Isaiah Crowell proud to be No. 1, wants to make ‘run for Heisman’

Here’s the story on tailbacks and Isaiah Crowell in particular that I filed for print Tuesday night. . . .

ATHENS — Isaiah Crowell’s Georgia teammates bragged on his effort and attitude during the offseason. Apparently his coaches like what they’ve seen and heard as well.

The Bulldogs opened spring practice Tuesday, and Crowell, an enigmatic tailback from Columbus, was the first to line up with the No. 1 offense. “That’s where he’s starting out,” Georgia coach Mark Richt confirmed without elaboration.

That’s a significant development as Crowell ended the 2011 season not only on the sideline, but also in the doghouse. So unsure was the Bulldogs’ situation at tailback that they recruited two prospects to the position, which for a time raised the number on scholarship to seven.

That number dropped to six Tuesday. Rising senior Carlton Thomas informed Richt Tuesday morning of his intention to transfer.

“Carlton has decided to move on,” Richt said. “He came to me and said he has had discussions with his family and had been thinking it through and praying it through, and he summed it up pretty nicely what his intentions are. He wants to move on and try to find a place where he’ll get more playing time. We wish him well.”

Meanwhile, Crowell is starting atop the tailback heap — and he intends to stay there.

“There’s a lot of pride [in that],” Crowell said of being No. 1 on the depth chart. “I want to be the one who starts, and I want to help out all the new guys. That’s the reason that I was glad I was the first one out.”

Even with Thomas out of the picture, the Bulldogs still have a glut of tailbacks. Senior Richard Samuel and sophomores Ken Malcome and Brandon Harton, each of whom had starts last season, return at the position. Georgia recruited Keith Marshall — like Crowell the No. 1-rated tailback prospect in America — and he has enrolled. They also signed running back Todd Gurley, who will join the team in June.

Meeting with reporters for the first time since last season, Crowell said Georgia needed more tailbacks after seeing the position was thinned by attrition last season. He said the additions have strengthened the backfield while intensifying his focus and dedication to becoming the best running back in college football.

“My first goal is just to be a good teammate and help my team get to the national championship,” he said. “My second goal is I’m trying to run for the Heisman.”

Asked how realistic he thought his chances were for winning college football’s player of the year award, Crowell grinned and laughed. “Real realistic.”

Crowell twice was suspended for rules violations last season and drew the wrath of fans when an ankle injury caused him to miss more than what they deemed an appropriate amount of time out of action.

Richt said he met with Crowell after the season, but that the star runner often had “father-son talks” with running backs coach Bryan McClendon. Meanwhile, Dell McGee, Crowell’s coach at Carver-Columbus, had several one-on-ones with him.

“He’s been working really hard,” McGee said Tuesday. “I’ve been getting great reports on a weekly basis from his teammates and coaches and even himself. He’s eager to put last year behind him. I think he learned a lot from last season.”

It wasn’t like he was a bust. Crowell finished with 850 yards rushing and five touchdowns in what amounted to six full games. He was named the SEC’s freshman of the year.

Crowell believes he has much more to offer.

“I’m trying to be a good teammate and be accountable and be a person my teammates can trust,” he said. “That’s been my focus. I know there was a lot of improvement I needed to make and I tried my best to make that. I think it went well and I’m going to keep giving it my all.”

130 comments Add your comment

Jimmy

March 20th, 2012
9:45 pm

Could it be?

Jimmy

March 20th, 2012
9:45 pm

Wow. I actually have no more to add, but I’M FIRST! I can die a happy man now.

Mobile Dawg

March 20th, 2012
9:48 pm

It would be nice to see a motivated, unselfish IC reach his potential. I’m more of the let my work do the talking kind of person, I didn’t need to hear him mention the Heisman. If he lives up to his hype it will take care of itself.

MY Dawg

March 20th, 2012
9:48 pm

That’s what I wanted to hear from thisyoung DAWG! I look for big things from the running backs this season! Go Dawgs!

Jimmy

March 20th, 2012
9:49 pm

Ok, I do have something to add afterall; UGA needs more guys like Samuel, and less like Thomas. Guys like Samuel, who don’t get a lot of playing time, look at themselves as more of team leaders and are proud to be DGD’s, while guy’s the like of Thomas put themselves above the team, “I need more playing time so this is the best move for me” yaddi yaddi yadda. This guy think he’s going to be in the NFL one day?? Please!

He needs to be thankful he has a degree from UGA and move on w/ his life.

Dawglasville

March 20th, 2012
9:50 pm

Sounds great. We will have to wait and see.

phil

March 20th, 2012
9:52 pm

Are you kidding me? IC can’t finish one or 2 runs and now he thinks he’s up for a Heisman run?

LOLOLOLOL!!

phil

March 20th, 2012
9:55 pm

Fire everyone!!

slydog

March 20th, 2012
10:00 pm

Darn, I knew I should have taken notes on all the racist,biased, discriminatory comments made about IC. Just call the dude lazy and get it over with. As long as he’s a “good boy,” folks will cheer him on, but not when he struggles. Some fans you are. Now this post is gonna be full of hypocrits who will ACT like they never said anything negative about him and wished him the best the entire time. He was not given the benefit of the doubt because of his skin color and his hair. FACT!!! I just want him to finish his career as a Dawg, learn how to speak English properly, interview well, and get his degree. Anyway, he still has a lot to prove on the football field as far as toughness and durability. The diaper and the training wheels have come off.

FLA DAWG

March 20th, 2012
10:01 pm

Normally I’d tell this kid to take a ME break.
But if the O Line can open holes with any consistency and Crow is ready to hit and be hit he might just have a shot at some greatness. Afterall, the kid has speed………..now about the toughness……………………………………………………………………………….you’ll have to prove it every game IC.

AltamahaDawg

March 20th, 2012
10:02 pm

Good for you, young man!

trupert

March 20th, 2012
10:08 pm

I have no problem with Crowell blowing his own horn for the Heisman. He’s a kid that’s sure of himself and that’s a strength.

I believe he has the potential. We’re pulling for you Isiah, keep it going and go Dawgs!!!

bsg3003

March 20th, 2012
10:16 pm

^^^ that post makes absolutely no sense whatever.

AltamahaDawg

March 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

So, doesn’t have to make sense, just make sure you comment on every Georgia blog, eh?

bsg3003

March 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

Flounder

March 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

good luck with that, oh annointed one. Are you sure he didn’t actually say “I wanna make a run for Hash”??

Dawg48

March 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

Crowell had torn ligaments in his ankle at the end of the season. That just shows you he is tuff for trying to play. Nothing wrong with shooting for the top.

bsg3003

March 20th, 2012
10:20 pm

this reminds me of the Washaun Ealey for heisman article.. lol. run for more than 1000 yards and 10 td’s first before you start talking heisman IC. You got the talent, but you gotta prove it before you toot your own horn.

RJ

March 20th, 2012
10:22 pm

Phil get a life

SCS

March 20th, 2012
10:23 pm

Isiah put down the crack pipe. You saying heisman is the most funny thing i’ve heard all year.

Brian

March 20th, 2012
10:26 pm

sly what is a hypocrit? dumbdog

MurfDawg

March 20th, 2012
10:31 pm

This is going to be interesting. IC thinks he can run the ball TWO times in a row and win the Heisman!!!

This was the #1 thing I did not want to hear coming out of spring practice. Maybe at Mars Hill or Newberry you keep giving a kid a chance, but this is big time,big boy football. And this is supposed to be UGA football and we are supposed to have somebody to run the damn ball. IC ain’t it!!

The #2 thing that I don’t want to hear out of spring practice, is Murray is a changed player and will lead the Dawgs to the SEC championship. Murray is 16-11. and has single handedly cost the Dawgs six games. he has had his chance. Can a new guy do any worse? Silly fumbles, poor hand-offs, and the glorious pick sixes have led to 11 losses. If Richt doesn’t ramp up the competition at qb and rb, we are in for another mediocre season. But Richt will have the careers of two players on his resume of saved souls.

The #3 thing to hear out of spring practice is one of the two freshman rb will transfer before the start of the season.

I hope i’m wrong.

Tide Pride

March 20th, 2012
10:35 pm

At Bama – we state the goal of winning National Titles – and work to get them.

Good for IC for setting high goals. Maybe Richt should set a goal of winning a National title – he just might win an SEC title in the process.

@slydog 10:00pm post – you carrying some kind of white boy guilt? I agree that IC has been criticized due to the huge expectations placed on him …..a freshman. Fact is – he is a freshman, had not had the conditioning to prepare – and the nagging ankle injury was not given the chance to heal and he only hurt himself more – never should have played against KY. Richardson, Ingram – they were not counted on to carry the team as freshman. Not fair to put that on IC or in coming freshman Marshall or Gurley.

slydog – I have not read anything racist toward IC. his skin color or his hair. You must be a liberal as you are equating critque to race. I have read negative critiques on Murray – I guess if he was black you would be sensative about that too. Grow some nads and some skin.

and slydog……………… ROLL TIDE!

beanster

March 20th, 2012
10:41 pm

#1 — TEAM #2 – Heisman — There you go, Isaiah!!!!!

What back worth their salt wouldn’t say the Heisman is their goal? The kid has all the talent in the world. As long as he puts his teammates in front of individual accolades, I say the sky is the limit.

GO DAWGS! GO ISAIAH!!! GET AFTER THAT @SS!!!!!!

Lisa

March 20th, 2012
10:41 pm

Great Isiah. I am very proud you. Now let’s go get an SEC championship and as always GOOOO DAWGS!

Cdpridg

March 20th, 2012
10:49 pm

I dont see any reason why not. Kid has all the talent. Should be a hell of a year for the Dawgs!!!

Buzz2011

March 20th, 2012
10:50 pm

Run for Heisman??? The kid only plays for two series a game.. What a joke from Dawg central. Sounds like a Mark Bradley dream….Where is Hershel??

Mitch Cumstein

March 20th, 2012
10:55 pm

D@mn.. For once I agree with Turd Pride!

Slydog, meither you are a bed wetting liberal or just plain dumb! Nobody said a word about Crowell’s skin, now his hair!!! He could use a hair cut, I bet that is some nappy stuff.

Mitch Cumstein

March 20th, 2012
10:55 pm

Hey yall. CT is like gone

March 20th, 2012
11:16 pm

5′7″ 165 lb carlton thomas left uga ……………..so what?

UGA class of 71 & 73

We all know when we see it

March 20th, 2012
11:19 pm

IC is child. He talks big, he runs his mouth but can he ACT LIKE a man? SO far???

Time will tell. The players eitther will or will not respect him. It is up soley to IC.

UGA man here.

Paul in NH

March 20th, 2012
11:35 pm

The Heisman Trophy pretty much is a QB’s award now – only 2 RBs in the last 12 years – and the 2 RBs (Reggie Bush 2005; Mark Ingram 2009) were key players on MNC teams. Unless Richt hsa completely changed his offensive philosophy, Crowell has as much chance of winning a Heisman as a GT A back.

Score Check

March 20th, 2012
11:38 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR is a sad, bitter little man.

Where does all of the hatred of all things UGA come from?

RED DOG 77

March 21st, 2012
12:15 am

I think the kid will do great…………I’ve alot of confidense in him…………..GO DOGS!!!!!

Dawgboy

March 21st, 2012
12:35 am

Reggie Bush and Mark Ingram could pound the ball series after series, game after game, against any level of competition. IC can do that against high school competition and some college competition. He has quick legs, but the rest of the big time package is just not there. Develop the other running backs. Don’t count on him.

go dawgs

March 21st, 2012
12:50 am

where is all the hate for everything georgia coming from??

dawgforlife

March 21st, 2012
12:50 am

uh…Earl Campbell could pound the ball…Reggie and Mark not so much. I am only going by what I am hearing from teammates. I believe IC will surprise some people. I truly hope he has a great year.

Dawson Dave

March 21st, 2012
1:30 am

Slydog….I don’t see too much racism from Georgia fans–who are 95% white, cheering for a team that is 95% black. Not exactly representitive of the fan base or student body.

dayshift

March 21st, 2012
1:52 am

just make sure Crowell when you steal somebody’s computer you throw it out the window into the dumpster like Cam Newton did before the police come. Have your father call and request six figures from Richt and then you will fit right in. That is all the integrity it takes.

hbcuclassics

March 21st, 2012
2:33 am

HBCU Classic Sports
2012 Draft Board (1-64)

http://hbcuclassics.com/hbcu_draft_board

Bigdsel

March 21st, 2012
5:12 am

Get after it young pup. Make the bulldog nation Proud

mulk

March 21st, 2012
5:21 am

First one out, helping the new guys, father son talks, teammates trusting him…. wouldn’t surprise me that the next thing that gets reported that he has found Jesus.

slydog

March 21st, 2012
6:21 am

An Alabama fan has no business in any discussion about race. Period. If you are foolish enough to believe that 95% of UGA fans are not racist, you must live in a different reality. You need to lower that percentile. The #1 point I was making is he was not given the benefit of the doubt because of the color of his skin. Fact. When Colin Barber was smashing mailboxes, the majority of the comments were like “big deal,” “I did that too”, “I hope he gets his life together.” It’s in the archives. Go check it out. Now compare that to IC’s posts when it came to injury or even the weed incident. How many of y’all said I did that too? How many idiots were stating that the (black) players need to cut their hair so the helmet will fit but said nothing about the 2-3 times Aaron Murray’s helmet fell off or all the other players around college football. Turns out the helmets were too big. You don’t have to be a racist to be racially biased. That’s common sense. Then, when trying to prove that you love all colored people and dare I have the audacity to call it fake, there is this little joke:

“Mitch Cumstein

March 20th, 2012
10:55 pm

D@mn.. For once I agree with Turd Pride!

Slydog, meither you are a bed wetting liberal or just plain dumb! Nobody said a word about Crowell’s skin, now his hair!!! He could use a hair cut, I bet that is some nappy stuff.”

Now if Jason Whitlock (I hate him, ok) should be fired for a common male back room joke, then what exactly is that quote above?

UGA fan...not fanatic

March 21st, 2012
6:26 am

hbcu, no one cares about your high school draft board.

RedandBlackDAWG

March 21st, 2012
6:41 am

I think the young man has grown up a lot since last season ended, both physically and maturity wise. I he stays healthy and gets some holes opened up for him, he will en up causing some defensive coaches to lose some sleep at night from opposing teams. He will be a leader on the team, before all is said and done, if he continues on this way. He is also now 220 pounds and reports indicate he hasn’t lost a bit of his speed, and that is great news. His body should hold up a lot better this year.

uga1984

March 21st, 2012
6:52 am

IC has all the talent in the world. He needs two things to make him great… 1) a great O-line & 2) stay healthy. The O-line is the biggest question mark. He had absolutely no space to run thru last year & still got the yards!!! Yes, he got banged up a lot, but it is easy to make comments about another player’s lack of toughness from an armchair. Everyone’s physiological makeup is different. Some people get hurt more than others. Anyone who has played sports at a high level knows that. Hopefully, his improved workout regimen will help him stay healthier this year. Kudos to IC for showing a lot of maturity this off-season!!!!

FLA DAWG

March 21st, 2012
7:04 am

The kid has speed and good vision for sure. If he was hurt badly enough to take himself out of games time after time he should not have played at all after the injury last season.

My concern with this kid is that he hits the line like a marshmellow and when he gets hit he folds like a bad hand on poker night.

Your Girlfriend

March 21st, 2012
7:13 am

Well… It’s the off-season.

Might as well go ahead and win the fantasy Heisman while the Dawgs are still the fantasy National Champions.

Beast from the East

March 21st, 2012
7:23 am

Why is he talking about the Heisman? Did you ever hear any of the past winners talking about postseason awards while entering their sophomore seasons? Do your job on the field and let your play speak for itself. I don’t like this kid’s attitude…at all.

Tide Pride

March 21st, 2012
7:34 am

slydog – are you on drugs? seriously! You are equating the fact that I am an Alabama fan means that I have a built in racist stance. That people that root for Alabama or went of the word ” racist”? Do you know the real meaing of the word “prejudice” There is a difference. The state of Georgia was a major part of the confederacy – so I guess that means you are racist and a member of the KKK. You are an idiot!

Most liberals are about lumping people into groups for their convenience.. It must be tough being a liberal living in an area of the country that favors freedom, individual rights and accountability.

Again, I have not read anything in several posts about IC, his skin color or his hair and helmet that are racist. Joe Namath was criticized for his long hair hanging out of his helmet back when he played for the Jets – I guess those folks that critcized him are against Hungarians. HMMMM, Hungarianphobes. I guess that those that criticized him believe that Namath and Hungarians are inferrior mentally due to breeding and race……. dang those racists for criticising Joe Namath!

Those who spout out the word racist like you do obviously do not know the definition of racist and are very dangerous people – probably as dangerous to those that are actually racist.

Now go away, and think of ways to take other peoples hard earned money to apply to your social engineering scheme and to make life “fai”: for those that envy hard work and success.

I agree with you on one thing – IC was criticized unfairly when in fact he had a very good year as a true freshman. Think of what he accomplished:
– major playing time as a true freshman – despite not being an early enrollee.
– over 800 yards rushing
- tried to play hurt (mistake by the coaching staff – should have let his ankle heal).

Going into his sophomore year:
– IC will have the propoer conditioning to prepare.
- will have quality depth to back him up – meaing the staff will be patient and not likely allow him to play hurt.
slydog – I am with you in that the criticism of IC was misplaced by ignorant fans. But none of the ciritcisms were racist in content. Be careful with your words.

I think UGA’s O-LINE was a major problem last year. Hmmmm, I guess that fact that there are black kids on the O-Line that I am criticising makes me a racist.

and slydog …………………………….ROLL TIDE!!!!