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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dawgs to Watch No. 18: Caleb King

Caleb King isn't worried about modesty. He wants to play.

As one of the top recruits in the country a year ago rated him the No. 1 player in Georgia he certainly has the tools to play.

But with two seniors and a talented redshirt freshmen ahead of him on the depth chart last year, there just wasn't any playing time to be had.

"When I first came in, I wanted to be the starter," King said. "I believe that's every freshman's dream. But being redshirted, I think that was a blessing. I feel more comfortable with the offense taking a year off and studying the playbook."

With Kregg Lumpkin and Thomas Brown now out of the picture, King figured to be the primary backup to starting tailback Knowshon Moreno this season, but that's not exactly a guarantee.

As preseason camp marches into its second week, King's status on the depth chart is still up in the air, with three freshmen pushing him for playing time.

The open competition for the back-up job is legitimate, running backs coach Tony Ball said, but it also has served as a good motivational tool for King.

"It's always good to have somebody on your heels to make sure you don't slack off or take a day off," he said.

Of course, the position King finds himself in as the 2008 season approaches isn't too much different than how his backfield counterpart began last year.

Moreno sat out his first season at Georgia, too, and began 2007 third on the depth chart behind Lumpkin and Brown. His year ended with 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns. It's a template King would be happy to follow.

"I believe I can do the same thing he can do and have a break out season, but we'll have to see what happens," King said.

King assures he's not out to steal anyone's job, and he said a national championship for Georgia is his only goal entering the season.

So that begged the question: Just how many carries does he hope to get this season?

"Whatever helps the team," King said.

"How about 10 a game?" a reporter asked him.

"Well," King said with a smile, "maybe a few more than that."

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