RBs fighting for playing time

ATHENS – Two-thirds of the way through spring practice, true freshmen tailbacks Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson are still neck-and-neck in the battle for the third-string tailback spot.

 That's the word from offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who added there's a third serious contender for the spot – Dodge County High School graduate Kalvin Daniels.

 "Kalvin Daniels has done a nice job," Bobo said. "He's had a nice first eight or nine days of practice. He's shown a better (ability for) being able to run between the tackles. He's always had speed."  

Daniels, who rushed for 44 yards on eight carries last year, was an honors graduate at Dodge County and the team's MVP his final two years. The walk-on is the underdog in the race.

 Most of the spotlight so far has been placed on Samuel and Jackson. Both of those backs said their first live college action, last Saturday's scrimmage, was a combination of good and bad.  

"It wasn't a shock to me. The only thing that got me, that I was a little behind on, was knowing what to do on every play," said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Samuel, Scout.com's No. 4 running back in the nation last year. "You have to know it all and know what to look for and know if you block or run a route. The split second decision of knowing what to do is what got me."

 Jackson, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, could play running back or slot receiver because of his size, but he has practiced exclusively at running back this spring, he said. Both Jackson and Samuel enrolled early so they could participate in spring practice.  

"Both (Samuel and Jackson) are still having to be told everything to do every play, but I like their effort and I like the way they practice every day," Bobo said.

 Either Daniels, Jackson or Samuel will have to be ready to play next year, and it's possible two of the three will be in the rotation, Bobo said. Sophomore Knowshon Moreno will start, and redshirt freshman Caleb King is expected to back up Moreno. King suffered a minor knee injury last week but has been cleared after having an MRI.

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