The sophomores exit spring practices neck and neck for the starting tailback job.
“We’ve just got competition at that position,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “I think that’s going to make them better, make our offense better. We’ve got depth. It’s hard to have just one back in this league. You’ve got to have two or three and I think we’re working our way to that.”
Malcome got the nod as starter on the Red team in Saturday’s 32-31 G-Day win over the Black team. He rushed for 32 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.
“Today showed what kind of back I am and what I’m trying to prove,” Malcome said.
Crowell ran for 39 yards on 10 carries.
“I thought they ran well,” coach Mark Richt said. “I thought they got yards after contact. They had some tough yards.”
Crowell, Georgia’s leading rusher last year, said he did not miss a practice repetition this spring because of injury after he had trouble staying on the field during a turbulent season.
He lowered his head and gained six yards on his first carry of the day, drawing applause from fans.
“I heard them cheering and I appreciate that,” Crowell said. “I know when you do stuff good they’ll be on your side and when you do stuff bad, they won’t be on your side. I understand that.”
Malcome quit the team briefly last season, but returned to start two games and rush for 174 yards.
“I don’t know for sure how he’s going to finish, but he’s on a great track right now,” Richt said. “He’s really blossomed for us as a football player and as a student and as a person. I’m just really happy for him.”
Backup QB still not determined
Christian LeMay had his best scrimmage of the spring, completing 7 of 10 passes for 154 yards with a touchdown and interception, but he hasn’t won the backup job in Georgia’s complicated situation behind Aaron Murray.
“Right now there isn’t any decision about who’s going to be the backup,” Bobo said. “LeMay’s come a million miles from last year. …He shows flashes, but we’ve got to become more consistent.”
Hutson Mason is headed for a redshirt season if Murray remains healthy.
Walk-on Parker Welch was 5 of 11 for 48 yards with an interception.
LeMay called his day “decent,” and said “overall, I showed what I can do.”
Richt said LeMay showed some very nice touch at times. The first crossing route he threw he hummed that one in there. …Hutson has a really uncanny ability to stand in there and cut that ball loose under pressure and find the right guy.”
Mason completed 6 of 12 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in what might be his final appearance playing before fans this season.
“He needs to stay on the ready,” Richt said.
Mason said he “gained a lot of momentum and confidence” on the second drive of the second half when he completed all four of his passes including a 53-yard strike to Michael Erdman.
Samuel the mystery man
Who was that No. 19 toting the ball for the Black team Saturday?
Turns out it was senior Richard Samuel, who played for the Red team wearing his regular jersey No. 22.
“They didn’t bring my jersey down so I had to borrow whatever number they had,” Samuel said.
The new number suited him well on a day he led all rushers with 43 yards on eight carries, including a two-yard touchdown run.
“I enjoyed it,” Samuel said. “That’s the kind of type of runner I wanted to show. That with all these backs out here, I could still run hard, I could still do the job.”
The storyline on Samuel this spring had been his work at fullback before he missed some practice time due to a concussion.
“Richard proved today that he’s a valuable runner,” Richt said. “He can absolutely bring a good change of pace to our running game with the physicality that he has and he has speed, too, of course. We feel like he can play the fullback position. He’s smart enough, too. He’s willing enough too and I just don’t know how that thing is going to shape up.”
Update on contracts
Georgia announced a week before spring practice began that Richt had agreed to a three-year contract extension and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham would get two more years added to his contract, but those deals still not have been finalized.
“It’s all between the lawyers,” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “They’re going through it and I guess it just takes time to go through that stuff. There’s no rush, there’s no urgency because everybody’s agreed upon the content of it, it’s just a matter of two legal entities getting together and then giving us something that we can call a draft.”
McGarity said he hoped certainly “by the end of June we’d be all done with the end of everything.”
This and that
Former Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, was among former players on the sideline… Tailback Brandon Harton had six catches for 57 yards. …Defensive end Ray Drew was credited with a sack for both the Red and Black team.