Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 15, 2012

Crowell, Malcome impress in G-Day game

ATHENS — Tailbacks Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome didn’t waste any time impressing coach Mark Richt in Georgia’s spring scrimmage.

With freshman Keith Marshall likely to push for the starting job this summer, each snap held special meaning for Crowell, the 2011 Southeastern Conference freshman of the year, and Malcome, who began the day atop the depth chart.

Marshall enrolled early to Georgia, but has been sidelined since March 31 with a strained hamstring.

Crowell and Malcome combined for 71 yards rushing and two touchdowns to help the Red team win G-Day with a 32-31 victory over the Black team Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

“I thought they ran well,” Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. “They got picked up some yards after contact and got some tough yards. I would’ve liked to have seen us throw the ball to those guys a little more.”

Marshall was ranked by Scout.com and ESPN.com as the nation’s No. 1 high school running back last year. Richt believes Marshall will be ready for the start of summer practice in August.

Crowell rushed for 39 yards on 10 carries. Malcome ran eight times for 32 yards and scored twice. Black team tailback Richard Samuel, who has recovered from concussion symptoms earlier this month, finished with 43 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.

Georgia ended spring practice without seeing much of Malcolm Mitchell, the split end-turned-cornerback who’s been nursing a sore hamstring since April 7.

The Bulldogs plan for him to play both offense and defense this season.

Several other playmakers showed Richt, however, that they were ready to end spring practice with a flourish.

Quarterback Aaron Murray was 7 of 17 passing for 112 yards and one touchdown. His primary backup, Hutson Mason, completed five of eight passes for 62 yards and a TD.

Tavarres King, Justin Scott-Wesley and Marlon Brown combined for seven catches for 125 yards and one touchdown.

In the final 2 minutes, reserve defensive lineman Ricky Lowe returned a fumble 62 yards to help the Red team take a 32-25 lead. Black team tight end Jay Rome responded by catching a 66-yard TD pass from Christian LeMay, but the conversion pass failed.

“Some of these statistics you’re reading might not have happened (in a real game),” Richt said. “You might have had quarterback knockdowns, you might have had balls tipped or picked or whatever, and it’s so hard to go at a quarterback and not hit him so you’re actually whizzing by him.”

Richt and his staff will wait until this summer to see who will fill some empty spots in the secondary for the Sept. 1 opener against Buffalo.

Offseason arrests of Sanders Commings (two-game suspension) and Branden Smith (one-game suspension) had already hurt depth at cornerback before free safety Bacarri Rambo ran into trouble at spring break, telling his high school coach that he faces a four-game suspension for inadvertently eating marijuana brownies.

Strong safety Shawn Williams has been sidelined with a knee injury since last week.

Commings, Smith and Rambo started and played with the No. 1 defense in the scrimmage, but coordinator Todd Grantham, whose defense ranked fifth in the nation last year, was pleased to see other players, like cornerback Devin Bowman, step up.

“He’s got some size, some strength, he’s got some man coverage skills, he’s got a little bit of instinct and he’s a solid tackler,” Grantham said. “We’ll continue to work him with other guys and get him ready to play.”

Linebacker Jarvis Jones, who last year led the SEC and ranked fifth nationally with 13 1-2 sacks last season, believes Georgia will weather the early-game losses in the secondary.

“The thing about this game is just going out and having fun, but what’s more important is that it gives everybody a chance to play,” Jones said. “We’re a team, so we weren’t out there trying to kill each other.”

The Bulldogs are rebuilding their offensive line after losing center Ben Jones and tackles Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson from a 10-4 team.

“Their progress from week one to now has been unbelievable,” Murray said. “They’re giving me plenty of time to throw the ball. Running lanes are opening up for the running backs, so you’ve got to give credit to those guys. They’re taken on the challenge of going against maybe two of three first-round picks in next year’s draft.”

Crowell and Malcome are trying to hold off the challenge from Marshall, but all three players must wait until summer for their rivalry to restart.

“I think we’re still getting better as a whole,” Malcome said. “I’ve made (Crowell) better. He’s made me better, and we make Keith better.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More