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King ineligible at UGA


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This one has been rumored for awhile. Crowell is either going to be a star or Murray is going to have to sling it around 80% of the time. Either way, I don't see a way to Atlanta for UGA.

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Would have been a big benefit for Crowell to have the likes of Ealy or King to ease him into the season.

Remember, Mario Fanin started the '10 season as AU's #1 back.

Losing one or the other upperclassman for Crowell , not that big a deal. Losing both ? BIG deal.

Oh, and the lack of depth in the OL ? That's not gonna help matters much either.

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Is UGA gonna be going back to the Zeier days and sling it all over the field?

Unless Crowell is the next in the line of stud frosh running backs, yes.

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King’s Absence Is Huge For Georgia

By Barrett Sallee


The offseason departure of running back Washaun Ealey already created a void in Georgia’s backfield heading into 2011. On Friday, that void got bigger with the news that senior running back Caleb King’s Georgia career is over after being declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season.

King, a hot shot recruit in the 2007 class from suburban Atlanta, never matched the hype that followed him to Athens. For his career, King appeared in 29 games, rushing for 1,271 yards in 255 carries.

“It’s unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season,” said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. “We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up.”

The “others” that Mark Richt is referring to is really only one person – true freshman Isaiah Crowell. Sure, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome are there too, but Crowell is the future of Georgia’s tailback position, and now he’s going to have to mature sooner rather than later.

Crowell, who was the No. 1 running back recruit in the country last season according to Scout.com, came to Georgia for one reason, to be the “next Herschel Walker.” That’s a lot of hype to carry; and considering others – including Caleb King himself – have unsuccessfully carried that title, it’d be a bit premature to pencil him in for 1,000 yards without playing a down of college football.

That’s not to say that Crowell won’t make an impact. He eventually may become a star in this conference as early as the 2011 season. But with games against Boise State and South Carolina – two top 15 teams – to open the season, Georgia needed King to navigate that backfield through those early season battles before possibly giving way to Crowell.

What’s the biggest obstacle for most young running backs to overcome in the transition from high school to college football? Pass blocking. Georgia is a team with big offensive line problems, and that’s where King’s absence will make the most noticeable impact. Out of Georgia’s tailbacks, only Carlton Thomas has any playing experience, and he’s only 170 pounds. What does that mean? Boise State and South Carolina are going to bring the house – and maybe the whole neighborhood – on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. Without A.J. Green to throw jump balls to, that presents a huge problem for the Bulldogs.

You hate to toss games away, but Georgia’s game vs. Boise State is almost an afterthought at this point. For Georgia’s season to be successful, the Bulldogs have to win the SEC East and make it to the Georgia Dome in December, not beat Boise State in it in September. That makes Georgia’s Week 2 game vs. defending SEC East champion South Carolina the biggest game of the season, and possibly Mark Richt’s entire Georgia coaching career.

Before King’s departure, I had Georgia winning that game and, thus, winning the SEC East via tiebreaker. King’s absence – particularly on passing downs – definitely changes that, especially considering the firepower the Gamecocks have on the defensive line.

Was Caleb King a Heisman caliber running back? No. But he was the veteran that Georgia needed to get through those two early tests. Isaiah Crowell is going to make an impact eventually. Now Crowell has to make an impact immediately, which is a lot to ask of a true freshman.


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