RB Ken Malcome returns to Bulldogs 24 hours after asking to transfer

Georgia's Ken Malcome takes a handoff in the Coastal Carolina game, his only carry so far this season. (Photo provided by UGA)

Georgia's Ken Malcome takes a handoff in the Coastal Carolina game, his only carry so far this season. (Photo provided by UGA)

ATHENS – Ken Malcome is back on the team.

Just 24 hours after meeting with Georgia coach Mark Richt to ask for a transfer, the big, bruising running back from Decatur was back to ask for a reinstatement on Thursday. It was granted, just as Richt said he would do the previous night.

“If Ken came to me tomorrow and said, ‘Coach, I lost my mind and I’m sorry and I’d love to come back and compete here at Georgia,’ I’d hug his neck and say ‘come on,’” Richt said after Wednesday’s practice.

That’s apparently just what happened. Malcome’s return was announced in a brief release from UGA Sports Communications Thursday afternoon: “Ken Malcome, who indicated to Coach Richt Wednesday he wanted to transfer, has requested and been granted a return to the team.”

Malcome’s reversal was not a major surprise. Richt seemed to be imploring Malcome to return through his comments to the press after announcing his decision to transfer:

“What happens is, most everybody we recruit was probably the best player on the team or the one of the best players on their team. Just by virtue of the fact they were that talented, they showed up wanting to play. Now I’m not saying that’s the case. There’s a lot of guys with tremendous work ethic. But whether they work hard or don’t ‘t work hard, some of these guys are just flat out better and they play. And then [players] get into a situation where they get around other athletes like them and now you have to compete. Learning how to do that is very difficult sometimes. Some guys will see the mountain as too high to climb and then decided to go somewhere else. And that’s fine, if that’s what’s going on. I want all these guys to get an opportunity to play. I want all these guys to get an opportunity to get their education. But I think there’s some value in fighting for you job.”

Richt said he is constantly hearing from players who are considering transferring or quitting football. Three-time All-American David Pollack was one.

“A lot of guys will feel that way. You hear it a lot, ‘I’m thinking about going.’ And then they stay; and then they compete; and then they get bigger, stronger; and then they get more seniority and there’s freshmen behind them going through the same thing. Other guys might transfer or graduate and then, all the sudden, there they are, they’re playing. And they’re so thankful they stayed around and saw it through.

“I’ll never forget David Pollack coming into my office as a freshman during camp. He was down. He said, ‘I can’t do anything right. Coach Garner’s all over me. I think I might have made a mistake. I don’t know if I can play here.’ Pollack’s the most decorated player in the history of Georgia football and he had those doubts, too. So it’s hard to all of the sudden compete at a level you just never had to.

“I’m not saying these guys are bad kids at all. It’s just that sometimes it comes as a shock to them and instead of fighting they choose to move on. There’s a bunch of good kids that decide to do that.”

Coaches said Malcome missed practices Tuesday and Wednesday because of a “stomach bug.” He has had one carry for zero yards to this point and did not make the travel roster for Ole Miss last weekend.

An all-state player at Southwest DeKalb High, Malcome (6-0, 221) was expected to step to the forefront this season with Georgia’s attrition at tailback. But after Washaun Ealey and Caleb King exited the program, Malcome fell behind true freshman Isaiah Crowell, junior Carlton Thomas, linebacker convert Richard Samuel and former walkon Brandon Harton on the depth chart in preseason camp.

There was no such reversal of fortune for cornerback Derek Owens. Richt also announced Wednesday that the sophomore from Jacksonville was seeking a transfer.

That means 14 players have left Georgia since the end of last season with eligibility remaining. That includes NFL early draftees A.J. Green and Justin Houston and medical retirees Jeremy Longo and Tanner Strickland.

Richt acknowledged that the rate of attrition is greater than usual. Asked if that was due to more demands within the program or fewer opportunties due to a lot of freshmen earning playing time, he said: “Probably a little of both.”

But the turnover does not seem to have Richt overly concerned. “All it’s going to do is allow us to sign a full boat of recruits again, which will be a positive thing if we bring in the right guys,” he said.

Richt was asked if having to deal with player transfers this week was distracting as the Bulldogs prepare for a major SEC showdown with Mississippi State.

“No,” he said. “It comes with the territory. It hasn’t hurt my preparation. All my film study, all the decisions help the staff make, that’s already been done. It has not kept me from doing my job this week.”

|– Chip Towers

139 comments Add your comment

Dawg Girl

September 29th, 2011
3:34 pm

Frank Lane

September 29th, 2011
3:36 pm

Good perspective, good decision by Pollack, good decision by Boo.

Dawg Girl

September 29th, 2011
3:38 pm

Great decision, Ken. Now go work your but off and take somebody’s spot. The Bulldog Nation is behind you!

hugedawgfan

September 29th, 2011
3:39 pm

thank GOD…..

McDawg

September 29th, 2011
3:41 pm

good for him-not much depth to the depth chart

ugaDAWG

September 29th, 2011
3:43 pm

Welcome back, GATA, and fight like hell. GO ‘DAWGS!

Big Wally Butts

September 29th, 2011
3:43 pm

You know, I keep hearing about Ken Malcome and his abilities and have often wondered why he wasn’t on the field except during spring practice this year. I understand that he got hurt and needed time to heal but it seemed that we just heard one reason after another as to why he wasn’t playing. I don’t know if he will stay for the remainder of his college career or wait until the season is over to transfer elsewhere after he has a chance to look at the recruiting process. Don’t get me wrong, but what I think would be ideal is for him to have an “ah-ha” moment and somehow maturity starts to take over and he realizes that at this level, he has to work for his touches. Good Lord, look at Lattimore and how hard he worked during the off season to put on 15lbs of muscle so he could stand up to the rigors of a season and reduce the chances of injury (remember- he didn’t make it thru last season injury free and I doubt that Isiah will either). If Malcome comes back to the team (and I understand that he has), I hope that it is with a new attitude of dedication toward hard work and playing through the minor injuries that occur. If he truly has the talent everyone says that he has, he will move up the chart quickly with hard work. His chances are especially good at UGA because of the lack of depth at the rb position, rather than to go elsewhere and start over. I am not sure that I get it (the transfer). I am glad that he re-thought it.

Stephen

September 29th, 2011
3:44 pm

Richt knew he would be back.

Ken has his work cut out for him, but he avoided becoming the next Caleb King.

all I remember is

September 29th, 2011
3:44 pm

it’s pay back time for Mississippi State.

LHarding Dawg

September 29th, 2011
3:45 pm

Now Boo, get rid of that stomach bug and get to practice. Welcome back.

Swarles Barkley

September 29th, 2011
3:45 pm

Glad he changed his mind, but not for obvious depth purposes. I’m happy he stayed because that tells me that he heard what Richt had to say. Hopefully hearing Richt say that he wants to see him stay and fight for playing time finally helped it click in his head that the answer is not to complain but to shut up and work for it. In the end, the guy who’s 4th on the depth chart doesn’t normally have that much impact, but he has the potential to move up to the 2nd spot if he puts the work in.

Inlet Dawg

September 29th, 2011
3:45 pm

Boo, in a few years you are going to be real happy that you stayed a Bulldog!!I am happy right now that you will stay one of us.

Blue Ridge Top Dawg

September 29th, 2011
3:46 pm

Ok good…. Now get to work son! Go Dawgs!

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2011
3:48 pm

Can’t wait to hear 92,000+ fans Booing on Saturday!

BG

September 29th, 2011
3:49 pm

Great News! GATA Ken.

1eyedJack

September 29th, 2011
3:50 pm

Alright then son, tell me about it after the season. We’ve got a game this Saturday.

LHarding Dawg

September 29th, 2011
3:50 pm

It took 15 post for the first idiot to come on.

TampaDawg

September 29th, 2011
3:52 pm

Agree with all posts thus far. If he had been working hard thus far and before the season began, Samuel may have never made the depth chart at RB and instead been fighting for a position in the LB corp

MarineDog

September 29th, 2011
3:53 pm

Glad too see you back Malcome. I wish the other kid would reconsider as well.

Dawg48

September 29th, 2011
3:53 pm

Glad you stayed! GATA!!! Give em he’ll malcome ! And give em he’ll sat dawgs!

AltamahaDawg

September 29th, 2011
3:55 pm

Glad he found the Pepto.

D Fence

September 29th, 2011
3:58 pm

Here’a goal for you Ken:

Work your tail off for the next 30 days and flat a** run over a few gators for us in Jax and you will immediately find yourself in bulldawg lore for many years to come.

Dawg48

September 29th, 2011
3:58 pm

It’s time for the richt haters and so called ga fans to start posting.

WDE

September 29th, 2011
4:00 pm

Great news ! Now lets get ready for Miss St this weekend! Go Dogs !

JB

September 29th, 2011
4:00 pm

Welcome back, prove them wrong and try to get some carriers…..from earning them, not given to you.

invictus mon

September 29th, 2011
4:01 pm

Glad he’s back! I hear he’s got great potential. Just needs to apply himself to live up to it. It’s always hard to recover once you get behind the 8 ball, but it can be done!

Big Dirty Dawg

September 29th, 2011
4:02 pm

Why wasnt all this drama handled internally with the athletic dept, it makes our program looks like a train wreck!!!!!!!

NC Dawg

September 29th, 2011
4:06 pm

Glad to hear! Welcome back!

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

September 29th, 2011
4:07 pm

LOL…and you call yourself a big time college program….you jest!!You’re Vandy in red and black or whatever you colors are for today.

DePort

September 29th, 2011
4:08 pm

This is all result of all this media attention these kids get when they are 16 and 17 … they automatically think they are going to be superstars and never learn how to work hard for something they want…. Hopefully Ken can get his head right .. learn his lesson .. and be that big bruiser back we need to go along with Crowell…

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2011
4:09 pm

LHarding Dawg, phew. I had to count that three times. I was cutting it close.

Now Coach Richt can educate the fans on when to Boo!

sammiamm

September 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

Run Boo Run!!!

Bishop Cecil Newton

September 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

That’s too bad. I was going to offer my services in finding a suitable school for Mr. Malcome to sign with.

RedandBlackDawg

September 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

In the service it is called attitude adjustment. In college football, it is called, “my parents didn’t think a lot of my decision and there aren’t a lot of colleges out there, that want a player, with potential who hasn’t proven anything on the field yet”.
I wish him well and I hope he realizes you have to earn your way onto the field through practicing and dedication. Hopefully, the young man can get and stay healthy and show what he can do on the practice field and earn some playing time.
He would be a nice addition to Crowell in the running game, and I would think that is what CMR had in mind for the year. Now it is up to the young man to prove he deserves the chances to get touches through his own initiative.

GO DAWGS and GATA

P.S. Anybody saying that it was CMR’s fault this kid did not do better so far, really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Never the less, I would expect to see a fair amount of bloggers on here say that. Haters hate, and players play. To think though that he would have started ahead of Crowell, no matter what shows a lack of intelligence on their part.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2011
4:11 pm

D Fence, good idea!

BiggerthanBigDawg

September 29th, 2011
4:11 pm

What needs to be understood is the fact that these kids are not competing for “a job” They are competing for “the job” There is a ton of pride in this state and in the nation to say I am “the” starting (put the position here) for the University of Georgia. There is also equal weight to saying I am the second (put the position here) for the University of Georgia. You are only a injury… or series of bad plays away from being in the game. Its not like there are a handful of guys that can line up and do what u do….look at our ILB situation now…ur gonna tell me that Jeremy Sulek was banking on the fact that he would get significant snaps at the ILB position this year? He busted his butt and stuck it out and now due to injury has to be prepared to play because he is “the” Moe or “the” second Moe to go into the game! Bust ur butt Boo and be prepared to be “the” guy when ur in “the” game!

sammiamm

September 29th, 2011
4:12 pm

Great suggestion D Fence!

Work
Play
Win
Rinse and repeat

pj

September 29th, 2011
4:16 pm

These kids DO read these blogs guys, I promise – Malcome, welcome back to the team. You’re a beast of a player – now go SHOW it and this will hardly be remembered.

Dawg48

September 29th, 2011
4:18 pm

Rudy quit to! Look what happened with that! Ask GT!

Mark (another one)

September 29th, 2011
4:23 pm

It was disappointing to read he quit this morning, and it brightened the day that he decided to tough it out and complete. I would bet the underlying issue is frustration, and yet he wants to be an SEC and NFL star. The path is hard work. Hopefully he got a chance to spend some time with Hershel Walker this last summer, and he got a chance to see how someone can dedicate themselves to their cause.

UGA Insider

September 29th, 2011
4:23 pm

I think if I were Boo however I would shut it down for the rest of the season. He has an injured groin that he keeps hurting. He has had this chronic injury since high school. I would talk to doctors and see if there is some type of surgery possibly. There is a chance Samuels moves back to LB this spring and if he is healthy can get into the rotation next fall. However, he needs to start the spring completely healthy and his groin will not let him do that at present.

#1 nominee for the comedy club honors for week 5 of the 2011 season

September 29th, 2011
4:27 pm

Here’a goal for you Ken:

Work your tail off for the next 30 days and flat a** run over a few gators for us in Jax and you will immediately find yourself in bulldawg lore for many years to come.

Brandon Spikes

September 29th, 2011
4:28 pm

I wish I could gouge Boo’s eyes out!

security dawg

September 29th, 2011
4:31 pm

Now this goes out to BOO…BOO we need you to come back earn your respect and your playing time I’m sure that CMR didn’t just say the thingsx that he said about you because he just liked you as a player. I feel he has some players that he wants to give the world and the ball to but he can’t because they under perform or are over shadowed by a BIG NAME like IC but to loose grounds to SAMUELS IV and a walk on means that you haven’t pushed urself to do what u need to do…..SO do the work and get it DAMN done!!

Blake

September 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

Next year samuel will be back at Linebacker and Boo will be that big back. Good choice kid. You will get your time to shine. Good thing come to those who wait. you still will have 3 years left to play for the dawgs…… Look at guys like Bruce figgins. DID HE QUIT!!!! not on your life. He found another role on this team to earn some playing time. Keep your head up, Your tail in the weight room and practice field and out of the night clubs and you can become a memeber of the tail back U legacy.

jawga boy

September 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

Ken, I once had a head coach that played for the Bear….mean sumbitch…tried to run us in the ground one day for loafing. He called for wind sprints…and there we were, down in So. Ga. heat, running back and forth…about midway, something “snapped” ( or connected) in me that “I wasn’t going to let this sumbitch beat me”…then I started sprinting each one, full speed, leaving the rest behind in my dust. I found inner strength I didn’t know I had ( but God did )…after about 10 suicides…coach called me out and said ” Son, go on to the showers….you are starting Friday Night”. Ken, I didn’t make it to college ball. You did, and you have more strength within you that you know…dig deep ( you already have ). Get back in the huddle and give em’ hell! I’ll be watching.

whatacrew

September 29th, 2011
4:36 pm

What a Dumb-a this Malcome is – why would Richt baby him so much to come back – if the kid isn’t really serious about playing for UGA?? I’m sorry – but would CMR do this for others?? I have heard him say before that if a player decided he didn’t want to be a part of the team – then out he goes (and don’t look back). Oh well – just another reason why CMR is damaged goods

Fact Finding Missionary

September 29th, 2011
4:39 pm

“Pollack’s the most decorated player in the history of Georgia football” -Mark Richt

Really?

ARdawg

September 29th, 2011
4:41 pm

jawja boy

Good story

JDawg1785

September 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

Great decision, Boo! Welcome back!