Top Tier football teams and then the Second Tier. The so called Top Teir teams come and go. Look at LSU as they were in the Top Tier 3 or 4 or 5 yrs ago but lately they are Second Tier. I do not mean to knock LSU. Right now only Texas and Alabama and Florida and maybe ………maybe Ohio State are Top Tier. Also, we can add for now …………. Oklahoma. For now ……. one more so so year and they drop to Second Tier.

UGA has not won the NC so we are PROUDLY Second Tier …………….you know what? NONE of the ACC teams are Second Tier, as they have not had CONSISTENT major bowl exposure over time. No, no ……….one Urange Bowl in 43 years does not designate Second Tier status. Show me about 6 or 7 more BIG bowls over the next 8 / 9 years ………. then GT can say we have arrived. Not now.

To be considered for even Second Tier status is to win and win and win and win over 10-15-20 years and go to the major bowls ( Sugar, Capitol One, Chic Fil-A or Cotton) on a regular basis. UGA has won at least 8+ games for over 13 years in a row and soon to be 14 and the average # of wins has been lately like 9 or 10 per year and about 95% of ALL NCAA schools would love to be in UGA’s chair. Like all the ACC schools, most Big 12 or Big Ten or Pac 10/12,etc. UGA over the last 10 yrs is the # 5 or # 6 team in winning %.

To be SECOND TIIER is to be with the elites. Top Tier? Only 4 or 5 schools are that for now. Second Tier is where nearly every U president desires to be. Why??? Money baby!!! This fact is why UGA is a fat cat school with tons and tons of $$$. Second Tier is wonderful and money proves it.

Money talks and cry babies walk.

Go Dogs.

tony

June 17th, 2010
9:12 am

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho, one thing I do not do is make stupid comments towards another blogger. Many people like yourself said I was crazy when I said Moreno was a better rb than Thomas Brown in 06 but Moreno end up being the better rb. And yes, DJ Shockley was a better qb than David Greene. Aaron Murray was the best qb last year but Mr Richt kept the red shirt on him. If you don’t like what I am saying then take your mean spirited behind to the right place of worship.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

June 17th, 2010
9:14 am

only a GT grad would get a Lexus SUV stuck in the mud in a ditch. Haha The brown bag you mention is for your kids to wear every time you make a fool of yourself… :) Better get a box of them.

Let the wifey drive next time… LOL What a stupid post !

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 17th, 2010
9:14 am

King’s injury proneness worries me. Hopefully Ealey has improved and would like to see contributions from Thomas & Malcome. If, IF, we sign Crowell, possibly another solid addition to the backfield.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

June 17th, 2010
9:18 am

Tony, Please validate your comments. Maybe Moreno did well because he was red shirted and had the extra time to develop? You also suggest staring a true freshman over a 5th year senior?

I’m a big DJ fan but David Greene did nothing but win. Pass the joint dude …..

georgia

June 17th, 2010
9:24 am

“Dr. Kenneth”,

how does a jaw break translate into injury proneness? Ealey had a knee injury this spring and Ealey missed the start of last season because of an elbow injury.
But an ILLEGAL hit from LSU breaks King’s jaw and it’s his fault?

Sowega

June 17th, 2010
9:32 am

Historically, Richt struggles distributing plays when he doesn’t have a clear #1. I hope for UGA’s sake Richt handles this better than the DJ Shockley and Danny Ware situations.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 17th, 2010
9:33 am

georgia- this was before the jaw break. he’s had hamstring issues and i think a wrist issue as well. wasn’t moreno the leader over CK4 due to injuries as well? King is great, but IMO, Ealey is better.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
9:39 am

sickandtired has no clue what its like to play college football. redshirting moreno was the right thing to do. red shirting players is ideal for freshman running backs and quarterbacks. giving them a whole year to grow and learn without screwing there game up. starting truefreshmen is a very risky move and desperate. like UGA was when stafford had to start. UGA had plenty of great running backs morenos freshman year. coach richt knows exactly what he is doing and knows what the players can and can’t do to help his team. the reason UGA gets all these top running backs is because they can come in play a ton early and have the depth to learn a pro style game without getting banged up too much. i like the fact richt uses a ton off running backs. freshlegs at the end of the game is deadly.

tony

June 17th, 2010
9:41 am

Validate my comment??? I don’t care if Brown was a 10th year senior, if he wasn’t the best rb on that football team then he shouldn’t be the starter. DJ Shockley did nothing but win. If he had the same amount of time as D,Greene the dawgs would have won a national championship especially at the time when B.VanGordor was the DC. Pass the joint young man.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
9:42 am

oh and shockley wasn’t better than green at the time. green knew the offense better and made the better reads. shockley was more mobile and had a stronger arm but he was also a year behind in running that offense that green had perfected

dawgfan

June 17th, 2010
9:42 am

They will be used similar to the way Moreno and Brown were used in ‘07. That worked out pretty well. The question remains as to whether or not we can get it done in the big games.

I don’t think a lot of Georgia fans realize how deplorable we’ve been in big games recently. The W-L record doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, I could handle an 8-5 season if we were competitive in those losses, but we’ve been getting our damn doors blown off. We’ve been no match for Florida and even managed to get pounded by a 7-6 Tennessee coached by Lane Kiffen (the worst loss of the Richt era, but that’s another topic). I shudder to think what Bama would have done to us last year if we had the misfortune of crossing paths with them. We are no longer competitive with the SEC’s elite. We’ve become soft.

I’m sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but I just don’t understand all this optimism. I don’t think it does the team any good. I’m not saying we won’t have a good year this year. Maybe we will. I hope so. I’m just saying that I’m sick of all the hype and talking and want to see things happen on the field. I think for once the haters actually have it right about us. Wake up people!!! David Pollack isn’t going to be running out that tunnel. Knowshon Moreno isn’t going to be running out that tunnel. Thomas Davis isn’t going to be running out that tunnel. Those guys are long gone. What we’ve got now is a bunch of big recruits that haven’t proven a damn thing, with only a few exceptions.

That concludes our sermon for the day. Thank you.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
9:46 am

tony..brown was better that moreno at the time. brown was stronger and was a better blocker. if moreno was good enough to beat out brown at the time then richt would have played him. redshirting moreno was the right move. moreno knew it as well as richt.

all green did was win too. shockley couldnt of done anything more too win a NC that green didnt already do.

WonderDawg

June 17th, 2010
9:48 am

Ealey will get more carries. Caleb King is injury-prone, and probably not quite tough enough to play every game.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
9:52 am

dawgfan…most if not all games are big in the sec and last year 2 of those losses should have been victories if not for a very bad refs opinion/call and a truefreshmen dropping the ball on the 3 yard line of KY..and the okl st game was 1 score until the last 2 or so min. UGA was very young last year. this year UGA off line is ready now. now they are the experienced ones on the field and have the strength and size to open up big time holes for ealy and king. 1 year running this style of offense makes a big difference.

OEJ

June 17th, 2010
9:53 am

tony your right. Coach Grantham came in and thats how it is on the defense now, he said the best players will play. I only hope that Richt applies that to the offense as well. That is the only way to WIN. I remember when I first seen Moreno in that SC game his red shirt freshman year, and the first thing I said was why in the ****didnt this guy play last year, this kind of talent didnt happen overnight. He was obviously our best running back and didnt play as a true freshman. If this changes UGA will be alright, ig not, maybe we get lucky and still win.

Ringleader

June 17th, 2010
9:54 am

I clearly remember Shockley throwing a pick 6 that lost the Florida game when Greene had the game in control……….Geene was clearly better, and the best Georgia has ever had for standing in the pocket and not turning the ball over.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
9:57 am

UGA wasnt soft they were just not as good as the srs that fla and tenn both had on the def/off line. tenn had a great game plan and executed very well. this year will be different as UGA young guys have 1 more year under there belt and the offensive line is much better now and teh def will be more aggressive. last year the defense sat back and let crompton scan the field..not this year with coach todd granthem.

Pi$$onadawg

June 17th, 2010
9:57 am

I am a total douche.

reservoirDAWG

June 17th, 2010
9:59 am

Just bring on the season.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
10:00 am

oej..all kinds of reason a true freshmen running backs don’t play. 1 reason is learning to block and pick up blitzing linebackers. another is size..moreno needed to put more on from his freshmen year to his red shirt year. also uga was set at running back.

ATL XMAN

June 17th, 2010
10:05 am

running two great backs is great. why run a great running back into the ground when you dont have too. using two great running backs mkaes perfect sense. look at the pros..they do the same thing as well.