Georgia Football: Vince Dooley Right to Say Isaiah Crowell's Absence Won't Hurt
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Running back Isaiah Crowell was dismissed from the Georgia Bulldogs, but the former 5-star recruit is still making headlines.
Last week, it was confirmed that the Columbus, Ga., native had enrolled at Alabama State and will play in 2012.
Legendary Bulldog head coach Vince Dooley kept Crowell's name in the headlines on Monday when he opined on what Crowell's absence means for the 2012 Georgia Bulldogs. Speaking to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dooley said that the Bulldogs might be better off without Crowell taking the handoffs:
I don’t want to put any pressure on them, but losing that guy may have been the best thing to happen to them. It was a bad-apple type thing, if you ask me.
That kind of thing will unite a team many times. Historically when things like this have happened in the past, they tend to have a unifying effect on teams. They go on to have an even better season than they were predicted to have.
I'm not so sure about his assertion that Crowell's departure will have a unifying effect, especially considering he called him a "bad apple" in the previous quote. If he's a "bad apple," that unifying effect would probably be overshadowed by relief more than anything.
Does Isaiah Crowell's absence knock Georgia from its place as SEC East preseason favorite?
But the overbearing point Dooley was trying to make is that Georgia will still be okay without Crowell on the roster.
To that point, he's absolutely correct.
Even when Crowell was an active member of the Georgia football program, the running back position was a question mark due to Crowell's inability to stay on the field last season for a variety of reasons.
Despite that question, Georgia was still likely to be the favorite in the SEC East before Crowell's dismissal, due in large part to the absence of Alabama, LSU and Arkansas from the Bulldogs' schedule. That shouldn't change now that Crowell is gone.
The combination of Ken Malcome, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley should keep opposing defenses honest as Aaron Murray—who set the Georgia single-season record with 35 passing touchdowns last season—slings it all around the field.
While the loss of Crowell shouldn't be a significant concern to Georgia fans, this fact from Towers' article should: "Georgia has dipped below 70 scholarship players heading into next season. The NCAA allows 85."
The production Crowell brought last season can be replaced, but his departure is the latest hit to lingering depth issues in Athens.
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