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Georgia Football 2011: Isaiah Crowell Is on Pace to Have a Huge Season

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 3: Isaiah Crowell #1of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with a catch against the Boise State Broncos during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome on September 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Brian JonesContributor ISeptember 29, 2011

Isaiah Crowell has been a great addition to the Georgia Bulldogs roster. He has shown strength, speed and the durability that is needed for a running back in the SEC each week.

So, with the season 33 percent done, the question is, how good can he be?

When it comes to freshman running backs for the Bulldogs, Crowell has a chance to have the best season since a guy that wore No. 34. Some notable backs for Georgia that had strong rookie seasons are Rodney Hampton, Garrison Hearst, Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno.

Hampton played for the Bulldogs in the late 1980s and rushed for 890 yards and four touchdowns his first season. Hampton went on to play for the New York Giants from 1990-1997 and won a Super Bowl as well as made two Pro Bowl appearances.

Hearst, who is considered by some as the second best running back in UGA history, succeeded Hampton and rushed for over 700 yards and five scores his rookie year. He went on to earn All-America honors as well as winning the Doak Walker Award and placing third in the Heisman Trophy race his junior year.

Brown rushed for 875 yards and eight touchdowns, and he was named to the All-SEC Freshman team in 2004. Moreno exploded onto the scene in 2007, rushing for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was awarded SEC Freshman of the Year and was named to the First Team Freshman All-America team.

The of course there is No. 34, and that is Herschel Walker. In his freshman season in 1980, Walker rushed for over 1,600 yards with 15 touchdowns. Because if his success, the Bulldogs were undefeated and won its second national championship.

But here’s what’s interesting: If you look up Walker's numbers through the first four games and Crowell’s numbers, it’s almost identical.

Through the first four games in 1980, Walker rushed for 419 yards and five scores. Crowell has rushed for 411 yards and three scores so far this season.

Does it mean Crowell is going to be the next Walker? That remains to be seen. But what it does mean is Crowell is on the right track to have a big season. He has already won SEC Freshman of the week twice and is the No. 2 freshman running back in the country, averaging 103 yards per game.

With Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt on the horizon, Crowell will have an opportunity to do some more damage and really make some noise. In fact, other than possibly Florida, there really not a team that can completely shut down Crowell.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Crowell does as the season rolls on. He has done great so far, and if he continues down the path he is one, the Bulldogs will be a hard team to beat.

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