published Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

King ruling awaited

UGA tailback rumored to be ineligible

  • photo
    Georgia tailback Caleb King (4) runs for a touchdown in front of Louisiana Lafayette safety Maurice Rolle, center, during a September in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Georgia football coach Mark Richt wasn’t into confirming or refuting Tuesday after the Bulldogs finished on-campus preparation for their New Year’s Eve game against Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl.

There have been unconfirmed reports in recent days that junior tailback Caleb King did not pass enough hours in the fall semester to be eligible for Georgia’s 14th consecutive bowl. Richt was asked Tuesday if every player was in good standing academically and replied, “We won’t have the full report until tomorrow.”

Richt then was asked specifically about King and said, “We’ll know everything tomorrow. I’m not going to make any comment.”

Practice was closed Tuesday, but the Athens Banner-Herald reported that King was working at fourth-team tailback during the brief portion of Monday’s workout that was open to the media.

King’s year already has been adventurous. He scored Georgia’s first touchdown of the season on a 20-yard run against Louisiana-Lafayette but sprained his ankle in the same game and sat out the ensuing losses to South Carolina and Arkansas. He notched Georgia’s first 100-yard game with a 12-carry, 100-yard showing in the 29-27 loss at Colorado on Oct. 2, but his numbers were overshadowed by a fumble in the final two minutes after the Bulldogs had driven into field-goal range.

The 5-foot-11, 217-pounder from Norcross then missed wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky in a two-game suspension for missing a court date to address a speeding ticket.

King rushed for 594 yards and seven touchdowns last season, including 440 yards in the final five games. He has run for 430 yards this season.

The Bulldogs worked out for 80 minutes Tuesday and will reconvene in Memphis on Sunday afternoon before resuming practices Monday.

The early bird

Bulldogs quarterback commitment Christian LeMay joined his new team at practice the past few days.

The No. 3 pro-style quarterback nationally according to Rivals.com, LeMay did not play as a high school senior after he violated a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools conduct rule. He received a 40-day suspension from Butler High, so he opted to be home-schooled.

LeMay, who threw for 44 touchdowns and was intercepted twice as a junior, will enroll early but is not allowed to be with the Bulldogs in Memphis per NCAA guidelines. Georgia is expected to have two early in-state enrollees as well — Griffin safety Corey Moore and North Paulding receiver Chris Conley.

Odds and ends

Senior defensive end Brandon Wood, who had four tackles in the regular-season finale against Georgia Tech, will not play in Memphis because of a shoulder injury he suffered against the Yellow Jackets. ... Redshirt freshman defensive end Derrick Lott has played in just three games this season, but Richt wants to give him some time in the bowl. “He’s a big, strong, physical, athletic guy, and I think he’s grown up some on that scout team,” Richt said. ... Senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (forearm) and sophomore flanker Rantavious Wooten (ankle) have missed recent practices, but Richt expects them to play. ... When asked about injured players in regard to this spring, Richt said noseguard Justin Anderson (turf toe) should be available but that outside linebacker T.J. Striping (knee surgery) likely would not.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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