On Monday, Georgia coach Mark Richt granted troubled running back Washaun Ealey a conditional release to go play for another school, finalizing the career of the state of Georgia product who was supposed to be the second coming of Knowshon Moreno, but who's legal problems the last year or so ultimately lead to the demise of his playing days in Athens.
"Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks. We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest",said Richt.
While Ealey has two years of eligibility left, he will be able to play immediately, but the 'conditional' part of his release more than likely means it won't be around these parts if it's a FBS school.
Last February, Ealey was arrested for driving on a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. He was then suspended from the team for a while, but it was upgraded to 'indefinitely' when he failed to show up for punishment run drills. Ealey's conduct was perhaps the precursor to a series of off-the-field incidents that plagued Georgia last spring and summer, culminating in AD Damon Evan's DUI arrest and subsequent resignation.
Ealey virtually split carries with Caleb King last year but was still the Bulldog's reading rusher with 881 yards on 5.2 ypc. He was essentially shut down in the Auburn game last season, carrying six times for 44 yards. In the 2009 game in Athens, he torched us for almost 100 yards, and it looked like to Auburn that the Dawgs might have found Moreno's successor.
Ealey looked early on like he might have the tools to be another in the long line of quality Georgia running backs in the post-Herchel years that went on to success in the NFL after modest college careers; guys like Rodney Hampton, Garrison Hearst, Terrell Davis, Robert Edwards and Knowshon Moreno. I guess not so much now.
And just how perfect is the decision that highly-recruited running back Isiah Crowell from Columbus, GA made in February to sign with the Dawgs instead of with Auburn? Instead of riding the bench for a year or so behind Onterio McCalebb and Michael Dyer, he stands to get immediate playing time with Georgia, especially considering the academic and legal troubles that Caleb King is no stranger to. The Dogs will find out in their season opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome. I think even the most advent Dawg hater might find himself barking that evening.
So has any back in the SEC got what it takes to dethrone Dyer and McCalebb? Trent Richardson? Marcus Lattimore? The true frosh Crowell? So many teams start 2011 with unproven quantities at RB--Tennessee, Florida, LSU. At least we think the Gators will start to run the ball again with Charlie Weiss's pro-style offense installed. That'll be a long time coming. I'm glad our version of the spread isn't what Urban Meyer's was--so Auburn can be Auburn and run the ball!