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Freshman RB reluctantly wearing Moreno's old number.


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Georgia's running backs fielded questions all offseason about who would step in for departed first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno.

Only one put on the same jersey number as the player who became the first Bulldog to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Herschel Walker.

Confidence? Cockiness?

None of the above.

"They just gave me a number and I just rolled with it," freshman Washaun Ealey said. "I was hoping to get No. 3."

Senior safety Bryan Evans already had dibs on that digit. Ealey is eyeing a switch to that number next season and giving up No. 24.

"I really didn't want it at first because I knew I had big shoes to fill," Ealey said. "With my name being Washaun and his being Knowshon, there would be a lot of comparisons."

Ealey said the name was given to him by his godmother in Savannah.

For now, Ealey has more pressing matters like pass protection, knowing his assignments and reading blocks.

Ealey provided a needed boost to the Bulldogs' ground game when he rushed for 33 yards on eight carries in his collegiate debut, Saturday's 20-13 loss to LSU.

"He came out and gave us a little spark in the second half running the football," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.

After rushing for 45 yards on 24 carries against LSU, Georgia is averaging 98.8 yards per game and is on pace for its most paltry output since the 1963 team mustered 89.8 yards per game.

Enter the 5-foot-11, 209-pound freshman from Twin City's Emanuel County Institute, where he rushed for 8,108 yards and a state-record 133 touchdowns.

"I think all the carries in high school really helped me become a threat running the ball," Ealey said. "I've just got to work on my blocking now."

"The best thing about him is he's hungry," quarterback Joe Cox said. "He's been wanting to play and finally got his chance to. ... Hopefully he can be that player all the time because I'm sure he's going to get a lot more carries as the season goes on."

Especially now that Caleb King is doubtful for Saturday's game at Tennessee with a concussion and broken jaw sustained against LSU. Richard Samuel probably will start, coach Mark Richt said,

Ealey thought he was probably headed for a redshirt season - especially after a dislocated elbow in the preseason limited him in practice - but coaches told him if he kept practicing hard and learned the plays, he probably would play.

Running backs coach Bryan McClendon told Ealey in the third quarter Saturday to get warmed up on the stationary bike on the sidelines.

His time arrived with 7:07 left in the quarter.

Cox said had "no clue," that Ealey would play, but that he ran hard.

Ealey said the offensive line opened a hole on his first run, and he picked up 8 yards on the play. He wanted "to hit the hole as hard as I can."

Georgia's defensive players had seen Ealey's hard-running ways in practice, even when he worked on the scout team.

Linebacker Rennie Curran said that Ealey was hesitant at first against the first-team defense, but that changed.

"When he lost that fear, he hit that hole hard," Curran said. "You could feel it when you hit him. I hit him a couple of times and you could feel it. He's definitely a big boy and I feel like he can carry the load. Some freshmen you look at and say, 'They're going to take another year.' You can tell with him that if he just gets that mental side right, that he's going to be a great player."

Ealey has played one game and the Bulldogs are already hitting the midway point of the regular season, but that's fine with Ealey.

"I've just been waiting for my chance," Ealey said. "If it had been the sixth or seventh game, I still would have come in and played. I just want to come in and help the team the best way I can."

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I remember some people saying that all his stats were overrated and he wasn't that great because he played against class A schools. I'm not saying he's the next Knowshon, but he did look pretty good out there. Also, I thought Samuel was going to do a lot better than he has, but he just doesn't look like he has it.

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I remember some people saying that all his stats were overrated and he wasn't that great because he played against class A schools. I'm not saying he's the next Knowshon, but he did look pretty good out there. Also, I thought Samuel was going to do a lot better than he has, but he just doesn't look like he has it.

As did Champ and of the rest of his brothers, Robert and Terrence, Takeo Spikes. These guys are great athletes, and had to play on both sides of the ball. They are just at smaller schools. When they play in the North/South or Georgia/Florida All-Star Games, they all play together, and well.

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As did Champ and of the rest of his brothers, Robert and Terrence, Takeo Spikes. These guys are great athletes, and had to play on both sides of the ball. They are just at smaller schools. When they play in the North/South or Georgia/Florida All-Star Games, they all play together, and well.

yep.. there are a bunch of great players who have played lower division.

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