Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson got a jump start on fellow freshman tailback Carlton Thomas at Georgia.
Thomas was still in high school in Frostproof, Fla., when they were practicing this spring with the Bulldogs.
“I feel like I’m catching up,” Thomas said. “They’ve been here, they’ve learned a lot more. Hopefully, I can catch up to where they are and be able to compete.”
Thomas brings a different dimension to the position because of his size. He’s listed at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds but said he’s a half-inch taller and five pounds heavier.
“It probably helps me to hide behind the linemen that we have – some big guys – and they do a very good job of blocking,” Thomas said. “I think I can get behind those guys and make something happen and make a couple of people miss.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Thomas offers the possibility of a changeup back similar to former Bulldog Tyson Browning.
“He’s not going to make a living running between the tackles,” Bobo said.
Not that he’s afraid to mix it up.
“Watching him (Wednesday), there’s no hesitation in his game,” running backs coach Tony Ball said.
Bobo mentioned two current players in the SEC who Thomas could compare with because of his stature: Florida’s Brandon James and LSU’s Trindon Holliday.
Georgia already has Knowshon Moreno and Caleb King at the position. Jackson, who broke his left wrist as a high school senior, still isn’t securing the ball the way Ball would like.
How many of the three freshmen will play remains to be seen.
“We’re not saying it’s etched in stone that two of them are redshirting,” coach Mark Richt said. “Special teams are very important. Our feeling is if he can start on three special teams, that’s worth playing him.”
– Courtesy of Athens Banner-Herald