published Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

UGA gives top rusher Ealey release

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    Georgia running back Washaun Ealey. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Troubled Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey is now former Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound junior from Stillmore, Ga., has been granted an unconditional release so he can transfer to another school for the 2011-12 academic year, Bulldogs coach Mark Richt announced Monday. Ealey was suspended for three weeks in February after failing to report for an early morning run that was discipline related, and he was unable to compete in any of the three spring scrimmages because of a pulled hamstring.

“Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks,” Richt said in a released statement. “We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest.”

Though he played just two seasons in Athens, Ealey provided plenty of highs and lows.

He rushed for 1,528 combined yards, leading the team both seasons, and averaged 5.7 yards per carry as a freshman and 5.2 as a sophomore. Ealey had a career-best 183 yards in a 30-24 upset triumph at Georgia Tech in 2009 and set a program record with five rushing touchdowns last year during a 44-31 win at Kentucky.

His troubles started right before last season, when he was arrested in late August on charges of hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license. During Georgia’s 1-4 start, Ealey fumbled inside the opposing 5-yard line in losses at South Carolina and Mississippi State.

His departure could create even more of an opportunity for freshman Isaiah Crowell, who was rated by ESPN as the top tailback nationally in the 2011 signing class. Georgia’s returning tailbacks are senior Caleb King, junior Carlton Thomas and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfree press.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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