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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Richard Samuel hopes for "a fair share" of time at ILB

Richard Samuel isn't quite conceding the starting spot at inside linebacker to Alec Ogletree.

Before Ogletree’s move from safety was announced earlier this month, it was safe to assume that Samuel would head into spring practice with the inside track to start. But Ogletree’s move changed that.

But Samuel still feels he has a shot at playing at one of the two inside spots.

“I feel like through practicing, and if I practice well and show I can get the job done, we’ll get a fair share of the playing time,” he said after Thursday’s third day of Georgia spring practice.

Samuel’s case is buttressed by the fact that the Bulldogs don’t really have many other options at inside linebacker, after the graduation of Akeem Dent and the transfers of Marcus Dowtin and Nick Williams. There’s Christian Robinson, the anointed captain of the defense, Ogletree, Samuel and Mike Gilliard.

So Samuel saw Ogletree’s switch as having more to do with numbers.

“I feel that we need depth at that position,” said Samuel, who will be a junior next season. “Due to the fact that he had playing experience at that position last year, he (Ogletree) got that position. More competition will make both of us better.”

Samuel knows a little bit about switching positions. In fact, compared to him, Ogletree’s switch is nothing.

This time last year Samuel was shifting from running back, a spot he had played since high school. (He's currently listed at 6-foot-2 and 243 pounds.)

Samuel ended up redshirting last season after incurring a knee injury. Samuel could have played – he said the knee felt close to 100 percent by the end of the season – but the staff elected to save his redshirt.

And don’t even think about a move back to tailback for Samuel. Not with Isaiah Crowell on the way to join the already crowded picture.

“Not really,” Samuel said, when asked if he still thinks about playing running back. “I think about it every now and then when I look at the other running backs and compare myself to what I would have done if I were in their position. But that’s about as far as it goes.”

Head coach Mark Richt, when asked about the Ogletree move on Samuel and Gilliard, made his answer more about the safeties, and not the inside linebackers.

“It certainly helps them understand there’s more competition. But we’re really only two deep total at that position,” Richt said. “I think what it’s affected more is the safeties, to guys like Shawn Williams and Jakar (Hamilton) and even Marc Deas. Just to realize there’s a whole lot of playing time that just opened up for them.

“Not to say that there was a guarantee that Tree was going to continue to hold onto the job. But he was by the end of the year the starter, and now he’s out of there.”

A few other notes from Thursday:

- We don’t get to watch most of practice, but for the early portion, four return candidates were fielding kick and punts: Tavarres King, Brandon Boykin, Branden Smith and Carlton Thomas.

- A.J. Green, Justin Houston and Fred Gibson were at Thursday’s practice. Green and Akeem Dent also watched Tuesday’s practice after participating in pro day.

- The team will have a full-pads scrimmage on Saturday. They’ll have a half-scrimmage day, as Richt put it, which won’t count towards the three scrimmages they’re allowed.

- Offensive lineman Dallas Lee has been slowed by an asthma-like condition. The length of time he’ll be out is unclear, according to Richt.


Tobias Fuhnke said...


Sorry, I had to get your attention somehow with all of these comments here. Have you heard anything about G-Day this year possibly being on ESPN (or at least ESPN3)? If you haven't heard anything, would you mind asking Claude or anyone else in-the-know next time you go to practice? Thanks.

PS: Yes I am repeating this comment because I'm not sure if you will get through the 30 comments on the last post.

Tobias Fuhnke said...

And I guess I didn't need to repeat all of the Seths, since that was the first comment on this post... my bad.

Anonymous said...

Hope our D plays nasty this year. Sure will need to against Boise and South Carolina or it will be another long year. Carolina fans are already crowing that it will be 2 in a row against the Dawgs just like they did against Clemson. Im already getting a sick feeling.

Anonymous said...

The secondary is still a major concern.

Seth Emerson said...

Tobias, the G-Day game is going to be televised on CSS (Comcast Sports South).

Anonymous said...

Georgia promised to play Samuel a lot last year at LB.

He didn't play a play.

Remember last year's article? Sounds a lot like Georgia's saying the same thing this season.

Anonymous said...

Grantham's a fair guy. If the players earn it, unlike Bobo, Grantham will let them play. If Samuel's good enough, he'll get reps under Grantham, if not, he won't see the field.

Anonymous said...

Can't fear competition. If you have the stuff to go NFL, you better get used t competition.

Anonymous said...


Thoughts on Bruce Feldman picking Crowell as a top 10 darkhorse candidate on Mar 24 in his column?

Also, in Jan, ESPN analysts picked Crowell to become the Heisman runner up in 2014, based on their best educated opinions.

Agree or is this hype? If not, what are they basing this on?

adam said...

anon @8:49 -

samuel may have played last year had he not been hurt most of the year.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we're trying to build in competition at every position this off-season to help the guys improve. I wouldn't read too much into Ogletree's move, Samuel has a huge experience advantage on him at the LB position, if he loses snaps, that's sad really. I think our coaches thought this would create more competition at safety and linebacker, and make the guys work harder.

Anonymous said...

Smauel was at 100% last several games, read the article, but coaches opted to not play him a single play.

Anonymous said...

Samuel has about a 1% chance of beating Ogletree. But, Richt's got to tell him something, just like last year, or Samuel transfers, and Richt loses a backup in case Ogltree gets injured. That's all this is. If the guys can't see that, review Mettenberger, Gray, Figgins, White, Malcome, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:06 why would they pull redshirt at end of season. Did you want him to play in two games last year or have opportunity to play in 12 or more in 2011 and 2012. By the time he got healthy it was not worth pulling the redshirt. Do you understand that!

Anonymous said...

If Samuel was told he would get plays, and he was healthy, he was misled.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:41 was also clearly misled when his parents told him he wasn't retarded and would one day post meaningful commentary on a football blog. Sorry you have to find out this way.

AZ said...

Crowell will win three straight Heismans and National Championships and then turn pro and sign the first billion dollar contract. These are reasonable expectations for the "Dream" recruit?

Anonymous said...


Bruce Feldman and ESPN writers predicting a Heisman for Crowell?

Why have you not written on this?

Seth Emerson said...

Because they actually only listed him in a tie for 10th among darkhorse candidates, which isn't the same as predicting one. But I admit, it sounded a lot better the way you embellished it.

Anonymous said...


I'm not embellishing.

A BUNCH of ESPN analyst are talking about Crowell winning a Heisman or runner up:

The question is, why do you consider it to be a non-story when ESPN doesn't?

Seth Emerson said...

Yeah, huge story there.

Anonymous said...


It's a big story when Feldman is considering a brand new recruit to be a darkhorse top 10 Heisman candidate as a Freshman.

And when the entire ESPN analysts pick Crowell as a top 2 potential Heisman winner from this class, huge deal.

I think it will be the biggest story of 2011 season.

Bigger than the way Robsinson at Michigan got our attention.

I think you're dead wrong on Crowell's potential.

Feldman, and the ESPN analysts, all agree on Crowell's top 2 to top 10 national player upside.

Anonymous said...

Crowell posted a blazing 10.9, 100 yard dash, at a track meet, officially.

The dude is as fast as Michigan's Robinson.

Anonymous said...

Seth might be the last journalist in America to write about Crowell winning a Heisman because he feels it's not a huge story, so be it. Maybe he's right. Maybe Crowell won't even play and will be red-shirted. Or maybe Crowell's not as good as everybody at ESPN seems to think. Maybe Seth's right, and all the ESPN college football experts are all wrong on Crowell.

Anonymous said...

Scout also disagrees with Seth on Crowell and spent a lot of time covering Crowell as a big story.

Called Crowell #1 RB in country, gave him 5 stars.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've got to agree with the person posting the links about Crowell winning a Heisman over Seth.

Even though these predictions are never right, I think it's a big deal when they pick one of UGA's recruits who has never played CFB before.

Seth, if you don't agree with the poster or the links, why not say something like, "these guys are always making these bold predictions, if they happen to turn out to be right then I might cover it." Sarcasm doesn't benefit anyone and is hardly endearing.

Georga said...

A 10.9 100 yard dash is slow.

Anonymous said...

Rivals rated Crowell #23 best player in the nation.

Rated Crowell's SPEED as Blue Chip.

Anonymous said...

Crowell's speed is on par with Denard Robinson's, nothing slow about that. And his speed has been clocked officially in track meets.

Seth Emerson said...

Lemme try and make my point clearer. Big story: Isaiah Crowell actually winning Heisman, which, who knows, could very well happen. People predicting he'll make a run at it in March of 2011: Not a big "story." Something fun to talk about, though. And you're talking about it.

Anonymous said...

Or just delete my well-intentioned comment.

Anonymous said...


If you choose to write about stories like Figgins not changing his jersey number a guy who's caught 9 passes in 3 years, and feel it's a bigger story than Crowell being mentioned for the Heisman as a freshman, I think you're wrong.

Anonymous said...

Don't cross him, or he'll delete your comment.

Anonymous said...

Samuel hoiping to start at Linebacker is worthy of a big story, ESPN mentioning new recruit 2x as potential Heisman winner isn't.

Samuel MIGHT be a good linebacker, he hasn't played a snap yet, yet you wrote about it.


Anonymous said...

If Crowell goes off for 200 yards against Boise, and 150 against South Carolina, it will be a big story, and Seth will have to cover it.