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January 7, 2009Can you say wide open?
That pretty much sums up the competition Georgia will have for the starting tailback position when spring practice gets underway in March.
With Knowshon Moreno, there was no question as to who the No. 1 tailback was going to be. Now that Moreno is moving onto the NFL, it's anybody's competition to win.
"Right now we've got four backs in the program who I think right now are very excited about their future," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We feel we've got some guys who are going to be ready for their opportunity."
Moreno's exit could be just the break that Caleb King has been looking for.
King, who fell out of favor with coaches following blocking issues against Florida, still finished the season as the team's second-leading rusher behind Moreno with 61 carries for 247 yards, followed by Richard Samuel who picked up 133 yards on 26 carries, an average of 5.1 yards per rush.
The two freshmen redshirted for the Bulldogs last fall, but enjoyed strong practice session during Georgia's bowl preparation and will get their shots as well.
"I'm sure Dontavius and Carlton are very excited and say 'Hey, this might be my time," Richt said. "I'm sure with this knowledge these guys are going to get ready to practice even harder than before."
Incoming freshman Washaun Ealey also figures to be in the mix.
"We're always recruiting well ahead of guys leaving because we want to be far enough ahead just in case of injuries or if some guys decide to leave early," Richt said. "I feel we're in very good shape."