Crowell Accustomed to Starting

ATHENS - Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell has come a long way from his days playing for the Eastway Cherokees in Columbus

But one constant from little league ball all the way through his final game at Carver High School is he's been in the starting lineup for every game he's played.

"I haven't ever not started," said Crowell, who says coaches have not told him whether he will start Sept. 3 against Boise State in his first college game. "Since I was like six or seven years old."

Crowell played safety on that team before moving to running back midway through that season.

He's been at tailback ever since and could start in the Georgia Dome.

Junior Richard Samuel still is slowed by a quadriceps injury and is competing with Samuel for the starting job.

"Starting is not a big deal to me," Crowell said. "I do want to play in the game, but that's up to the coaches."

Georgia coach Mark Richt said on national TV on signing day that he wouldn't be shocked if Crowell was "running that rock," on the opening play against the Broncos.

"I know he had said that before, but I really wasn't looking at it," Crowell said. "The game is 10 days away and, you know, I'm getting ready for it."

Crowell said the groin injury that kept him out of practice last week isn't bothering him at all.

"I'm 100 percent," he said. "I don't think it set me back at all because I was still lifting weights and getting treatment and getting mental reps."

Richt said that Crowell still hasn't experienced enough of the situations yet that could come up in a game.

"Has he had a chance to see every blitz versus every protection that he needs to know and understand?" Richt said. "Have we hit everything with him yet? No, but before these 10 days are over, we hope to make sure he's got enough to feel comfortable. The good news is he's picking things up quickly and he doesn't shy away from any kind of contact in pass protection."

Some mystery surrounds Rambo's starting role

Richt on Monday reeled off several players' names that he said followed strong springs with continued high-level of play this preseason.

The list included safety Shawn Williams and safety/cornerback Sanders Commings and cornerbacks Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin.

Notably absent was senior safety Bacarri Rambo, who started every game last season when he was second on the team with 82 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.

Rambo did not get first-team work in the 10-minute portion of practice open to the media Tuesday.

Richt said secondary coach Scott Lakatos would have to answer the question of which players are the starters at safety now.

"I wouldn't know how to answer that," Richt said. "I know there are at least three that are ready to play, if not four."

Williams and Commings were the first-team safeties in practice. Rambo has not been made available for interviews this preseason after practice. A Georgia spokesman said Rambo did not want to do interviews on Monday.

Practice game on tap

Georgia practiced for an hour Tuesday in shorts in advance of today's final scrimmage, a Boise State "practice game," against the scout team.

"It's an important day," Richt said.

The scrimmage will be one half.

"We'll probably make sure Boise State kicks off in this particular one," Richt said.

The No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense will be on the same team for the first time since the Liberty Bowl.

"Everybody gets to kiss and make up," Richt said.

Richt said that receiver Malcolm Mitchell (pulled muscle) probably will play today after practicing on Tuesday.

Charles on Miami

Tight end Orson Charles declined to comment about whether he has talked to the NCAA about his recruitment by Miami. Charles was among players named in a story by Yahoo! Sports, which reported he toured the mansion of Nevin Shapiro, the former Miami booster who is jailed for masterminding a ponzi scheme and is at the center of the NCAA's investigation of the Hurricanes.

Charles was quickly ruled eligible by the NCAA.

"To tell you the truth, I can't really talk about that," Charles said. "They told me upstairs (in compliance) not to talk about it. I'm just happy that everything's taking care of and I get to play for Georgia."

This and that

Starting fullback Bruce Figgins missed practice Tuesday with a pulled muscle, but Richt said it's not believed to be serious. Tailback Carlton Thomas, who is suspended for the opener, also was out with a chronic ankle injury…. Quarterback Aaron Murray said redshirt freshman Michael Bennett is set to be the third receiver in a three-wide set with Marlon Brown and Tavarres King. Brown did not practice again Tuesday because of an ankle injury. …Freshman Christian LeMay and former Boise State quarterback Michael Tamburo are playing the role of Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore for the scout team. …Outside linebacker Ray Drew (separated shoulder) practiced Tuesday in a regular jersey. Linebacker Amarlo Herrera (shoulder contusion) also was not limited. …Punter Drew Butler is one of 30 players selected to the watch list for the Lowe's Senior Class Award which goes to a player for their achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. Butler has been an All-American on the field and in the classroom.


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