Georgia tailback position still open

semerson@macon.comAugust 4, 2012 

ATHENS -- There is a pecking order at tailback for Georgia, but it’s not a very firm one.

By virtue of their experience, senior Richard Samuel and sophomore Ken Malcome are ahead of freshmen Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. But all four are getting snaps with the first-team offense, and head coach Mark Richt said the race is “wide open.”

“I don’t know when and where, if (the depth chart is) going to move around,” Richt said. “Usually we’ll at least wait until we have a day in pads or we’ll wait until after the scrimmage to re-rack it a little bit.”

Another wrench in the plans is that Samuel is still a factor at fullback, getting plenty of reps there. During early drills Saturday, when the media was present, he was in the backfield with Keith Marshall.

“He’s kind of doing double-duty with that right now,” Richt said.

Samuel has said he would prefer fullback but will be fine with however it turns out.

“It was gonna tip more to tailback a little bit,” Samuel said. “But then during camp if coaches feel good about how the other running backs start to produce or how the fullback is filling out with Quayvon (Hicks) and Zander (Ogletree) … it all depends on how those guys pan out.”

Wilson leads

Sophomore Ramik Wilson continues to be the favorite to be the first-team outside linebacker opposite Jarvis Jones.

“There’s still some competition there. Not 100 percent certain. But Ramik can do it. He’s getting that work,” Richt said. “We’ve got some of the young guys out there working. … I like the true freshmen outside linebacking corps we brought in.”

Wilson played in eight games last year, recording four tackles. But he had a very good spring practice -- being named the defense’s most improved player -- and has taken advantage of Cornelius Washington and Ray Drew moving to defensive end.

“I feel real good. I got bigger, stronger and faster, and I’m just out there grinding,” Wilson said.

But Wilson is also feeling the heat from a trio of freshmen: Jordan Jenkins, Josh Dawson and James DeLoach.

“They’re really good-looking football players,” Richt said. “Really athletic. You look at Dawson, Jordan Jenkins and DeLoach, they’re all in the 250-270 range, athletic, eager to just strike somebody.”

High on Harvey-Clemons

It would have been a fourth freshman in the mix, but Josh Harvey-Clemons, listed at 207 pounds, was moved to safety because of his size.

But sophomore safety Corey Moore is impressed with Harvey-Clemons, whom some services rated the top recruit in Georgia this year.

“He’s a kid that wants to learn. He asks questions in the film room. I think the kid’s gonna be great at the position that he’s playing right now,” Moore said. “I love him. He’s long, he’s athletic, and the (big) thing is he wants to learn.”

Moore said Harvey-Clemons’ height (6-foot-5) isn’t unusual -- it’s an advantage.

“He can cover. I’ve seen it on his side in practice,” Moore said. “So that’s a big plus for our DBs.”

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