August 23, 2011

Crowell in line?

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Isaiah Crowell said Tuesday it won't be a big deal if he doesn't start next week's season-opener against Boise State.

Maybe not, but it would certainly be the first time in a while.

In fact, try never.

"I've never not started," smiled Crowell during a sit-down with reporters following Tuesdays practice.

Crowell figures that goes all the way back to the time he first touched a football while playing for the little league Eastway Cherokees as a 6-or-7 year-old growing up in his hometown of Columbus.

Ironically, Crowell's burgeoning football career did not start in the backfield.

"I started playing defensive back and the middle of the season they moved me to running back," said Crowell, who credited "Coach Buckner" for having that early wisdom to move him to the position he now calls home.

Come Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome, Crowell's collegiate journey begins.

"I'm ready for the first game," Crowell said. "The first game, it's really like a reality check to me, to see where I'm at and how I will do for the rest of the season."

But will he start?

It's certainly looking that way.

With Richard Samuel still out nursing a strained quad, the longer it goes, the more Mark Richt's Signing Day statement that Crowell would get the first carry against the Broncos could actually come to pass.

"I know he had said that before, but I really wasn't looking into it. The game's 10 days away and I'm getting ready for it. I'm going to give it 100 percent every day trying to get better," Crowell said. "That's his (Richt) decision. I never really looked into it. I just knew I was going to come up here and work hard."

Crowell said the groin injury which held him out for almost a week is a thing of the past.

"It's good. I'm 100 percent," said Crowell. "It was bothering me a little bit, but I didn't want to play on it and get it hurt or whatever, so I just decided to sit out myself."

Crowell said he's ready to show what he can do. So far, he's been pleased.

"Yeah, I think I'm doing well," he said. "You know, I've been picking up on things like blitz protection, how to run, pass pro (protection). I think I've done well."

As far as any predictions, Crowell isn't going there.

"Really, all I want to do is give 100 percent on every play and help my team win - that's my goal, not about how many yards or touchdowns I get," he said. "I'd like to have a lot of yards and score a lot of touchdowns, but if that doesn't happen and my team wins, that's all I want."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.