UGA Football

Spring season could prove valuable for Georgia RB Tae Crowder

Jason Butt

Georgia running back Tae Crowder taking a practice rep during a TaxSlayer Bowl practice.
Georgia running back Tae Crowder taking a practice rep during a TaxSlayer Bowl practice.

Nick Chubb is still recovering from a severely injured knee. Brendan Douglas isn’t partaking in contact work as his surgically repaired wrist continues to heal. A.J. Turman elected to transfer and was granted a release on Wednesday.

All of a sudden, Georgia has a depth issue at running back as it pertains to the spring season.

Sony Michel will be in the lead role as head coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney implement their scheme. Michel’s reps could also be limited to preserve his health. Behind Michel is freshman Tae Crowder, who could stand to benefit from the short-term numbers issue.

Crowder redshirted a year ago, although Georgia’s interim staff left the idea of playing him in the TaxSlayer Bowl open if the situation forced itself. When it comes to contact drills and team work, Crowder, by default for the time being, is Georgia’s No. 2 back.

Those repetitions could prove extremely valuable for Crowder, who most certainly is looking for an opportunity to impress Georgia’s new coaching staff.

“It’s very big for Tae,” Michel said. “It’s a chance for him to take somebody’s position. It’s big for me. It’s big for everybody, anybody who gets on the field. One guy can go down, God forbid, to injury. The next guy’s up. It could be an upperclassmen or an underclassman. So (spring) is big for everybody on this team. That’s why you’ve got to take every rep serious, every play serious.”

With a new set of eyes evaluating players, positions on both sides of the ball are up for grabs. While Chubb (assuming he’ll be ready to go early in the season) and Michel are the sure-fire top two backs in 2016, and with incoming freshman Elijah Holyfield not enrolled in school yet, Crowder stands to benefit this spring.

His high school coach at Harris County, Dwight Jones, said in December that all Crowder needs is a chance to show what he can do as a running back. This spring could provide such an opportunity.

“He’s a competitor. Most kids that are competitors want to get better,” Jones said. “I told people he’s going to surprise you once he gets on the field.”