Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crowell 2.0 leads the stable

I've counted myself among the many fans frustrated by the running game last season. And not all of that frustration can be laid at Isaiah Crowell's cleats. As difficult as it was to see him miss snaps at key moments and miss games due to "being loved" by Coach Richt, overall he had a pretty amazing freshman campaign. It's the what might have been that sticks in the craw. Probably for him as much as us. At least I hope so.

So we're a week removed from GDay and there's still just as many questions about the kid who led the team in rushing last season as there are about the position itself. On one hand Crowell and Co. didn't blow the doors off of the scrimmage, but I thought each guy who lined up looked good toting the ball.
  • Crowell didn't get nearly the number of snaps I had hoped for. But he made enough cuts to show us that his ankle is fully healed. He's still one of the best I've seen in a while as far as getting to the edge quickly. Which makes him the guy to beat this August.
  • Malcome may have impressed me the most, just from a rising from the ashes kind of scenario. He was all but done in Athens. Somehow decided to stay and had a great spring. And he took each handoff as if we were still scrimmaging playing the engiNerds back in November. Good, powerful runner.
  • Samuel showed he has also fully healed and took over inside the 20 on that early drive for the Black team. Just put the team on his back just as he did in Jacksonville a few months ago and drove us into the endzone.
The only real bummer is we didn't get to see the kid, Keith Marshall. Add him and Todd Gurley to the mix this August and I don't think there's any doubt that we're in much better shape at tailback than we were a year ago this time. Of course, Athens Academy's tailback roster probably looked comparable to Georgia's a year ago.

In all seriousness, I don't know if I would've picked Crowell as the guy to beat coming out of April if you had asked me back in December or even early January. That sentiment is probably born out of that frustration mentioned earlier as much as anything. In the same breath, I'm glad this is the way it is though. All indications are that the two freshmen will add a ton of potential and talent to the position. The better Crowell performs, the better off we are, obviously.

It's too early to tell if the demons that haunted #1 last season have relented or just faded from the headlines temporarily. If Crowell 2.0 means the expectation can equal the talent...the sky could be the limit.


Bernie said...

Im still thinking Boo Malcolm is the man to beat but thats just me . I seem to always pull for the under dawg. Ive been that way for awhile. It's usually the back that i see has potential and just hasn't used it all yet. Thats the one you can count on me pulling for. Most the articles i see are Crowell this and Crowell that. I'm beginning to feel like I'm. Boo Malcolms one man fan club ,but before i get bashed I do like Crowell i just like Boos running style more.

Bernie said...

One thing you can count on with Richt & Bobo's pass happy offense, is to finish 5th yo 7th in the SEC in rushing. Happens every year, despite the talent. Which means it's more scheme than talent.

Bernie said...

You mean the pass happy offense that had 150 more rushing attempts than passing attempts and was 3rd in the SEC in rushing attempts?

Bernie said...

Yes, talking about the UAG rush offense that finished 5th, 7th, 10th, and 7th in rushing yards in SEC last 4 years. That's the one.