ATHENS — Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell is battling a groin injury that severely limited his participation in Friday’s practice, the Bulldogs’ 10th of preseason camp.
However, both Crowell and UGA head coach Mark Richt insist that the injury is not serious and should not significantly hamper Crowell’s preparation for the No. 22-ranked Bulldogs’ season opener against No. 7 Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in three weeks.
“It’s not really that serious,” said Crowell, speaking to reporters Friday for the first time since arriving at UGA. “It was just weak or whatever, but it’s not serious.”
Crowell was not dressed in a green jersey, which signifies an injured player. However, he moved slowly and gingerly through the Bulldogs’ drill work early in practice and actually stood to the side for several of them. Occasionally he would limp noticeably and his left thigh was heavily wrapped in an ace bandage underneath his pants. See THIS VIDEO posted by our friends at DawgTime.com,
“It’s a groin that’s bothering him,” Richt said. “We don’t think there was a pull. But if you get enough practices in a row and going live and all that stuff, sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just can’t go full speed. So that’s what happened with him. We shut him down today. It’ll be day-by-day. We’ll see how he feels.”
Given the Bulldogs’ precarious situation at tailback, any injury at that position could be perceived as cause for alarm. Redshirt freshman Ken “Boo” Malcome, who was already hampered with a groin injury, did not attend Friday’s practice because “he’s not feeling too good,” Richt said. Richt was not specific other than to say it was “not a concussion.”
Meanwhile, former walkon tailback Brandon Harton — he was just awarded a scholarship Thursday night — just returned from a real concussion and remained in green on Friday. That left the Bulldogs with recently-converted tailback Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas, who is suspended for the opening game.
For what it’s worth, Thomas had “a really nice day of competition” and Samuel had the run of the day in Friday’s full-contact workout.
“It was the first play of [teamwork] and he ran over a cornerback and kept on trucking for about another 30 yards or so,” Richt said. “That was a big run for him.”
Later it was learned that Samuel suffered a strained quad during the practice and he, too, is listed as “day-to-day.”
Meanwhile, the buzz of the day Friday was it was the first opportunity for reporters to interview Crowell since he’s been on UGA’s campus. As was consistent of his personality throughout recruiting, Crowell was a man of few words but also of quiet confidence. He actually addressed the fact that he’s not one ramble on with his answers.
“I don’t like speaking but I know I have to,” he said while sitting on a stool in a scrum of reporters and TV cameras.
Some of the “highlights” from Crowell’s 15-minutes session with the media: