Well, whether you liked him or not (and, for the record, I liked him, though at times there was evidence to the contrary), Isaiah Crowell is gone. The latest incarnation of "the next Herschel Walker" most likely won't ever stalk the sidelines at Sanford Stadium again, and this is honestly sad.
Information has been trickling out since about 7:30 this morning, but these seem to be the alleged facts:
UPDATE: UGA has announced that Mark Richt has made the decision to officially dismiss Crowell from the team.At 2:20 AM on Friday morning, a car was pulled over at a police checkpoint near Aderhold Hall on E. Campus Road on the UGA Campus. Isaiah Crowell was the driver of this car, and his 4 passengers (1 in the front, 3 in the back) were Quintavius Harrow, Sheldon Dawson, Blake Tibbs and Josh Harvey-Clemons, all of whom are UGA football players.
The officer at the checkpoint smelled what she believed to be marijuana in the car, and asked Crowell to step outside the car. She asked his consent to perform a search, and he said yes. Crowell and all of his passengers were searched, and no contraband of any kind was found.
The officer then searched the car and found a Luger C9 9mm handgun under the driver's side car seat. After she picked it up and noticed the serial number had been filed off, she arrested Crowell. After being read his Miranda rights, Crowell asked to speak, and said that the gun was not his and he didn't know it was there. He said he frequently allowed others to drive the car, though not any of the people who were in the car with him at the time.
Crowell was then taken to jail, and his passengers were released to take the car and drive away. He arrived and was booked into the ACC jail at 3:30 AM on two felony charges of "Criminal use of an item with an altered ID mark" and "Weapons on school property," along with a misdemeanor charge of "Carrying a concealed weapon." His bond was set at $9,700, and he was released on bond at 12:44 PM later in the day.
Neither UGA nor Mark Richt (who was out of town) has yet commented on the situation, but official school policy mandates that any athlete charged with a felony is immediately suspended indefinitely, pending resolution of the legal charges. So, Isaiah Crowell is done for now. And unless his lawyer finds some way to get these charges completely dropped, he's probably permanently done.
So, while this is a significant disappointment for us and we all hope that Isaiah can somehow recover from this error in judgement and move on to a successful career and life, the ultimate question for us is:
Where does this leave the Georgia Bulldogs?
The answer to that question is somewhat hazy, to be generous, at this point. Here are the candidates to fill the void, however:
- Richard Samuel IV (who I have unilaterally nicknamed "Richard the Intravenous") is still on the roster, and will be a senior. So even though he's been training at other positions, it stands to reason that enough time is left before the season that he can step in and resume his old spot. He's a notorious "run until you get hit, then fall down"-style rusher, however, so I don't think he can really fill the void by himself.
- Keith Marshall - Once again, we look to an incoming freshman as a potential "next Herschel." As we've proven ad infinitum, however, there was only one Herschel Walker, so those expectations are clearly too high to place on a kid that was playing high school ball last year. We saw Crowell struggle somewhat in his first game or two before really hitting his stride, and there's no reason to expect anything more than that from a true freshman player. It's going to take any freshman a while to get used to the brutal, hyper-speed pace of the SEC game.
- Todd Gurley - See: Keith Marshall
- Ken Malcome - I think Boo Malcome is still somewhat of an unknown quantity. He didn't really shine last year, but he did start to really come on at the end of the season. He and The Intravenous might be our best options early in the season.
- Brandon Harton - The former walk-on wonder certainly dazzled in his one start against Coastal Carolina last year, and there's no doubt that the guy's got heart. Let's be honest, though: he's this year's Carlton Thomas. He's best utilized on draws up the middle on 3rd and long.
So, to give you the net of this: We're going to lose to Missouri. At least, that's my opinion. What's yours?