"We have one proven running back," Richt said Monday before the start of Georgia's fall camp. Nothing has changed for the head coach after two practices. "There is still competition for the number two spot."
There was an assumption that redshirt freshman Caleb King had that spot nailed down coming into fall camp, but Richt said today that the competition is on. The challenger to King seems to be true freshman Richard Samuel.
"When you look at Richard physically you wouldn't guess that he's the youngest," he said.
Samuel graduated early and enrolled in time for Georgia's spring practices. He's picked up many of the blocking schemes that usually limit younger players from playing. Still, King is listed as the number two back on the depth chart. That, however, could change after Saturday's scrimmage.
"Caleb is looks good," Richt said to hedge his position about that matter. "Our running backs look crisp. You can get a little taste of what they can do. They have good fundamentals. Coach Ball is doing a good job of teaching them."
Richt said everything hinges on what happens when full contact starts.
"Our back are very impressive looking guys," he said. "But the thing that will separate is when Coach Ball walks away. The guys who cannot protect the quarterback – that's what will separate them."
Also on the running back front, the status of Brannan Southerland's injury will likely be updated next week, Richt said.
"There is going to be a picture taken on Brannan's foot and after all of that we will have a better idea of what's going on," Richt said.
Freshman running back Carlton Thomas could be a change up for the Bulldog backfield if he can avoid a redshirt.
"That's my goal," Thomas said. The freshman said his chances hinge on playing on special teams.