The Georgia Bulldogs suffered another setback over the weekend , as the football team made its way back into the headlines.
The arrests of Tavarres King (WR) and Dontavius Jackson (RB) cast another shadow over the football program, which means there will be more depth chart shuffling.
At the end of spring practice, Tavarres King won out over Rantavious Wooten for the No. 2 receiving spot behind A.J. Green . The competition would likely have stretched into the summer, but King had a decided edge over Wooten in their position battle. Now, with King’s mandatory one-game suspension being a factor, the door is open for Wooten or someone else to grab the reigns—at least in the first game.
King was one of Georgia’s best deep ball threats, and there were some who felt that 2010 would be his breakout season. Now, it is unclear when he will play, and that means someone else will be counted on to step up and fill his void.
The Bulldogs have one incoming receiver for 2010, Michael Bennett. Fans and coaches watch his development with more interest now, as he could be called upon early to contribute. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the rigors of the SEC, both physically and mentally, because there is little doubt that he has the requisite skills .
The most likely scenario is that Bennett fills in as a reserve, and Marlon Brown or Rantavious Wooten battle it out this summer for the No. 2 spot—assuming Brown can remain healthy and Wooten can stop dropping balls like he did in the spring.
If neither of them can secure the job, look for Kris Durham to make some noise . He looked impressive in the G-Day Game, and he has always been a good possession receiver for the Bulldogs throughout his career despite limited opportunities to shine.
At the running back spot, the loss of Dontavius Jackson—who was slotted in at third on the depth chart, with Carlton Thomas trailing slightly behind—is a touch more worrisome. While Georgia has the talented tandem of Washaun Ealey and Caleb King , a third back would be nice insurance against injury and fatigue.
The obvious choice to replace Jackson would seem to be Carlton Thomas. He looked good during the spring and, for the second year in a row, was impressive in G-Day.
However, last season highlighted some weaknesses in his abilities—mostly because of his size—and the fact is, he is not an every down back. He has a very specific skill-set that the team will use where possible, but he’s not the long-term answer.
The natural fit for the role is likely to be incoming freshman Ken Malcome. He has the size and strength for running the ball between the tackles, and his balance and vision make him an intriguing option as an early contributor.
He lacks the speed of Dontavius Jackson, but his style closely mirrors that of Washaun Ealey, and that's not a bad thing.
Will he be ready to jump in and make it happen? We'll just have to wait and see this summer, but with the lack of warm bodies on the depth chart at running back, Malcome will definitely be in the mix.
Hopefully the opportunity to move up on the depth chart will spark greater competition amongst those who are fighting to make statements for the Bulldogs in 2010.
(This article appears courtesy of The Lady Sportswriter )