Georgia is getting some help at running back.
After the departure of Washaun Ealey and the academic ineligibility of Caleb King wrecked the Bulldogs’ running back depth, Georgia's coaching staff is bringing back a familiar face to the position in linebacker Richard Samuel, coach Mark Richt announced Thursday.
Samuel played both linebacker and running back in high school, but wanted to play running back in college, so Georgia signed him as one. In his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, Samuel played in 22 games, including starting six in 2009, and carried the ball 114 times for 528 yards and three touchdowns.
After failing to move up on the depth chart, Samuel moved to linebacker last season, but redshirted due to injuries. He exited this spring in the thick of the competition at one of the middle linebacker spots.
But Georgia is hurting too much at running back and the Bulldogs' staff felt it would benefit this team greatly if Samuel moved back to his first position.
"After discussions with Richard, his family, and our coaches I'm excited that Richard wants to make the move," Richt said. "He's one of our fastest and most powerful players, is very mature, has a strong character and is a man we can count on. I'm proud of him for always putting the team first and I look forward to seeing what he can do."
The Bulldogs need Samuel in the backfield. The top two running backs are gone and outside of incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell, there isn't much excitement at the position. Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome dealt with injuries this spring and even after having a solid spring game, Malcome was moved to fourth on the depth chart entering the offseason.
Crowell has reported to campus, but it will take him some time to adjust. Remember, he just graduated from high school and he has to deal with a boatload of hype. Not to mention it will take him some time to get into college playing shape. Crowell will probably end up being the guy at some point this season, but having Samuel back there to push him will greatly help his development.
"I'm excited about the opportunity at tailback," Samuel said. "I'm ready to do anything that will help the team win."
It might take Samuel some time to adjust back to running back, but having an extra experienced body in the backfield is a relief for Georgia.