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Thursday, July 14, 2011

In which we discuss a possible Samuel move back to tailback

Richard Samuel, the Georgia linebacker who switched from tailback last year, tweeted the following on Wednesday:

“Have a tough life changing decision to make right now.”

That would lead you to believe one of the following is true:

- He’s considering becoming Rachel Samuel.

- President Obama has asked him to mediate debt limit talks.

- Samuel is thinking of moving back to tailback.

It could also be any number of other things, but considering recent events, it’s worth assuming for the moment that the redshirt junior was talking about being a running back again.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is meeting with the media on Friday morning, so he should have more insight then. And of course Samuel could always announce it via Twitter himself.

Last year when the team had its tailback troubles, Samuel admitted he thought briefly about switching, but it was never broached and added that “I just feel like linebacker is for me.” He reiterated that during spring practice.

“Not really,” he said when asked if he still thought about playing tailback. “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.”

But it’s very possible that Samuel’s mind has changed. Or is having it changed for him.

On the face of it, Samuel would seem a natural choice to join the tailback mix, since the team is sorely lacking experience after the departures of Caleb King and Washaun Ealey.

During his first two seasons at Georgia, Samuel rushed for a combined 528 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, with two touchdowns. He was basically the featured back in games against Arkansas (when he rushed for an 80-yard touchdown), South Carolina and Oklahoma State. And coming out of high school, he was ranked the nation’s fourth-best running back recruit by, and the fifth-best by

Plus, Georgia is hurting more depth-wise at tailback than inside linebacker: Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson are set on the first team, junior Mike Gilliard and redshirt freshman Brandon Burrows got time in spring practice, and recruits Kent Turene, Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson could contribute.

So it would be an obvious move, right? Well, there are downsides:

Samuel is listed at 243 pounds, and he’s been preparing (i.e., putting on weight) for awhile assuming he would be playing linebacker. If he switches back to offense, he’ll have to drop a lot of weight, and quickly.

And you could also argue that Samuel has a better chance of getting on the field on defense. He’s likely to sub in regularly for Ogletree. The question on offense is whether the coaches see him as insurance or competition for Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas.

We should find out shortly.


BulldogBen said...

I'll wait and see how this plays out but if he moves back, the coaches must have ZERO confidence in Ken Malcome and Grantham must feel Samuel wasn't the best option at linebacker.

Either scenario is not very encouraging and Samuel ends up never focusing on one thing.

NCT said...

WTH? I've seen so much speculation about this little tweet from a college kid, it's amazing. Maybe he's changing majors. Maybe he's having girlfriend problems. Maybe he's changing positions on the team. Maybe he's getting a new roommate. Looking back to what I considered major decisions when I was his age, maybe he was figuring out where to have supper that night.

dawgjammin said...

another talented kid wasted with position swaps

Russ said...

I don't want Richard Samuel as my running back. I think he stinks at it.

Crowell, Malcome, and Thomas along with Figgins will be able to get the job done.

Now GATA!!!

j.leonardjr said...

Please NO!

Reverend Whitewall said...

I can't see any positives behind making this move. It's been pretty clear from the beginning that Samuel has a much higher ceiling on the defensive side of the ball. He is not cut out to be an SEC-level running back, but still could turn out to be a dang good linebacker.

IveyLeaguer said...

If this happens, then it's time to change out most of the offensive staff.

Samuel was never an SEC RB. His high school film showed that, so some people knew it before he arrived in Athens. It took Bobo & Co. 2 years to figure it out, but they finally did and moved Samuel where he should have been all along, and where he has a chance to make a future for himself.

So we get thin at RB and suddenly Samuel can be an SEC RB again? Many have been aware for some time that Bobo & Co. are not great evaluators of talent. If this move happens, it'll be over the top.

We finally have a defensive staff that can evaluate. But the record shows we have some coaches on the offensive staff that aren't very good at it, and an SEC team that doesn't practice oversigning can't afford evaluation mistakes. This problem either has to be fixed, or some of the offensive staff overhauled, the OC for sure.