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Hot chase for tailback slot.. between caleb king & richard samuel.


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Preseason training camp has reached its halfway pole and the race between Caleb King and Richard Samuel to be Knowshon Moreno's first backup looks like it's headed for a photo finish.

Although Samuel and King bring different strides to the track, neither has been able to create separation.

"They're still tied," running backs coach Tony Ball said. "They both bring something to the table. They have a little different dimension as athletes but they're both still neck-and-neck."

King was kept out of Friday's scrimmage with a tweaked hamstring. Coach Mark Richt cut short the entire scrimmage because at least twenty players had been removed from contact drills.

"I would have enjoyed watching Caleb (Friday) just to see what improvements he would have made from the first scrimmage," Ball said. "I was pleasantly surprised with how he protected in the first scrimmage. The day before he tweaked a hamstring so it was a surprise to us all that he wasn't going to play in the scrimmage."

Samuel, a 6-foot-2, 215 pound first-year freshman has a powerful build and very good straight-away speed. King, a 5-11, 212-pound redshirt freshman, has quick feet and can dodge tacklers.

The backup halfback question is just one of Ball's ongoing projects. Georgia also needs to find solid depth behind fullback Shaun Chapas, at least until three-year starter Brannan Southerland returns from injury. Benjamin Boyd and Justin Fields switched to fullback from linebacker at the beginning of preseason workouts to provide relief.

"It's a work in progress," Ball said. "We've got some guys there - Justin Fields, Benjamin Boyd and Fred Munzenmaier. But it's a concern. We've got two guys in Benjamin and Fields who have never been there.

"They've got to grow up in a hurry. They've got to be on the fast track. They understand the importance of the fullback in our offense because we're one of the few teams in the country that uses a true fullback."

QB fine with special teams

Redshirt freshman backup quarterback Logan Gray has embraced his role in the special teams. He has been returning punts plus a number of other disciplines that special teams coach Jon Fabris wants to keep secret.

"Just because I'm a quarterback doesn't mean I can't play special teams," Gray said. "If everybody had that mindset on the team, there wouldn't be anybody to play it at all. It would be one thing if Matthew (Stafford) said he wanted to play special teams. But we've already got Matthew and Joe (Cox) at quarterback, so I just want to contribute in any way I can."

Gray was listed as the No. 3 quarterback after Stafford and Cox after spring drills. Georgia's coaches put out a call for help at punt return to take some of the load off of Asher Allen.

But Gray's returning skills have not impressed Stafford.

"I've seen him get tripped up by the 5-yard line a couple of times," Stafford joked.

Receivers looking green

The proliferation of receivers wearing green non-contact jerseys has given the coaches more than a little reason to lose sleep.

Only seven of the 13 receivers on the roster fully participated in Saturday morning's practice. Georgia held a short scrimmage on Friday and worked out in shorts and shoulder pads on Saturday.

Other than Walter Hill's broken hand, none of the injuries threaten to knock the receivers out of the season opener. Many are being held out as a precaution to keep a slight injury from becoming more serious.

"It's a big concern with being on the same page with the quarterback in the passing game when a guy's not out there," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "You can see the trust growing between the guys who are out there. But we've got to get the timing down with the guys who have not been able to be out there so it is a concern."

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