Mark Richt addressed the media on the dismissal of running back Isaiah Crowell Thursday before taking the podium at SEC Media days. Richt expressed his disappointment on the Crowell situation but seemed high on his current crop of running backs.
"We've got some really good backs on this football team. It certainly will change Richard Samuel's role I would think. He was transitioning to at least the hybrid tailback/fullback for us, but I don't think he'll be getting an awful lot of time at fullback now. He may still be ready to go if needed over there. He'll still most of his time at tailback. Of course, Ken Malcome was actually the No. 1 tailback at the end of spring ball. And our two young backs (Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley) will get an opportunity to show what they can do and that's why they came here to play and play early. Historically freshmen backs can come in and do well. Plus we've got (Brandon) Harton and (Kyle) Karempelis, a couple of walk-ons that have played for us and know the system and function well and will only get better as well. So we've got some guys that can come in and play."
Malcome had been listed as the co-starter along with Crowell coming out of spring practice although Richt's comments indicate that it was actually Malcome who was No. 1. The Bulldogs have a couple of intriguing options in freshman Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley but they are both new to the SEC game. Marshall enrolled early and that should speed up his being prepared but it may take Gurley a little time to get acclimated to the system.
No doubt Crowell was the most skilled back of the bunch and had the opportunity to work himself into a feature role. The Bulldogs now will likely be depending on the entire group as a unit to pick up the slack.
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