At this point in his career, Georgia running back Richard Samuel has to feel like an old man.
After moving from running back to linebacker, back to running back, to fullback, and now back to running back, he is certainly well traveled.
Now, as the senior and most experienced member of the Georgia backfield that has two true freshmen, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, and redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome, Samuel knows that he has to take on the role of leader and producer.
"I know that I'm going to have to be the guy to show them the right way to do things," Samuel said Thursday. "You can learn the stuff and learn the plays, but it is a different story when you have to get out there and get it done. That is where I can go out there and show them how it is done, how you are supposed to do it, and what it takes to get it done."
Going into his fifth year as a Bulldog, Samuel has had a chance to play with some talented runners at UGA with the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, and Isaiah Crowell.
It is safe to say that the redshirt senior knows a talented back when he sees one, and he sees a couple in Marshall and Gurley.
"I expect big things out of those guys. I expect that they are going to work hard. They are going to come in and know what they are doinge," he said. "During the whole summer they showed that they were there to work. They came ready to play and ready to work. They asked questions. They were quick to learn. They want to know everything they can and soak up all the information. I expect that those young guys will want to work."
Much has been made of the multiple positions changes for Samuel during his career with the Bulldogs, but according to the senior running back, the latest switch from fullback to running back has been the easiest transition yet.
"Flip-flopping between running back and linebacker slowed down my development because I didn't get much time to get used to the linebacker position, but between fullback and running back it hasn't slowed me down as much," said Samuel. "It is basically the same thing and same plays. It is just that I have to learn a few different things and different things to look out for, but between offensively flipping positions, it isn't as hard as defense."
As the Bulldogs get ready to open fall camp for Samuel's final season in Athens, they will be without their leading rusher from 2011 in Crowell.
The Cartersville native isn't at all hesitant to admit that losing Crowell is a big loss in talent and production, but Samuel also believes that the two true freshmen can help with a seamless transition.
"I feel like it is real difficult because Isaiah is a really talented athlete. He played hard. He enjoyed the game. It's a little difficult not having someone with that ability on the field," he said. "But also I feel like Keith and Todd bring a different type of running style to the game as well that depending on what down or what we need them for, we can stretch the defense or wear the defense out."
According to Samuel, Malcome, who has had trouble of his own while at UGA, has also made strides and has a chance to be the player many thought he could be when he was signed out of Southwest Dekalb High School in 2010.
"He knows what it takes now. At first he was just hanging out and coming to practice, and whatever," said Samuel. "Now he knows what it takes to get better and get that playing time to excel in the game. I feel like he is going to put in more work and more time to master his craft and get playing time."
With four running backs that will likely get touches in 2012 for the Bulldogs, Samuel see's the Bulldogs attacking defenses with a group of running backs rather than a featured individual.
"When those two guys (Marshall and Gurley) get things rolling and get used to game, the flow, and the speed, we are going to have a good rotation," he said.
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