Thursday, July 28, 2011

Running Backs from Georgia failing to make a splash

Seems like it used to be, if you were a college program looking for a running back, you could just cherry pick from the state of Georgia. That hasn't been the case of late, though, regardless of a player's college choice.

Washaun Ealey, Dontavious Jackson, Caleb King, Jonathan Dwyer, Carlos Brown, Cameron Smith, James Davis, and DJ Adams were basically rated the top running backs over the past several years (prior to 2009; still reserving judgement before writing off the likes of Storm Johnson, Ken Malcome, and Mack Brown).

Of the aforementioned backs, James Davis had a terrific freshman year, but his production and overall playmaking ability dwindled after CJ Spiller arrived. Jonathan Dwyer was extremely prolific, but it could be argued, and rightfully so, that he was a product of Paul Johnson's triple option (that's the perfect option, for those of you who don't know). Any back they stick in there at the "A" is going to run for a ton of yards. Both were taken in the 6th round of the NFL draft, hardly hot property.

It should be noted that "Hot Property" was a faux kid's dance troop on Star Search, as created by Norm McDonald.

Interestingly, UGA has not been without highly productive backs. They've just come from other states. Knowshon Moreno and Musa Smith have been the only backs to eclipse the thousand-yard mark in a season over the past decade and be "1st Day" NFL draft picks. That's not to diminish the contributions of backs like Thomas Brown and Danny Ware, who are great people and bled Red and Black.

Which brings us to Isaiah Crowell. Of all the running backs mentioned, Crowell would seem to be the can't-missest of the bunch (you may recall Caleb King was as highly touted before transferring to GAC and injuring his leg his senior year). The team and coaching staff are doing their best not to put the weight of the Georgia program on the freshman's shoulders, and that's how it should be. Hopefully, he can live up to expectations and put running backs from the state of Georgia back on the map.

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