Georgia LB Richard Samuel agrees to move back to tailback (UPDATED)

Junior Richard Samuel (22), here in Georgia's G-Day Game, was actually looking pretty good as a linebacker. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Junior Richard Samuel (22), here in Georgia's G-Day Game, was actually looking pretty good as a linebacker. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

In the wake of attrition at the running back position, Georgia announced Thursday that junior Richard Samuel will move back to tailback from linebacker.

Samuel, a former five-star prospect from Cartersville who was recruited at both positions, played tailback his first two seasons with the Bulldogs. He agreed to a move to linebacker last year, then redshirted. The 6-foot-2 athlete is now up to 243 pounds. He played tailback in the 225 to 230 range.

Georgia lost its top two tailbacks of the two last seasons — Caleb King and Washaun Ealey – to academic ineligibility and transfer, respectively, since the end of spring practice. True freshman Isaiah Crowell, junior Carlton Thomas and redshirt freshman Ken “Boo” Malcome were the only remaining tailbacks on scholarship.

Following is UGA’s release:

Georgia junior linebacker Richard Samuel of Cartersville will return to the tailback position, according to an announcement Thursday by UGA head coach Mark Richt. Samuel, who played tailback as a freshman and sophomore, had been moved to linebacker a year ago but injuries led to a redshirt season in 2010.

“After discussions with Richard, his family, and our coaches I’m excited that Richard wants to make the move,” Richt said. “He’s one of our fastest and most powerful players, is very mature, has a strong character and is a man we can count on. I’m proud of him for always putting the team first and I look forward to seeing what he can do.”

Said Samuel: “I’m excited about the opportunity at tailback. I’m ready to do anything that will help the team win.”

In his two seasons at tailback (2008-09), Samuel played in 22 games including six starts (all in 2009). He carried 114 times for 528 yards and three touchdowns.

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353 comments Add your comment

freedyg

July 14th, 2011
5:48 pm

NCDawg

July 14th, 2011
5:48 pm

Good for you Richard Samuel for being a heck of a team player – I hope this is the season of your life!

Spanky

July 14th, 2011
5:48 pm

Yeah man! Team First attitude! Way to go kid! We needed that!

Speaking of First…

Spanky

July 14th, 2011
5:49 pm

James

July 14th, 2011
5:49 pm

Smart move..Mabybe he will not fumble as much and become an asset.

BIG DAWG

July 14th, 2011
5:50 pm

TEAM FIRST thanks for seeing the big picture Richard Samuel. GO DAWGS GATA

Good for him

July 14th, 2011
5:50 pm

Good to hear a team player who is willing to help any way he can. Way to go Richard.

freedyg

July 14th, 2011
5:51 pm

I hope this doesn’t hurt with us trying to land Keith Marshall next year.

JB

July 14th, 2011
5:53 pm

They have been prepping his body for LB the last 12 months. What is he, 250?

Dawg fan

July 14th, 2011
5:53 pm

Hopefully he will have better vision this time around.

Concrete Pete

July 14th, 2011
5:53 pm

We need 85 guys like Richard. Guys with team-first attitudes will always win, on the field and in life

JB

July 14th, 2011
5:54 pm

I know he’s fast. May be a Godsend.

tide roll

July 14th, 2011
5:56 pm

Oh Hell yeah. Now play him. A lot. Along with Christian LeMay. This is a different OL and fullback he’ll be running behind now. 6′2″ 230lb. and explosive. Great move by the Dawgs. Now go get Joe Harris, turn Brandon Greene, and sign Vadal Alexander, and you’re going places. And the thing is, they’re in state kids. Ripe for the taking. If you think Muschamp really wants theus, you’re crazy. He wants Jessaman Dunker, D. J. Humphries, and Avery Young, and he’s going to get them. Richt/Bobo can’t continue to stand by and sign the caliber of offensive lineman that can’t play at this level. They simply can’t. It’s a new day. Muschamp gets it. Why do Richt and Bobo refuse to?

zulucanibal

July 14th, 2011
5:56 pm

Richard…Great things are going to happend to you cause you have the right attitude!!! Love the team spirit!!

Beast from the East

July 14th, 2011
5:58 pm

I bet Samuel would love to get his hands on Ealey and King. This kid has a GREAT attitude but I’m sure he’s tired of getting jerked around. Who wouldn’t be? I don’t blame the coaching staff as they’re just doing what they feel is best for the team…..like Samuel is.

Mountain Dawg

July 14th, 2011
5:58 pm

Damn Good Dawg!

BigDaddy

July 14th, 2011
5:59 pm

Great attitude! Need more like him.

Vance Duly

July 14th, 2011
5:59 pm

Hmmmm… so, will we actually give him a few toss sweeps to see if his straight ahead speed will work, OR will we just run him between the tackles where he seemed to lack the vision for making cuts……….?! Or, even worse, will we use him for 4-5 offensive plays per game, when he could be contributing at LB? ………….Remember, Coach Bobo is the one making these playcalling decisions!! Good luck to Samuel!! GO Dawgs!

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:00 pm

tide roll………………Between Stallings and Saban = a bad football program. Good for you NOW. You lost three games last year with the Best QB in the conference and a returning Heisman winner at RB. Very poor results I’d say. I would say coaching needs to be questioned.

VinnyD

July 14th, 2011
6:01 pm

I was really excited to see him at LB. I don’t see why he can’t play LB and RB in a pinch. He doesn’t have the vision to be a great RB, straight line runner who likes contact.

BigDaddy

July 14th, 2011
6:02 pm

Benedict was never a dawg. He is a wussy p.

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:03 pm

Beast, I agree, but we really don’t have a choice. We are deep at LB and he wasn’t even slated to start.
We are more than thin at RB. #3 on the depth chart is a walk on.

Dawg Days

July 14th, 2011
6:03 pm

What a magnificeint example of a true team player. How refreshing is it for Richard to agree and be excited about helping the team. In this day and age with all the selfish me-first attitudes in sports and society in general, it is clear that Richard’s parents have raised their son with cleasr values. He will suceed in life no matter where it takes him. Can we recruit 84 more just like him, not to say there arent some good Dawgs on the team…

1970 Dawg

July 14th, 2011
6:04 pm

@Tide roll, I’ll put CMR’s and CMB’s credentials up against Muschamp any day. He’s never been a head coach and last year’s time as HC in waiting didn’t go so well at Texas, now did it?

You're my boy Blue!

July 14th, 2011
6:04 pm

Does any other program screw around with the kids as much as UGA??? Bobo and Richt are clueless…

1970 Dawg

July 14th, 2011
6:05 pm

BTW, thanks to R Samuel for your TEAM attitude. This is his second position move without whining, pouting, or moving on.

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:06 pm

Johnson was exposed today for some major screwing around I’d say.

coloradobulldog

July 14th, 2011
6:06 pm

I didn’t realize Samuel averaged 4.6 yds per carry. Not bad. Would have loved to see him play as LB as I think that’s his best place to make a living on Sundays, but we have depth there with Ogletree moving from S.

1953Dawg

July 14th, 2011
6:07 pm

Great move my ass. UGA now has a starting running back that was 3rd string 2 years ago. That had proven to everyone that he had no vision or balance, and that he was not and i REPEAT not an SEC calibre running back. This move now weakens 2 positions, L.B, and running back. Got to hand it to Richt and his wonderful running back coach for recruiting top talent at running back the past 2 or 3 seasons. This staff once again shows that it has no clue when it comes to recruiting and making good evaluations of prospects. Richt has let this program sink into the bottom of the SEC in talent and coaching, and McGarity needs to stop the bleeding now, but unfortunately for UGA fans the NIGHTMARE in Athens will continue. How in God’s name could this clown Richt allow this program to sink to the level it has become? There is absolutely no depth at R.B, O.L, W.R, D.L, L.B, C.B, and especially safety. And all of this has happened under the wonderful Richt’s watch. UGA fans are getting what they deserve. a mediocre coach, and a mediocre program. Richt is the 7th best coach in the SEC now, and his program is the 7th best team in the SEC now, if they finish that high.

1970 Dawg

July 14th, 2011
6:07 pm

@YMB Blue, yeah they are clueless. That’s how they won 94 games in 10 seasons at UGA. Sounds like you may be somewhat clueless.

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:07 pm

Does Johnson keep his Bonus money for that Bowl and ACC champ game?

collegeballfan

July 14th, 2011
6:08 pm

Why did they move him to linebacker?

His one season at TB he averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

Why did they move him to linebacker?

He came out of high school as a 5 star tailback.

Then UGA decided he was a 1 star tailback and moved him to linebacker.

There is no way to make this stuff up! This is real world stuff.

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:10 pm

I hate to be first DB who try’s to bring him down, just say’n

MarineDog

July 14th, 2011
6:11 pm

Does this mean that the coaches are confident that Jarvis Jones will be cleared to play or are they just trying to build depth at the RB position?

Regardless, I hope this kid has a fantastic season; not only for the team but for himself as well. Outstanding attitude and he will reap his rewards whether it’s in football or not.

ARdawg

July 14th, 2011
6:11 pm

DGD is Richard. It truly warms my heart to see such enthusiasm in the kid to keep team first. No doubt such a move is a set back in his personal preparation and training. I thought he was good the first time around with more patience. The kids got the speed and the strength. His only draw back was his impatience in letting the play develop. IMHO

JB

July 14th, 2011
6:12 pm

Richt and Bobo like to play a lot of backs. I don’t agree with that, but likely crowell will get10 touch’s, C Thomas 6, Boo Malcome 6, Samuals 6. Count on it.

1970 Dawg

July 14th, 2011
6:14 pm

@1953Dawg, you were obviously around (as I was) when Vince Dooley had some rebuilding periods. If you look at Dooley’s record, he had several mediocre years including a 5-6 year. CMR has been a great coach with a winning % of .723 which trumps many great coaches including our own Coach Dooley. He leads our program with integrity which makes proud to have him as our HC.

Poopdawg

July 14th, 2011
6:15 pm

If Richt requested this he is a dumb ass. If Samuel requested it’s a different story. Good luck Samuel good luck Dawgs.

ARdawg

July 14th, 2011
6:17 pm

Collegeballfan

C’mon, that wasn’t brain science. We were very weak at LB and had supposed studs in King and Ealy at tailback. Samuels is an athlete and needed to be on the field

big john 360 lbs

July 14th, 2011
6:21 pm

I don’t feel like RB is Samuels best position, but I feel better having one more body at that position. At 240, he should be able to hold up the whole season.
We have some young pup studs at LB coming in that should play into the rotation, so I feel good there.
I would’ve loved to see Samuel run somebody down sideline to sideline though.

Columbus

July 14th, 2011
6:21 pm

Good to see after that weak lineman just SELFISHLY left school.

If Crowell is something really special he will get 20 or more carries and hopefully after Bozo learned the RUN the ball lesson….they will run it and keep it out of Boise’s and USC’s hands since Crowell will need time to learn pass protection….This will keep the other teams defenses ON the field and wear them down, REST our defense and keep the opponent’s offenses off the field and maybe over-anxious and create mistakes. So I hope we run MORE especially with Green gone. It makes GREAT sense. Let’s see if Bozo has gotten any since the bowl game. I doubt it. He is the problem since he took over as OC and play calling and game preparation. Not Richt.

Big Bad Bob

July 14th, 2011
6:22 pm

Great move. Richard Samuel is the ultimate TEAM player. I hope you have a fantastic year Richard and lead the DAWGS to the SEC Championship.

Columbus

July 14th, 2011
6:22 pm

Thank you Mark Richt for running a CLEAN program and not cheating like AU, UA, UT and GT……Win we win it all we will have not cloud over us. It will be LEGIT. Just like our last 2 conference championships under…Mark Richt. Before Richt we won an SEC championship in……1982! All you Richt haters are obviously……..MORONS. His 10 year record stands for itself and on its own and I challenge you to find better coaching records in the 10st 10 years of ANY head coach in the last 50 years…..Maybe 3? Maybe….

D Bag Trolls!

July 14th, 2011
6:27 pm

In the history of man nobody has ever gotten better at anything! This guy will shine and the team will be better because of it. He is a leader and a DGD! He had two losers in front of him two years ago and we did not run him enough. He will average over 5 yards a game this season and can block. Great Move! Go back and look at the first series with OSU.

MarineDog

July 14th, 2011
6:28 pm

@1953Dawg,

“Richt has let this program sink into the bottom of the SEC in talent and coaching,”

As much as I hate to ask this: How are they at the bottom in both talent and coaching? How do you quantify that statement when all the major recruiting services say otherwise about the talent pool that UGA have recruited over the last 5-10 years? Why does Richt have a winning record over every other SEC school with the exception of UF since Richt has been there if they are at the bottom of the SEC? One losing season does not sink you to the bottom of the SEC. Why don’t we see what happens with all the changes and a new AD that will make the decision to fire him if there’s no improvement. My question to you is, will you give the coaching staff credit if they have a 10 win season this year? I do understand that you do not like Richt for some reason or another, but your “bottom” dwelling claim is simply not true. The numbers says otherwise. I want argue against your other points because they are simply an opinion.

Dawg Tired

July 14th, 2011
6:29 pm

We should change our fight song to “Desperado.” He was absolutely terrible at RB. So after preparing to be a linebacker for the last year or so he is going to suddenly morph into a good running back? What is going on in Athens? Can we possibly be this stupid? Apparently we are. I actually like CMR, but this just seems foolish. Hope the player proves me wrong.

trupert

July 14th, 2011
6:30 pm

Great move! Richard samuel has always been fast and a fast RB at 243lbs sounds good to me, after a year at LB he ought to be tough enough. Go dawgs!!!

Ra'mon

July 14th, 2011
6:30 pm

Samuel was a really good back. His biggest problem was he started to fumble a lot. But guess what, so did Ealey. With his size, Samuel will be a great 1/2 combo with Crowell. Not to mention he has the body that COULD take 23 carries in an SEC game.

Dawg Tired

July 14th, 2011
6:31 pm

I agree with D Bag that he will average over 5 yards a game. I just don’t think 5 yards a game out of a running back is a good thing.

John Galt

July 14th, 2011
6:31 pm

What a contrast to Benedict! Thanks, Samual, for being a DGD!

And for all of you Richt haters- the man has kept our noses clean this year. In the wake of GT’s probabtion, what do y’all think of Richt now? Another DGD!