UGA tailbacks varied

UGA tailbacks varied

August 9th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia running back Richard Samuel carries against Arkansas during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Georgia running back Richard Samuel carries against Arkansas...

There will be no confusing Georgia's top two tailbacks entering this season.

The Bulldogs practiced in full pads for the first time Monday morning, and getting carries with the first-team offense were redshirt junior Richard Samuel and freshman Isaiah Crowell. Samuel is listed at 6-foot-2 and 243 pounds, while Crowell is 5-11 and 215.

"Richard can't turn the corner quite as quickly as Isaiah, but Richard brings a bigger load," coach Mark Richt said after the workout. "Isaiah does run behind his pads very well, but Richard is 240 pounds. You can kind of hear the ground shake when he runs.

"Hopefully that will be a good combination."

Entering last season, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King each was listed at 5-11 and around 210 pounds.

Samuel and Crowell have forged ahead of redshirt junior Carlton Thomas, redshirt freshman Ken Malcome and sophomore walk-on Brandon Harton. Malcome is practicing with a nagging groin injury, and Harton is out this week with a concussion.

Staying in touch

Georgia's top three receivers last season in receptions and yards were A.J. Green, Kris Durham and Tavarres King. Green is now with the Cincinnati Bengals and Durham is with the Seattle Seahawks, but King is back for his redshirt junior season.

"I probably talk to either one of them once a day," King said. "They say it's a little different. They get pressed all the time now in coverage, so somebody's always in their face. At least that's what Kris said.

"They're both excited about where they are."

Still impressive

Despite last season's 6-7 record, Richt ranks fourth among Bowl Subdivision coaches with a minimum of 10 years experience in winning percentage. Richt's 96-34 record after 10 seasons with the Bulldogs translates into a 73.8-percent win clip.

Ranking higher are Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (80.6 percent), TCU's Gary Patterson (78) and Penn State's Joe Paterno (74.7).

Odds and ends

Junior cornerback Branden Smith continues to "practice with a greater focus than I've ever seen him practice with," Richt said. ... Georgia players have taken to heart a book called "The Energy Bus," which was recommended to Richt by Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith. The book discusses a positive attitude and labels non-positive people "energy vampires," so the Bulldogs have created an "energy vampire board" in their locker room. ... The defense prevailed in Monday's practice, and Richt was asked if coordinators Mike Bobo and Todd Grantham get into it during drills. "Oh, yeah," Richt said. "They'll chirp. It gets heated."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.