Countdown to Fall Camp: Tailbacks

Georgia's 2005 season opens soon – the Bulldogs start their camp on August 5 – so here is a look at Georgia's situation at running back.

2004 Starters: Danny Ware (8 games started, 138 attempts, 724 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Thomas Brown (3 games started, 172 attempts, 875 yards, 8 touchdowns)

Georgia's deepest position in 2005 is tailback. Returning starters Danny Ware and Thomas Brown have a leg up on the rest of the competition when it comes to the starting job, but Kregg Lumpkin looked good this spring and could make a real go at it for the starting spot if he performs well in fall camp.

Tony Milton (4 games started, 120 attempts, 410 yards, 1 touchdown), and Tyson Browning (2 games started, 101 attempts, 397 yards, 3 touchdowns) fill out the position and provide tremendous depth for the Bulldogs at one of the most important spots in football. Michael Cooper chose to leave the program this spring during football practices, and is now playing at a 1-AA school in Missouri. Browning will try to make an impact on special teams this fall, and could be a real asset in the return game for the Bulldogs.

New running backs Coach Kirby Smart replaced Ken Rucker in January, and he has been a real hit with the program. According to the running backs themselves, Smart has taught them new things about their position. He expects a great deal from the backs and they seem to enjoy that. Smart has also provided a powerful punch to Georgia's recruiting efforts.

The only issue for the running backs has been durability. Every season, it seems, at least one running back misses significant playing time at Georgia. It happened to Robert Edwards, Musa Smith, Lumpkin (0 games started, 112 attempts, 523 yards, 6 touchdowns) and even Danny Ware. However, none of the backs were hurt this spring, which is encouraging.

Final Say: Georgia is loaded at running back, but how will all of them get the ball? Ware and Lumpkin might be used some at fullback in some situations, but Brown won't. Ware and Brown will have the upper hand on securing the starting spot because of the way their past season went, and their performances this spring. Those two will fight it out to determine the top spot, but I think Brown will come out on top. Georgia will not use the wishbone in the fall. It was a gimmick Coach Mike Bobo played in Georgia's spring game.

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