Q&A: Crowell happy with season, wants to be ‘more accountable, responsible’

Isaiah Crowell hasn't done much for Georgia since his 132-yard rushing effort against Auburn. He has had 26 yards on 12 carries in the three games since. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Isaiah Crowell hasn't done much for Georgia since his 132-yard rushing effort against Auburn. He has had 26 yards on 12 carries in the three games since. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Q&A WITH ISAIAH CROWELL

With 29 more yards rushing, Isaiah Crowell will have turned in the best performance by a freshman tailback since Herschel Walker had 1,616 in 1980. Crowell currently has 847 yards, 28 behind Thomas Brown, who had 875 in 2004. Crowell was named SEC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American. Yet he’s vilified on blogs and in fan forums and was actually booed in the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. The frustration over Crowell is everyone can plainly see his first season at Georgia could have even more glorious. Suspensions, injuries and a general inability to stay on the football field for expended periods of time makes it seem his was only a part-time effort.

On track for a 1,000-yard season, an ankle injury limited Crowell to just 26 yards on 12 carries in the Bulldogs’ final three games. He claims to be healthy now but heads into the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl second team behind redshirt freshman Ken Malcome. By all accounts there is nothing currently that would keep Crowell out of that game. This past weekend, Crowell spent a few minutes talking with reporters about his first season at Georgia and what it felt like from his perspective.

Q: At one point 1,000 yards rushing — one of your stated goals — seemed like a foregone conclusion. But then you didn’t play much from the Kentucky game on. Is that something you still believe is achievable?

A: “I don’t think it’s out of reach. I mean, it it happens, I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll still be happy because I had a great season, a freshman season. So if it doesn’t happen I’ll just come back and try again next year.”

Q: You also said you wanted to be named a freshman All-American and that happened for you, too. Was that exciting for you?

A: “Yeah, I was excited about it. But I don’t really pay attention to stuff like that.”

Q: If there was any one thing you could change about this past season, what would it be?

A: “I think everything I did, there’s a reason for everything. So, no, I wouldn’t change anything about it.”

Q: Ken Malcome has been working at first-team tailback ahead of you. Have you been motivated by the competition?

A: “Yeah, you’re always going to compete. Even when I was first team I was still competing. So it’s nothing really new to me. At practice you’re going to compete. I don’t look at it like I’m trying to beat him out. I want him to do well, too. It’s going to come down to the coaches anyway, so I don’t really look at it too much.”

Q: I’m sure you saw where Georgia got a commitment from tailback Keith Marshall of Raleigh. He’s the No. 1 running back prospect in the country, like you were last year. Do you feel threatened or frustrated because UGA felt the need to pursue another big-time back?

A: “Really I’m happy to get another guy. I thought we needed more running backs. So I think that’s a good thing.”

Q: Did you meet Marshall during recruiting?

A: “We talked on the phone and texted. But I haven’t really met him face to face.”

Q: Noticed you haven’t been in green for practice. Are you fully recovered from your left-ankle injury.

A: “Yes I am. I’m farther along.”

Q: What are some lessons you learned your first season?

A: “Just follow my teammates and coaches. They’re counting on me to do what I’m supposed to do. . . . I think I need to be more accountable and handle my responsibilities better.”

Q: How glad were you did get fall semester exams behind you?

A: “Really, I’m happy that’s all that’s over. I felt like I needed a break. I’m just ready to chill out some. So, yeah, I was happy about it.”

Q: There probably hasn’t been a more scrutinized and speculated-about athlete at Georgia in a long while. Did you ever hear all the rumors that were circulating about you?

A: “I don’t really look at it. I don’t really pay attention to it. People don’t come to me with those things. I hear about it. I don’t pay no attention to it.”

Q: Which one did you think was the most outlandish?

A: “All of it.”

Q: So then you’ve heard that you want to transfer, right?

A: “Yeah. I’m happy here. I know there’s rumors about me wanting to transfer and all that, but no. I never said that.”

Q: What do you think of Malcome and how he’s playing presently?

A: “He’s a great teammate and a good person. He works hard. I can see us playing together and doing well. I think we’ll be a good combination. I know he knows how to run the ball well.”

288 comments Add your comment

hogmtndawg

December 19th, 2011
6:41 am

Not to get off topic, but how about some notes/commnets/etc. from Saturday night’s basketball game. Haven’t seen a word from the ajc . . .

BobDawg

December 19th, 2011
6:42 am

Go Get Em, IC!

gbal

December 19th, 2011
6:46 am

BobDawg

December 19th, 2011
6:47 am

For those on here that went to college AND played sports as I did… Your Fall Semester is TOUGH… Next year we could be the next 4 Horseman!

Orlando_Dawg

December 19th, 2011
7:00 am

“Wouldn’t change a thing. ..” not even an alleged drug suspension?? Not exactly what you want to hear as a coach, fan and especially a parent!

Will

December 19th, 2011
7:03 am

One thing is for certain, we are a better team with IC on the field.

I for one am rooting for him to continue to mature, and leave UGA as one of the best tailbacks to ever suit up.

Also, props to Boo Malcome. Like a pheonix!

RedandBlackDAWG

December 19th, 2011
7:10 am

He s still pretty proud of himself, but I think he is beginning to mature a little bit. He has confidence, and that’s as important as anything in college. I think with Marshall, Maclome, Samuels, and another RB, along with Crowell, we will have a solid bunch of backs.
The ball is clearly in his court now. It is good Malcome is giving him some competition, because Malcome can move the line when he hits it, and he is tough. I just want to see him hold onto the ball better.

NC Dawgfan

December 19th, 2011
7:10 am

As well as he played and persevered through the scrutiny, it seems like the SID could have prepped him a little better on what to say in an interview. I hope he continues to improve. With the additions UGA have made and potential improvement and if Charles and Rambo stay…UGA has the potential for something special next season.

AltamahaDawg

December 19th, 2011
7:15 am

I think it safe to say NObody would have wanted to get suspended for that. Obviously he would change that if he could. Does he really need to say that in an newspaper interview? As a parent I would advise him not to bring it up again in a public forum. His coaches have already dealt with it. Fans are going to say and think what they want to. He also clearly said “happens for a reason” which tells me he is at least talking the right way about learning lessons. along with the other respectful answers. (which were many) What is clear to me is that the kid is very uncomfortable with the media attention since day one and has always given short polite answers just to get out of there.

Cmon man

December 19th, 2011
7:20 am

I wish the best for crowell everything he went through this year has been a valuable learning experience. For everybody with those so called “inside sources” give it rest this kid is growing and becoming a more mature person. Good luck I.C continue to grow ignore the critics and contine to focus on becoming a better player, teammate and student!

Robinwood

December 19th, 2011
7:25 am

I want this kid to be a world-beater, both on and off the field, but we’re going to need to see a whole lot more from him before we rest easy knowing that he’s exorcised all of his demons. The world doesn’t owe any of us a living- Crowell included.

Frank Lane

December 19th, 2011
7:27 am

Apparently he did not flunk out of school.

padre

December 19th, 2011
7:29 am

give ic a break-wild speculation doesn’t serve anyone well. Bet he has a great year #2-and with marshall uga will have the best running back tandem in the country.. anyone thought abot that?.

RD

December 19th, 2011
7:30 am

This may sound crazy but with all the RBs at GA at the same time why has not Bobo and Richt come up with some running game that would use more than one back at the same time…No one is ever fooled about who is getting the ball. We have no counter plays a little draw to the only back in the backfield and maybe sometime an illed timed reverse that has not been set up to fool the defense. When we had Lumpkin, Brown, Ware and Marino. We had studs sitting on the bench that were all better than Crowell. Now we are basically hurting in the debth chart of RBs. With Marshall and our backs now it seems that we need to use the backs more…Oh that is right we are overloaded with WRs and QBs sitting on the bench when we need a ton of OL. It takes time to develop OL but we need to get away from having to start an OL as a freshmen. Sturdivant and Jones only come along once every four years.

Paddy

December 19th, 2011
7:32 am

I see a glimer of hope here!!!!!!!!!!

Winford Poitevint

December 19th, 2011
7:36 am

Hope IC matures and becomes a “member” of the team. He has mastered the “double negative”

Sugar Hill Dawg

December 19th, 2011
7:36 am

My freshman fall quarter (Kinda dates me, huh?) was a months long booze fest. My biggest responsibility was to get to my 1st period calculus class (HUGE mistake in scheduling!) in time to get a desk rather than have to sit on that cold floor in the GSRC. Give the young man a break – I don’t know if I could’ve survived the first quarter academically and played SEC football. (I thought about walking on, but even in the fall of 1971 those suckers were humongous!)

Win. P.

December 19th, 2011
7:37 am

Enter your comments here

Larry Darryl

December 19th, 2011
7:38 am

Did he memorize that or did he just read the answers that were given to him I wonder?

wins-by-a-link

December 19th, 2011
7:49 am

Hopefully IC learns from this past season, He has a God given talent that few possess, So many people don’t realize what they have until they lose it, Lets hope IC turns it around not only his sake but for his family also.

Seezy

December 19th, 2011
7:50 am

Did someone really just ask about formations with 2 backs? We can’t keep 1 back healthy on the field at a time this year.

Inlet Dawg

December 19th, 2011
7:50 am

Let the guy be a 18 year old a little,he will come back in better shape and a lot more school behind him.

Dap01

December 19th, 2011
7:50 am

Great point RD. Chip, please keep RD’s comments in the back of your mind if you ever interview a person familiar with the offense.

There is never mis-direction with the running game. It is the UGA QB pointing toward the running back as he runs back to hand off. Very sluggish way to run the ball, not crisp at all.

durrtydogg

December 19th, 2011
7:55 am

It’s good to see he is taking some accountability for the mistakes he made. The comment he made about not changing anything is just the way some men are taught. We are taught to never regret anything and that things happen for a reason. Some of you live and die with these blogs not knowing who is doing the typing on the other end. Stop believing everything you read. You have people who will say anything and put out all sorts of rumors just because. The sad thing is when some journalist approach these kids and ask them about rumors. If it wasnt in his head, they sure put it there.
IC will be fine. He means too much to this program to give up now. What I find funny is how his best friend Quintavious Harrow was suppose to be a package deal or throw in to land IC. The boy has taken advantage of this opportunity. He made the hit of the year when he laid out the kid in the Auburn game. He even won a post season award for his hard work and dedication. To me, that was a nice story no one talks about. He did what your suppose to do when you have an opportunity. You work hard and when its time, you bust the door wide open. Im proud of him and hopefully his success will fuel his best buddy. I think it has. Go Dawgs!

Bulldog59

December 19th, 2011
8:00 am

Lots of pressure goes with being the latest in the long line of “the next Herschel Walker.” The key is, IC sounds like he is focused, learning from all of this, and trying to mature. You have to like his attitude better than that of his predecessors (i.e. It’s all about me Ealey, or poor work ethic King.)

Adding depth with Marshall, and hopefully Davis and/or Gurley should make 2012 an even better season in terms of RB production.

BobDawg

December 19th, 2011
8:05 am

I think you guys will see some 2 back sets next year with more screen passes etc to get the play makers the ball… We were lucky to get one back in each game healthy this year….

Destin Dawg

December 19th, 2011
8:05 am

all great teams need 2 or 3 really good players at all positions, Rb, Qb, Wr and line and d backs. etc.. key is giving all playing time to keep ‘em fresh in 4ht qtr.. especially like Malcome and Mason.. more playing time. Go Dawgs.. beat MSU

Born2Bark

December 19th, 2011
8:06 am

He’s just a kid and he’s growing up. People need to cut him some slack. He came in with an ego that was understandible like all the other blue chip recruits nowadays. He has had some humbling experiences this year and should see just how well he can do if he isn’t hindered but disicplinary issues and injuries. As far as injuries go I think he’ll benefit the greatly from an offseason with Joe T. He’ll be fine. Go Dawgs!

Niceville Dawg

December 19th, 2011
8:07 am

I for one am not sold on IC.I really hope I’m wrong,but until he proves it OFF the field,and he’ll have all spring and summer to do so,I’m gonna withhold judgement.Say what you mean and mean what you say,IC.

Born2Bark

December 19th, 2011
8:08 am

a few typos..haven’t had my coffee yet

DIT

December 19th, 2011
8:08 am

I know that I have been pretty hard on the kid myself. Then, I had to remind myself that he is indeed a KID! Let’s hope this young man has learned his lesson and will mature more next year. Good to see that he is remaining at UGA. We are a better team with him on the field.
The best thing that could have happened for IC is the fact that CMR got a committment from Marshall. Let’s hope this puts a fire under his belly and we can see the potential blossom next year.
Go Dawgs!

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:09 am

TIM TEBOW ?

What nothing about TIM TEBOW this morning ?

Amazing, after ALL you said all week last week about

TIM TEBOW

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:13 am

Did everyone see, creepy as it sounds that anyone would state that

AARON MURRAY DESERVES THE HEISMAN TROPHY

Lowcountry Bulldawg in here all day yesterday.

And, Lowcountry Bulldawg, you

DEFENDED AARON MURRAY HEISMAN TROPHY

to all comers yesterday on this blog.

You went on to say that

AARON MURRAY has NO TALENT on OFFENSE with him

Specifically that the OL is no good and that the RB are no good

Then, you went on further about Alabama and LSU and how you

LUST AFTER THEIR OL AND RB – ALABAMA LSU.

Your post about

AARON MURRAY HEISMAN TROPHY

NO TALENT ON OFFENSE UGA EXCEPT AARON MURRAY

sits on the blog by you sir 2:32 pm yesterday afternoon.

Lowcountry Bulldawg – BLOG BULLY.

PRESUME Lowcountry Bulldawg will have NOTHING to offer up about Isaiah Crowell, since he stated all day yesterday to all comers to this blog how Aaron Murray SUFFERED THIS SEASON BECAUSE HE HAD NO OFFENSIVE LINEMEN WHO COULD BLOCK AND BECAUSE AARON MURRAY HAD NO RUNNING BACKS, ie. Isaiah Crowell didn’t exist this season.

Dawgbreath

December 19th, 2011
8:16 am

He is no Lattimore.

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:18 am

What kind of a season would Aaron Murray or indeed The Bulldogs have had without him ?

DIT

December 19th, 2011
8:19 am

Lattimore will be in a class by himself next year….. unfortunatley. I have a lot of respect for the young man. He goes out and does his business and let’s his play speak for itself. i wish IC could mature into that type of personality.

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:20 am

Vain Jangling

December 19th, 2011
8:26 am

Well, at least he didn’t refer to himself in the third person. That being said, Vain Jangling’s got to get back to work now.

Hit A Single

December 19th, 2011
8:30 am

This is what is wrong with alot of these kids. They get all this press time and don’t deserve it. I am as big a UGA fan as anybody but if this kid was freshman of the year then the SEC needs to look at their priorities. I hope he gets straightened out but he has along way to go. Please give ink time to kids that have earned it and appreciate it. He hasn’t done either.

AJC

December 19th, 2011
8:33 am

Q:You seem much more mellow than you did before the season; is there a reason?

A: Yes it is because I have been taking medication to mask the weed in my system.

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:35 am

The question I would have asked him is : Isaiah Crowell, sir, the last time we saw you in The SEC Championship Game in which Aaron Murray was YANKED, we saw Mark Richt was none too pleased by your 15-yard penalty sir. It appeared to everyone that when Mark Richt was discussing that issue with you sir, on top of all the other issues all season long since we recruited you here sir, that you

TURNED YOUR BACK ON MARK RICHT

& walked away leaving Mark Richt standing there

“Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated hate-filled harassing posts unacceptable”

December 19th, 2011
8:38 am

Hit a Single

That sir is your best post ever

nobody

December 19th, 2011
8:40 am

he’s just a kid….tough background…but he should not be coddled….if he has to learn responsibility the hard way, well, that is his call…

Hit A Single

December 19th, 2011
8:40 am

Crowell is an example of what is wrong with college and high school ahletics. People are tired of supporting these prima donas, especially at the high school level. Saban would have chewed his butt out and I am a Mark Richt fan. I hope he punished him but he needs to do it publically some. Show the supporters he doesn’t tolerate it.

ub

December 19th, 2011
8:43 am

Give this young man a chance I see great things in him. He did nothing that 90% of the readers of this blog have not done. The future looks bright for the DAWGS fans need to be upbeat for these young people.

Hit A Single

December 19th, 2011
8:43 am

Thanks personal attack – I am just frustrated by the behavior of athletes today. No Tebow fan while he was at Fla., but he has earned my respect. Now Hurd from Chicago needs to be put away for along time if he is guilty. Maybe he can get a cell next to Sandusky. They deserve each other. Once again if they are proven guilty.

DawginLex

December 19th, 2011
8:43 am

GREAT work Chip.

I don’t think we should bash the kid for being honest. He admits he messed up and from what he said, he knows he learned a valuable lesson from it.

Sounds to me like he is growing up a bit.

I sure hope so.

Hit A Single

December 19th, 2011
8:44 am

ub – the ball is in his court, not ours.

Turd Furgeson

December 19th, 2011
8:46 am

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH… show me on the field and in the class room. Quit talking and starting doing.

Huh

December 19th, 2011
8:46 am

Yeah Lattimore is awesome when healthy; so was Crowell. Lattimore has played 2 half seasons so I wouldn’t go making him a Heisman candidated yet.