This was supposed to be Isaiah Crowell's time. The former Georgia running back was supposed to step in as a sophomore right where he left off as a freshman, which was with capped with SEC Freshman of the Year honors by the Associated Press.
Things changed when Crowell was arrested and subsequently dismissed following felony weapons chargers earlier this summer.
The running back position at Georgia got thrown in doubt, but some of that was removed on Wednesday, when head coach Mark Richt announced that sophomore Ken Malcome will probably start at running back, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m pretty sure Ken Malcome is going to start,” Richt said. “But something could change between now and then.”
Malcome was pleased with the announcement, but relatively unmoved.
“I mean, it’s not that I don’t care,” Malcome said. “That’s what I was already thinking anyway. But I’m gonna keep pushing. I’m not going to let that one little statement go to my head.”
It's the right move for Georgia.
Richard Samuel is a talented senior, but the 6'2", 243-pounder recently moved back to tailback from fullback, and will be used as more of a short yardage and goal-line specialist.
Who will lead Georgia in rushing in 2012?
Malcome is a redshirt sophomore who is entering his third year in the program. He only gained 174 yards on the ground last season, but that experience is likely what gave him the starting nod over freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
Gurley has been in full-on beast mode since taking part in his first practice. The freshman has led the Bulldogs in rushing in all three fall scrimmages, and has even drawn comparisons to former Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
But he's still a freshman.
The numbers may be there, but the issue that most freshmen struggle with is pass protection. That's an important factor for these Bulldogs, considering they've lost three starters on the offensive line and presumed replacement Kolton Houston's status is still in limbo after he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Let Malcome take the early-season snaps, ease the youngsters into the mix, and let Samuel handle the short-yardage carries. That sounds like a recipe for success for Georgia.