If you read the article posted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chip Towers late yesterday, you kind of get the impression that Georgia running back Ken Malcome is feeling a bit unappreciated and might be ready to take his skills to another program.
“I’m not too happy with that situation,” Malcome said following Georgia’s practice Thursday afternoon. “But like I said to the coaches, I’m a player and I’m going to do what they tell me to. I’ve got two more years of football, then I don’t know. We’re going to see what happens. . . . I’m not sure at all what I’m going to do.”
…“I can’t fault them,” Malcome said of his freshman backfield mates. “What they’re doing on the field, it doesn’t affect anything off the field. I’m still going to take them around with me, we’re still going to sit and eat together. . . . It’s just playing time.”
Malcome said he understands and respects the talent of the underclassmen. He simply feels he hasn’t been utilized enough in the rotation.
“I don’t have to start,” he said. “I don’t mind sharing carries. I just want to contribute to winning like I know I can. Coming in in the last minute when nobody really cares with all freshman linemen that haven’t developed yet, they’re putting me in situations where I can’t really help myself.”
If this sounds like you’ve heard it somewhere before, it’s because you have. This isn’t the first time Malcome has taken issue with the way he’s being utilized by the coaching staff. But, with Gurley and Marshall forming a record-breaking 1-2 punch at running back, and a potential situation where Malcome may have to share more time with incoming players like Tramel Terry, A.J. Turman, and J.J. Green—all of whom have the potential to contribute on offense—where would that leave a talented player like Malcome?
Unlike the situation with Richard Samuel—a sad one given Samuel’s dedication and flexibility during his time at Georgia—Malcome has had a measure of success at the position. Even in mop-up duty, it’s clear that he’s an effective back between the tackles—showing more skill in that regard than even Keith Marshall has at times. And while his numbers don’t jump off the page, he’s averaged nearly 4.5 yards per with just under 100 carries (99) in two seasons, he’s shown enough to merit more than a passing look by another school.
That said, why wouldn’t he really go this time? Especially when he’s made it clear that the coaching staff and he are at an impasse.
“I’ve talked to them a couple of times,” Malcome said of the coaching staff. “I’m not going to get into what they say. What me and Coach talk about is confidential. But basically . . . I don’t stand toe-to-toe with what they say. I told myself, ‘I’m just going to try to do good every time I get a chance.’”
At this point, I don’t see any reason why Malcome remains on the team. He’s made the decision once before and only came back when it was clear he had a genuine opportunity. With Gurley and Marshall coming into their own and the potential for more of a challenge arriving in 2013, will Malcome feel the need to continue fighting the good fight?