August 6, 2010

Competition heavy for starting RB job

Running back Caleb King certainly wishes no ill-will toward good friend and teammate Washaun Ealey.

But when it comes to being the top Dawg in the Georgia backfield this fall, King makes no bones about where he stands.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to get the carries because we both came here to be starting running backs," King said. "We're always joking around, because sometimes Coach Mac (running backs coach Bryan McClendon) will send me in first, then him in first. But every day we go out there and compete; we'll just see what happens from here."

Ealey, meanwhile, takes a more conservative approach when it comes predicting playing time for the fall.

Although every bit the competitor as King, the Twin City sophomore just want the numbers to result in Bulldog victories.

"I don't know about him, but it's not really a big deal with me," Ealey said. "I just want to get in, be productive and win games."

Whoever starts, both Ealey and King can count on seeing considerable action this fall.

Last year, the two combined for 1,300 rushing yards, with Ealey leading the way with 125 carries for 717 yards and three touchdowns while King chipped in with 114 rushes for 594 yards and seven scores.

From a confidence standpoint, both backs feel they couldn't be any more prepared.

"Knowing what to do is important," King said. "But having confidence is the second-biggest thing."

Ealey said there's plenty of that to go around. Bulldog fans won't soon forget last year's season finale against Georgia Tech when the two combined for 349 yards against the Yellow Jacket D.

"That was a lot of fun, that game," Ealey said. "I felt our offensive line dominated up front; they blocked better than they had all year. Anybody could have run the ball through those holes that day."

King sees no reason why both can't enjoy similar success throughout the season this fall.

"I feel good. I'm in shape, I'm as strong as I've been; I'm ready to compete," King said. "I would love to start the season how we ended, plus that was a confidence builder so I'm expecting us to come out and play like we did at the end."

Both players appear to be in outstanding condition.

King said he's currently weighs 215 pounds, while Ealey said he's in the "212-215 range," with hopes of getting down to 205 before the season-opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

As for comparing their styles, that's not a game King is willing to play.

"That's really y'alls decision," King said. "He's a good back and I'm a good back."

Don't get King wrong.

For as competitive as they are on the field, they couldn't be any closer as friends.

"People expect us to hate each other because we're battling but it's not that way at all," King said. "Off the field we're friends, on the field we're friends. We hang out everywhere we go."

Both players believe a year's experience should play huge dividends.

"I've gotten more confidence, I'm a lot stronger and faster," Ealey said. "Now I've just got to go out there and be productive."

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