To me the best thing about this time of year is that you literally can't follow all of the college football news that's out there. It's just endless. This must be what trips to Ryan's Steakhouse are like for a Tennessee fan wearing Cabela's new elastic waist Realtree pants with built in thigh ventilation. No limits, baby. Gimme some more of them fried chicken drumettes.
I can't blog about everything that's going on in the world of college football. Heck, I can't even do justice to everything coming out of Athens. That's what dawgbone.net is for. But I can hit the high points for you in this feature that will be running up until kickoff.
For starters, Chip Towers reports that Caleb King has a tweaked hamstring, Knowshon is still sporting a green jersey, and that as a result Richard Samuel is getting the lion's share of the first team tailback reps. This is not cause for alarm, yet. As Coach Richt pointed out, even in a "no contact" jersey Knowshon is still getting enough contact to keep him honest. This is about caution, not necessity. Make no mistake, Coach Richt and his staff know which key starts the proverbial offensive Ferrari. They're not going to risk the health of our beloved rampaging bastard. I'm betting he'll be fine. As for King, hamstrings are a tricky thing. But I'd be a lot more concerned if he didn't already have a redshirt season under his belt. Again, caution is the word.
I do think you will see all three of those tailbacks, in addition to sophomore walk-on Kalvin Daniels, and possibly freshman Carlton Thomas all season long. Samuel is going to make noise on special teams. His combination of size and speed (and linebacking experience) make him the ideal kickoff coverage manbeast, and his ball skills and blocking ability make him a fit for the second line on kickoff returns.
Even if it's not this season, I am convinced that Carlton Thomas is our kickoff returner of the future. He might be our returner of the present, were it not for the fact that Asher Allen had arguably (and quietly) the best year ever by a Bulldog kick returner in 2007.
The guys at The Red & Black blog continue their solid coverage, reporting that Kiante Tripp is now spending more time at left tackle than right, emerging as the presumptive favorite to fill Trinton Sturdivant's spot. No one should really be surprised by this. But it is interesting that the coaches didn't move Vince Vance over because he's doing so well at left guard. From the moment Vance was moved inside, I had my doubts. With his height (6'8), he would seem like a more natural fit at tackle to me. But Vance and the coaches seem to think he's a better guard.
Finally, CNN.com has a report on the heart screening program Athlete's Heart Beat, which provides indepth cardiac testing of incoming athletes. The article focuses on freshman defensive back Makiri Pugh (who underwent both an EKG and electrocardiogram among other tests), and notes that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes. A special tip of the cap goes out to Dr. Winston Gandy, Jr. and the other physicians involved with this life-saving program. Until later . . .