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Crowell: 'I think I can' have same effect as Lattimore

ATHENS - Isaiah Crowell doesn't say much. But when he does speak, he doesn't try to tamp down the massive expectations on his plate.

That was my impression after the Georgia freshman tailback met the media for the first time since he became an official member of the team. Here are some of the highlights:

- First off, yes Crowell has a minor groin injury that caused him to get shut down for the latter half of Friday's practice. But he said it's nothing worth panicking over.

"I'm healthy. I'm all right," Crowell said later, with a laugh.

- I asked Crowell if calling him the savior of the team, or even the program, was too much.

"No sir," he answered. "I don't really think about it a lot. Because my coach tells me I'm not the savior. I'm just coming out here trying to work hard, trying to help my team."

- Crowell also didn't shirk from the Marcus Lattimore-Michael Dyer comparisons. He was asked if he can have the same effect as those two had as true freshmen.

"I think I can. Lattimore had a great season last year. I think he helped his team a lot. And I think I can do the same."

- There's been a lot of talk about what to do when Branden Smith plays offense, since Crowell and Smith both wear No. 1. If someone has to switch, it could be Crowell, even though he wore No. 1 in high school.

"It's not a big issue to me," he said.

- As for all the attention on him, Crowell said he hasn't been around too much, but now with students back he's been recognized a lot.

"It's been kind of overwhelming sometimes," Crowell said. "But Athens is a great place, and I'm having fun here."

- There were internet rumors over the summer that he wasn't working that hard. Crowell admitted he heard them.

"I heard all that, but there wasn't nothing to it," he said. People are gonna say what they're gonna say."

- He spoke to Herschel Walker when the tailback legend visited his alma mater this summer.

"He told me to keep a level head and work hard and help my team," he said.

Did Walker seem to know who he was?

"Yes sir," Crowell answered.

- Perhaps Crowell's longest answer of the interview came when he discussed his daily schedule. He gets up at around 7 a.m. and goes to bed around 11 p.m.

"Really what's been the hardest thing for me is time management and waking up early," he said. "Because I'm really not a morning person. That's been the main thing, the hardest thing for me."

- Finally, he called himself about "90 percent" confident with the Georgia playbook.

"I know most of what I'm doing. I've just gotta learn a few more things and I'll be set."

I'll have more in a story for tomorrow's papers.

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