Georgia has a likely starter at tailback for its season opener in Ken Malcome and not much separation between its top fullbacks either.
Running backs coach Bryan McClendon Thursday said that former walk-on Merritt Hall and senior Richard Samuel are “1A and 1B” at fullback.
Hall will start for the Sept. 1 opener againstBuffalo, but Samuel is definitely in the plans and is splitting practice work between fullback and tailback.
“We’re going to try and keep him at both for as long as we possibly can before we have to have him at one spot or another,” McClendon said. “The thing that he does so well, he allows you to sort of be in a couple different personnel (groupings) at the same time as far as him being that versatile player.”
Freshman Quayvon Hicks also “definitely” will play in the opener, McClendon said.
McClendon confirmed what coach Mark Richt said the day before that Malcome is the likely starter, but indicated he might not firmly name a starter or the pecking order at the position before the game.
Freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and Samuel are also in the rotation.
“It’s been probably the stiffest competition that I can ever remember it being around here at that position,” McClendon said. “I’m definitely going to try to make sure that those guys get it going as early as possible (againstBuffalo), but you don’t want to pull anybody out of a rhythm as well.”
McClendon said Gurley—the leading rusher in all three scrimmages—has had “a very strong camp, but he is not the only one either. Ken and Keith have had impressive camps. You want to make sure that all those guys are sort of shored up on all aspects of their game because you’re going into a league that will take advantage of any kind of weakness that you have at any position or as a unit.”
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