Malcome in Georgia's tailback mix

Malcome in Georgia's tailback mix

August 6th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sportscollege

Georgia tailback Ken Malcome competes during Georgia's first preseason practice on Thursday.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

It's been a noisy spring and summer for the tailback position at Georgia.

Washaun Ealey and Caleb King left the program. Richard Samuel moved back from linebacker. Carlton Thomas got suspended for the season opener, and Isaiah Crowell arrived as the nation's top-rated prospect at the position.

Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome is the quiet one.

"There have been a lot of things happen to me, too," Malcome said following Friday's second preseason workout. "Regardless, I've just got to practice and get better every day."

Malcome missed most of spring practice because of a groin injury, but he did return in time for G-Day and rushed seven times for 39 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot, 214-pounder from the Atlanta suburb of Decatur said the groin "has kind of come back on me" but believes it will be a fleeting setback.

Yet the groin may not be as big of a challenge for Malcome as Crowell, who received considerable praise from coach Mark Richt following Friday's practice.

"You can just see that he has really natural running skills," Richt said. "He has great change of direction and balance, and he catches the ball extremely well - just very sudden for a pretty big kid. You can tell that he loves football and likes practicing and learning."

Though Samuel entered camp atop the depth chart and Crowell has been receiving the hype, Malcome believes he has the needed speed and power. As a senior at Southwest DeKalb, Malcome rushed for 1,168 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He hopes there is room for several at the position.

"I think we are going to be a backfield that will need fresh legs every two or three plays," Malcome said. "That's the way to wear defenses down, so I think a rotation would be a really good thing."

Odds and ends

Richt said junior cornerback Branden Smith "stole the show" Friday by intercepting five passes. ... Junior outside linebacker Cornelius Washington has a hamstring injury, so freshman Ray Drew worked with the first team Friday. ... Richt now says it's doubtful that freshman linebacker Kent Turene, who is being held up by the NCAA clearinghouse, will be able to join the Bulldogs this season. ... The Bulldogs received their 13th commitment for their 2012 signing class from tackle Greg Pyke. The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 78 tackle nationally and picked Georgia over scholarship offers from Maryland, Penn State and West Virginia.