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King flaunts all-around skills.


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Caleb King showed a couple of spin moves that wowed the rain-soaked G-Day crowd Saturday. He also missed a couple of blocks that extracted groans from his coaches.

But on the whole, King received solid grades in the closest thing he's seen to a live game in more than a year.

"I thought he looked pretty darn good," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

King, a redshirt freshman, ran six times for 31 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards for the Black team. But the Red team won 17-3. His best moment came when he twisted out of Akeem Dent's tackle in the backfield and turned it into a 4-yard gain.

"I just saw somebody coming out of the corner of my eye," King said. "So I just kind of split with my body. I surprised myself that I got away from him."

King and Joe Cox spearheaded the Black team's first possession as it drove to a 47-yard field goal. King ran three times for 19 yards to set up the Black team's only points.

"He ran hard. He showed everybody that he has the moves and the speed to play on Saturdays on this team and in this league," Cox said. "This conference is a physical league. You can't just have one back. You might have a feature back, but you need more than one back and it was a good opportunity for him to throw his name in the hat to get more playing time."

King redshirted last season and missed half of his senior season in high school because of a broken leg. Saturday's G-Day game was the first time he had played in more than a year, even if it wasn't a real game.

"It was real to me so it felt real," King said. "It felt good because I was hurt my sixth game of my senior year so it's been a while. I think everybody can improve and I feel I can really improve on my blocking skills. I don't think I blocked very well today."

He also whiffed on one block and allowed a sack. But Richt praised King's blocking effort in the scrimmage.

"He blocked really well, which is what I like to see from a running back," Richt said.

King entered spring drills as the No. 2 running back behind Knowshon Moreno. He solidified that spot as the scrimmage's leading rusher and demonstrated his quickness through holes.

"He runs hard, but a lot of people don't understand how quick he is," Cox said. "He came in last year and put on some weight and then took it off which I think he needed to. He's gotten quicker and shiftier and people underestimate how quickly he can change directions."

Georgia's other young running backs had mixed results. Kalvin Daniels ran three times for 15 yards and Richard Samuel ran seven times for 13 yards. Dontavius Jackson ran twice for five yards.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 040608


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