Although Georgia football fans are eager to watch freshman tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley in the Sept. 1 opener against Buffalo, they may like what they see in Ken Malcome.
The redshirt sophomore started two of the final three games last season and beat out Isaiah Crowell in getting the first carries during April's G-Day game, but he has not received much attention in preseason camp. Malcome had an impressive 32 yards on five carries during last Wednesday's scrimmage, but it was overshadowed by Gurley's 58 yards on six rushes.
"Ken is doing very well," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said after Monday's two-hour practice in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. "He's being diligent in making sure he understands every little thing about his job."
Malcome had a very interesting 2011 season, quitting the team in September before being allowed to return the next day. The 6-foot, 226-pounder from Decatur, Ga., played in just one of the first nine games, but he improved enough to get in the last five games and earned starts at Georgia Tech and at the Outback Bowl against Michigan State.
Richt said he groups players into those who are figuring things out, those who are functional and those who are experts at their positions. He added that Malcome is in transition.
"We see him wanting to get in that third phase, which is good," Richt said.
When pressed if Malcome, Marshall, Gurley or redshirt senior Richard Samuel had made any move on the depth chart, Richt said there is not much separation between the four and that "they are all pretty good backs."
Georgia received its 25th commitment for its 2013 signing class on Monday, receiving a nonbinding pledge from safety Paris Bostick.
The 6-1, 208-pounder from Plant High in Tampa, which is the same school Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray attended, is rated by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 39 safety prospect. Bostick had more than two dozen early scholarship offers, including ones from Arkansas, Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
The Bulldogs only had 19 signees in their 2012 class, including 17 who enrolled.
Richt said he's not comfortable enough yet with backup left tackle Austin Long and that if something happened to starter Kenarious Gates, either Watts Dantzler or John Theus would move from the right side. ... Defensive end Ray Drew (concussion), reserve tailback Brandon Harton (hip contusion) and cornerbacks Malcolm Mitchell (shoulder contusion), Branden Smith (shoulder contusion) Damian Swann (cervical sprain) were held out of Monday's contact drills. ... Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will call plays for a second straight year from the booth. ... The Bulldogs are not practicing today and will scrimmage for the second time Wednesday afternoon.
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