April 19, 2012

Samuel will do whatever



Although Georgia has yet to announce its official post-spring depth chart, Richard Samuel could well find himself listed in a couple of different positions.

A running back for much of his college career, Bulldog fans got to see Samuel debut at fullback in last week's G-Day game, a spot he could well see time at come fall.

"We'll have to see," running backs coach Bryan McClendon said recently. "We'll have some sets where he'll fit, but it will just depend on the looks we decided to use at the time."

Samuel is fine with whatever decision coaches eventually make.

"I feel like they do, but it doesn't bother me," Samuel said. "My work ethic, what I do on the practice field and how it turns over to the playing field shows that I'm still there."

His performance in G-Day proved that.

Samuel led all rushers with eight carries for a game-high 43 yards and a touchdown, which he scored on a 2-yard run.

At 235-pounds, Samuel certainly has the build, and this fall figures to get an additional look, along with incumbent Alexander Ogletree and 245-pound incoming freshman Quayvon Hicks.

"A couple of years ago we had a package where we had two running backs, so in case they bring that package back; that would be fine then," he added. "But as far as the power (I-formation), I doubt the coaches would use me as a lead blocker, that type of way."

In case you were wondering, Bulldog coaches are not going to give him another look at linebacker, despite some relatively thin depth.

"That's never been in the discussion," said Samuel, who missed half of the spring with a concussion.

Of course, injuries aren't anything new for Samuel.

Bulldog fans well recall the final play of the team's 24-20 victory over Florida when Samuel hopped off the field with a severely sprained ankle.

Samuel would undergo surgery - not once, but twice, to correct the damage and missed six games before returning to play briefly in the Outback Bowl against Michigan State.

"It was tough," he said. "I was supposed to come back for the SEC Championship game, then had to go back in and have some more surgery done so that set it back. Plus, the bowl game, I wasn't 100 percent."

But sans the recent concussion, that's not the case now.

Finally healthy, Samuel whatever role he plays, he'll try to serve as a mentor to the rest of Georgia's running backs, including Isaiah Crowell, Ken Malcome and freshman Keith Marshall, who missed much of the spring with a sore hamstring.

As for the group, Samuel said the running backs will be taking a different approach as a whole.

"Our group, a lot of the guys we work together; we set up little individual meetings where we keep each other accountable. Throughout practice and throughout workouts we pick each other up and let each other know that if one person is slacking you have to get on to that person," he said. "You're only as good as the weakest person in your segment, so if somebody goes down, you've got to get the other guy ready. It all works hand in hand."