When Washaun Ealey was suspended from the team three weeks ago, many of the Georgia faithful felt he should have been kicked off the team. While I expect Isaiah Crowell to be the feature back this fall, I think it is very important for the team that Ealey come back. Here are the reasons why.
1. Caleb King's status is still up in the air. He was suspended for the bowl game we have not heard much since then. Caleb is Georgia's best blocking back, so I truly hope he returns. But if he doesn't, Ealey will need to step up in the blocking department. Pass blocking is one of the hardest things incoming players have to learn and Crowell will only be on campus for a few weeks prior to the first game. Ealey was not exactly a good blocker (at all) last year, but another year in the system should make him better.
2. Depth is always an issue. In todays football landscape, rarely do you see one running back carry all of the load for a successful running program. Carlton Thomas is definitely not the answer and we are unsure what we have in Ken Malcome. But Ealey has been a bright spot at times over the last few years. Even if Crowell is RB1, we need a good complementary back.
3. Washaun Ealey is a talented player. Remember 5 touchdowns against Kentucky? Remember almost 200 yards against Tech? He may have issues with fumbles, but he still can make things happen on the field.
4. Competition for Crowell. Everyone expects Crowell to be the starter, but ask yourself if that makes sense. Georgia returns its leading rusher who will be a junior and scored 11 TDs last year. Without Ealey, earning the starting job could almost be "easy". Washaun Ealey on campus means strong competition, which usually brings out the best in athletes.
I am glad to have Washaun back on the team. Hoefully, his attitude is fixed and he is ready for a big season in 2011.