Crowell's departure shakes up SEC RB rankings
JUL 02, 2012 11:53a ET
Crowell’s arrest earlier that morning on three weapons charges – possessing a concealed weapon, altering the identification tag of said weapon and having a weapon in a school zone – left the Bulldogs’ staff with little choice. Although the rising sophomore had no criminal record prior to the incident, his time in the silver britches was nonetheless unstable.
Two suspensions and nagging injuries plagued his freshman season, one in which his talent inevitably shone through while earning AP SEC Freshman of the Year honors after rushing for 850 yards and 5 touchdowns in, essentially, just 10 games. That big-time potential landed Crowell at No. 5 on our original countdown to the SEC’s top running back for the upcoming season, but his dismissal altered our rankings of the conference’s top runners.
South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore still leads a deep class followed by Arkansas standout Knile Davis, Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and an LSU four-headed backfield monster.
Zac Stacy, the powerful Vanderbilt runner back who is the conference’s leading returning rusher, moves up into Crowell’s former spot, making room for Texas A&M’s Christine Michael and Auburn’s Onterio McCaleb.
Entering into the list is Keith Marshall, a dynamic freshman who, if he can handle the load and pass blocking duties, could be a definitive homerun threat in Georgia’s backfield. Marshall was tabbed the No. 1 running back in the country in the 2012 class and will likely be the first option to pick up the 150 or so touches available in Crowell’s stead.
The 5-11, 190-pound freshman has yet to touch the ball in college, so there is some risk that he might not immediately live up to the hype or even start in the Bulldogs’ deep backfield, but he is considered the future in Athens. At No. 10 on the list, that future does not have to be now.
But there should be signs that it is coming.
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