Ken Malcome, quit the team and then rejoined the team all within the span of 24 hours. The sophomore was displeased with the lack of playing time he was receiving and told Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt that it was in his best interest to leave Georgia. As he left Richt’s office last year, the coach asked Malcome, “have we really seen the best Ken Malcome?”
The sophomore running back answered the question of his coach with a standout spring and fall camp.
Malcome came into the fall as the number one tailback on the depth chart but was expected to lose his spot to freshman backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. However, that was not the case.
The sophomore ran with the number one unit throughout fall camp and solidified his place as the week one starter for the Georgia Bulldogs. Gurley pushed Malcome the hardest in fall practice with excellent performances in the team’s three scrimmages. Malcome performed well in the scrimmages as well but distinguished himself from Gurley in pass protection.
Though he made his presence known in game scenarios, what he did to earn the starting spot mostly occurred on the practice field.
Throughout the first month of practice, Ken Malcome’s position coach Bryan McClendon and Richt heaped praise on the back for his work ethic in practice. In a press conference held earlier this month, the Georgia Bulldogs coach discussed how running backs can usually take a couple of minutes away from practice due to stingers but Ken was the only back that did not miss a beat in practice.
In the words of his coach, “good things started to happen for him” after he put his head down and stayed focus.
Malcome is not assured of the starting job past the team’s first game and will face competition from Gurley, Marshall, and Richard Samuel throughout the season. The Georgia Bulldogs are expected to employ a steady rotation in their backfield this season, meaning Malcome may see the bulk of the team’s carries but not as much as a normal starter would.
For a young man that turned his back on his team and came back, the starting tailback job, despite the number of carries, is a step in the right direction.
Chris Lionetti covers the Georgia Bulldogs as well as the Southeastern Conference for Rant Sports
Follow him on twitter at : @ChrisLionetti