Freshman tailback earns praise in UGA scrimmage

Freshman tailback earns praise in UGA scrimmage

August 11th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports

Isaiah Crowell in action at Georgia's practice.

Isaiah Crowell in action at Georgia's practice.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

How Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell fares this season in the Southeastern Conference remains to be seen, but at least he can produce against his team's second-team defense.

Crowell rushed 13 times for 84 yards and a touchdown Wednesday morning as the Bulldogs held their first scrimmage of preseason camp. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder from Columbus shared first-team reps with redshirt junior Richard Samuel, who punished the second-team unit as well with 11 carries for 82 yards.

"I still don't know what we have yet," coach Mark Richt said, "but I do feel better about how I think we'll be able to run the football because of the backs and the blocking."

The longest gain for Crowell during the two-hour practice was 15 yards. Samuel had a long of 33, but he also had a fumble that was scooped up by freshman inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera and returned 65 yards for a touchdown.

Reserve tailbacks Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas played against the first-team defense and combined for just 40 yards on 20 carries. Wednesday's practice was closed to the media, and statistics were provided by Richt.

Odds and ends

Freshman quarterback Christian LeMay worked with the third team and completed 2-of-4 for 17 yards. ... Richt said his top three receivers are Tavarres King, Brown and Michael Bennett, adding that freshman Malcolm Mitchell is talented but has a lot to learn.

Starting quarterback Aaron Murray completed 9 of 15 passes for 100 yards, a performance Richt called good but not great. Hutson Mason completed 5 of 19 passes against the first-team defense for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Marlon Brown had a 35-yard catch, which was the longest of the scrimmage, and tight end Aron White had a 32-yarder.

"In the second half, we really turned it on as an offense," center Ben Jones said. "The defense played well all day. They were going against our No. 2 offense, and they took it to them."

Sophomore inside linebacker Alec Ogletree led all defenders with eight tackles and then was praised by Richt for making the most plays through the first week. Mike Gilliard and Herrera, the backup inside linebackers, had seven tackles apiece.

Not to be outdone was sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who tallied six tackles and a team-high three sacks.

"Every time I step on the field, I try to make myself better and try to make my team better," Jones said. "That's what we did today."

Senior kicker Blair Walsh went 7-for-8 in field-goal attempts, highlighted by a connection from 58 yards out. Backup kicker Brandon Bogotay drilled a 68-yarder before the scrimmage, when there was no rush.

Richt was pleased to announce there were no injuries.