Profiling the Georgia Bulldog Running Backs: Part Two
In last week's article, I profiled Richard Samuel, Kalvin Daniels, and Dontavius Jackson. This week I want to continue my analysis by doing the same with Carlton Thomas, Caleb King, and Shaun Chapas.
If you missed the article and want to read it, you can find it here.
Otherwise, we will pick up where we left off by starting with:
Shaun Chapas (Jr)
6'2", 236 pounds, Shaun Chapas is the heir apparent to Brannan Southerland. He plays the fullback position, but was a very effective runner in the G-Day game.
I don't look for him to have to play the role of ball carrier often, but it is important to recognize his skills in that area, as the fullback has been known to play an intricate part in goal line and red zone plays in the past (don't forget that Verron Haynes was a fullback as well).
In limited play last season, Chapas had nine receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. He added seven carries to that for 25 yards.
His offensive play surpassed that of his counterpart, Southerland, who saw his production affected by injury last season.
Chapas has the hands to be a good pass catcher and the blocking skills to be an effective leader for the new blood that will be following his trail next season.
Chapas is likely to make his bread and butter being a blocker for the running backs and protecting his quarterback from getting his hump busted—he will have big shoes to fill.
Caleb King (RSo)
King was supposed to be the man this year. He had every opportunity to separate himself from both Dontavius Jackson and Richard Samuel (both out of spring practice due to injury), but instead he played rather average and gave no one the feeling that he was the clear-cut No. 1.
I am sure he will be disappointed to learn that the job is no longer his to lose.
King is supremely talented; one look at his high school highlight film and you will not be able to deny that fact.
He is elusive and quick off the first step. His field vision is outstanding; he follows the lead blocker and is instantly aware of where the holes will develop and exactly how hard he should hit them.
He is patient with his cuts and never seems to overdo it on his runs; every yard is purposeful and if he gets to the edge, forget it, he's gone.
He put a few more pounds of muscle onto his 5'11" frame this spring, so he is now a touch over 200 pounds, which should give him a little added explosiveness.
His receiving skills are above average and he can be a tough kid to bring down once he gets going.
All of this versatility makes him an offensive weapon for the Dawgs.
The one major weakness, which King is well aware of by this point, is his blocking. He has been known to take bad angles on blocking assignments or just miss the block altogether, allowing the defender to get to the quarterback unchallenged.
This is unacceptable for a Georgia running back.
King may no longer have the luxury of claiming the No. 1 spot, but he still has a supreme opportunity to prove that he was worthy of all the hype he had when he came out of high school.
Carlton Thomas (Rfr)
Carlton Thomas introduced himself with a bang at the G-Day game. He made it known that he should no longer be looked over as a possible starting candidate.
At 5'7", he is hardly the kind of kid you would look at and say, "There goes a football player," he is more likely to be the towel guy than the one wearing the red and black jersey on Saturday.
However, to underestimate him is a mistake.
Thomas is deceptively fast and hard to get a hand on; he has phenomenal field vision and body control, which makes for a tough runner both between and outside the tackles.
He's willing to take a hit and he has no problem dishing one out either.
He's not as fast as King but he uses his instincts to his advantage and knows when a change of direction may be needed in order to elude or confuse a would-be tackler.
However, he is weak in pass protection, due mostly to his size, and needs to get better at seeing the holes as they develop so he can hit them in stride as opposed to seeing them late and losing potential gains.
I see him being used early on as a special teams guy because he has the skills to be a dependable kick returner. The Dawgs will need good hands in the kicking game now that Logan Gray may be taking more snaps at the quarterback position.
There is still the possibility of him getting in on some running plays but he will likely be used sparingly and only in specific packages, but if his consistency continues, it may prove hard for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to keep him off the field.
As it stands now, my feeling is the depth chart will have Richard Samuel, Caleb King, and Dontavius Jackson listed one-two-three.
That could change based on how well Samuel recovers from surgery and how much King progresses in pass protection.
It won't matter much, as I see the Dawgs employing a lot of two-back rotations this season, which will give the first two guys listed on the depth chart an equal amount of time to shine in the run game this coming year.
Next week's topic: The wide receivers
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