A Dawg's Tail: Getting to Know the 2011 Georgia Bulldog Backfield
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Since losing Knowshon Moreno, UGA has been searching for a premier tailback. Although they have not been able to locate a feature back, their pro style offense allows for the usage of multiple backs.
This year, they will be forced to use multiple backs again. Luckily for the Bulldogs, they have four above average backs that can all step up to lead UGA back to the SEC Championship game.
When Caleb King was coming out of Greater Atlanta Christian High School, he was one of the top players in his recruiting class. At 5’11” and 215 pounds, he is a physically demanding tailback.
Entering his senior season, King will be looking to showcase his abilities in hopes of earning a spot on an NFL practice squad. He has been a reliable back that has consistently shown improvement throughout his career.
Though he never lived up to his hype, King is poised for his best season yet if he can stay healthy and out of trouble off the field. Last season, he was able to average over five yards per carry. He should be a consistent tail-back for 2011. Look for him to receive the most carries this season for the Bulldogs.
As Washaun Ealey was entering his freshman year from the Emanuel County Institute, wearing Moreno’s No. 24, he excited the Bulldog Nation with his phenomenal performances against LSU and Georgia Tech. These performances earned him SEC Freshman of the Week twice.
Since then, the 5’11” 215 pound back has disappointed, in part because he has failed to stay out trouble. Now entering his junior season, Ealey will need to perform well each practice to earn carries in the crowded Georgia backfield.
The future is bleak for Ealey, but his elusiveness and raw talent may allow him to resurrect his career and live up to his potential.
When Carlton Thomas was coming out of Frostproof High School in Florida, he was the No. 15 back in the country. Throughout his career, he has struggled to find carries, since he has been surrounded by other great running backs.
At 5’7” and 170 pounds, he is extremely undersized. However, he is able to compensate through his shifty play making ability and speed. He probably will not get many carries, but he may be able to make an impact in the return game.
Isaiah Crowell. Everyone knows the name. He is the top running back recruit in the country.
At 5’11" and 210 pounds, he has good size, but what separates him from most is his top end speed. At Carver High School, he was a dominating running back, leading his team through the playoffs, eventually becoming state runner-ups.
He will not be a lead back this year since he is simply not prepared to be. Eventually in his career, he should reach that level, but for his freshman year, he will be the change of pace back for the Bulldogs.
Look for him to have a couple of dynamic plays that excite the crowd and change the momentum of the game this year. Other than a few big plays, don’t expect much more out of Crowell.
Hopefully, UGA will have productive play from their backfield this year.
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