July 21, 2009: What We Are Hearing

ATHENS – Dean Legge gives you some inside scoop in this edition of What we are hearing.

A NEW SHERIFF?

Ben Jones could not have been happy about getting up early in the morning for punishment running. Ben Jones, after all, might not be the player on the team you would think would be getting into trouble. If leaving your shoes outside of your locker area rather than in it is trouble count Ben Jones as a troublemaker.

That's the sort of change which has surrounded the program for some time now. Players are expected to do things exactly the way they are told… down to the way their locker looks. Shirts are tucked. Why? Because Mark Richt thinks they should be. The players may think some of the disciple is over the top – I agree with them by the way – but those are the rules. If you don't follow them you get in trouble. It doesn't matter who you are… you leave your shoes in the wrong spot that means morning stadiums.

This is different than last season for sure. It seems Mark Richt has laid the law down. The fact that I am writing about this in July is only one indication of what is going on. For some time now players have had to learn that there is a slightly new way of doing things.

RETURN OF THE KING?

There was a time when Georgia fans must have thought that getting Caleb King was one of the biggest recruiting pulls in a long time. But since redshirting and taking a back seat to Knowshon Moreno, King has sort of fallen out of the limelight in the minds of Georgia fans.

There was a time when there was good reason to be worried about King. He was, from what I understand, doing everything necessary to get the job done. Maybe he just was not pulling his end of the bargain. Those times, it seems, have ended. I spoke with three different folks, all who know what they are talking about, who said running back is not going to be a problem in the fall. "I think we are going to fine there; in fact, I think we are going to be a lot better than what people think."

Another person close to the situation said that King has gotten into shape. He's not a little heavy like he was a little bit ago. Players leaving can have a strange effect on players taking over. King is, in a way, entering the money-earning time of his career at Georgia. Knowshon Moreno is gone. Richard Samuel, depending on who you listen to, may or may not tote the rock in the future (bets are that he will, but…). Other running backs are inexperienced and are not traditional grind-it-out SEC running backs. The time is now for King to make an impact. Think about it… King will be three years out of high school this winter. He, in reality, would be eligible for the NFL. I can't see a scenario of him leaving, but my point is that he or those around him could see it that way, and he could be motivated as a result.

No matter the motivation, King preparing the right way… folks are saying. King will start the first game of the season unless his work in the off-season is a flash in the plan. I am starting to expect bigger things from Caleb King. If he can give Georgia the Caleb from Parkview… people would need to watch out.

OTHER NOTES

Zach Mettenberger has had a bit of an eye-opening summer. Folks have already conceded the starting quarterback to Aaron Murray… they need to hold the phone on that one. Georgia should be congratulated on getting that talented duo in the same class… Tavarres King is small no more. He looked great at Georgia's Dawg Night the other day. He had on a cutoff t-shirt, and he belonged in that shirt as his muscles were showing. You have to work in college to get to where you want to be – King has been working… Garrison Smith's commitment, also known as the worst-kept secret in recruiting, could not possibly have come as a surprise to other SEC staffs. If they thought at any time in the last two months that Smith was going anywhere other than Athens they are naïve… Speaking of recruiting, don't be surprised to see a commitment or two from the Peach State who are not committed to the Red and Black to re-think their decisions – not to play for the Dawgs, but to switch from one out-of-state program to another… or at least flirt with them.


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