Straight from the mouth of our own Eye on Recruiting writer Bryan Fischer:
And thus commences the lamentations and gnashing of teeth in Athens. With Washaun Ealey having already departed the Georgia program this offseason, the Bulldogs have now said good-bye (for 2011, at least) to their top two rushers from 2010, rushers that accounted for more than 1,200 yards on the ground and more than two-thirds of Georgia's rushing production.
Though King never quite lived up to the recruiting hype that greeted him coming out of high school (and, like Ealey, ran into a few off-field snags along the way), his mostly-steady performances offered Mark Richt some kind of security blanket if hyped freshman Isaiah Crowell can't deliver the goods. Now, with the giant King-sized hole in the depth chart, the only other options at Bulldog tailback if Crowell isn't ready are uninspiring junior Carlton Thomas (4.25 yards per-carry a season ago, well behind Ealey and King) and redshirt freshman-slash-unknown quantity Ken Malcome.
Back in June we placed Crowell at No. 32 in our CBSSports.com College Football 100 countdown of the sport's most influential figures, calling him "the most important true freshman in the SEC ... and possibly the country." Assuming Fischer's sources are correct, there's less reason than ever to back off that assessment.
UPDATE: Georgia has now officially confirmed that King we be ineligible for the 2011 season. Mark Richt, in a statement:
"It's unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season ... We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up."As for King, he will reportedly "consider the options available to him before making a decision on his future plans."