ATHENS, Ga. — Washaun Ealey figured to be a big part of Georgia’s offensive plan after a strong finish to last year: 183 yards against Georgia Tech, 98 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn.
But the first half of his season was derailed — first by an arrest, leading to being suspended for the opener, then two fumbles lost inside the 5-yard line, against South Carolina and Mississippi State.
But Caleb King’s two-game suspension after an arrest and a hamstring injury to Carlton Thomas have put Ealey back in a starting role.
The sophomore said Wednesday he wants to earn back the trust of the team after the fumbles.
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“I’m pretty sure I lost the trust of most guys on the team,” he said. “Hopefully, I can go out there and gain their trust back this week.”
Other tailback options
Thomas got snaps in Wednesday’s practice and has a chance to play against Vanderbilt.
But Thomas is still uncertain and Ken Malcome is a possible redshirt, so the team is working another candidate into the mix.
Freshman Zander Ogletree, who has been playing fullback and special teams, has been getting tailback reps.
“(They’re) just trying to put me there, in case they need me anytime somebody gets hurt, because we’re kind of short on depth at running back,” Ogletree said.
Another fullback, senior Fred Munzenmaier, got snaps at tailback this week. Malcome’s status, and whether the redshirt comes off, remains the most intriguing subplot.
“A lot of what might happen with Ken might have to do with what Carlton does,” coach Mark Richt said.
He said it
“I admire coach Richt for disciplining these young men. I tell you what, I know he loves them, and that’s why he does that. Because if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t.” — Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell, on Richt’s discipline of King and other arrested players.