ATHENS -- Ken Malcome did not emerge as the leading rusher in Georgias final scrimmage Wednesday. Once again, that was freshman Todd Gurley.
But afterwards, Malcome came close to being named the starting tailback by head coach Mark Richt, who said he was pretty sure it will be Malcome.
Something could change between now and then, Richt added.
But that was still enough to make Malcome feel good.
The sophomore has waited for a while at Georgia, redshirting in 2010 and slipping so far down the depth chart last year that he quit the team for a day. But he finished last year as a co-starter and hasnt done anything to hurt his stock, despite the rise of Gurley and fellow freshman Keith Marshall.
Its a relief, Malcome said Wednesday. I came from the bottom, and its just hard work. It tells people hard work, it matters; it gets you where you want to go. Im not gonna take it for granted. Because he said that, Im not gonna let up. Its still gonna be all me on the field, telling the freshmen what to do.
Richt apparently has no plans to tell any of the tailbacks exactly what to expect against Buffalo on Sept. 1. He said that he doubted the coaching staff would announce any pecking order at tailback and would rather the group -- which also includes senior Richard Samuel -- keep competing.
Gurley led the way with 54 yards and a touchdown in Wednesdays scrimmage. That gives him 199 rushing yards on 19 carries in the three scrimmages.
But Malcome was close behind Wednesday, getting 50 yards on six carries. And Marshall had 17 yards on three carries, in addition to a 23-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. That play impressed junior quarterback Aaron Murray.
He had a sweet run. I mean, he juked three guys. That was like a Madden move, Murray said, referring to the video game.
Murray had an impressive scrimmage himself. The third-year starter has made accuracy his main personal goal for this season, aiming for a completion percentage as high as 70. He was 20-for-25 on Wednesday.
I still missed a couple, Murray said. I feel like I shouldve been 23-for-25.
Senior Marlon Brown was the primary recipient of Murrays passes, hauling in seven catches for 98 yards. That continues a trend of Brown having a really strong preseason and spring. The question for Brown has been putting it together when the season counts, so it remains a question whether this will be his year.
Ive been kind of looking it at that way, Brown said. But to be honest Ive just been trying to focus on every day get better at something. Just try to get better at one thing every day. If I do that, I feel like Ill have a good year.
Meanwhile, Richt wouldnt bite on a question about who the starting safeties will be. Senior Bacarri Rambo, an All-American last year, hasnt had his status announced after reports he was set to be suspended four games, pending an appeal of a positive drug test.
I probably wont ever say that, Richt said. Just because strategically I dont want people to know what were gonna do. (It) might give them a hint. I dont want to give them a hint.