The two-star rated running back from Augusta has made some September noise with how he ran the ball late in Georgia’s 41-30 win over South Carolina Saturday in his college debut.
With Keith Marshall sidelined with a bruised knee, Douglas ran five times for 31 yards, all in the Bulldogs’ final drive that ate up the last 8:28 of the game.
“He’s definitely found a niche as far as short yardage, goal line, four-minute offense, which is when you’re trying to end the game like we were doing,” coach Mark Richt said. “I think he would be first to go in there.”
Richt said it’s not established yet if Douglas has moved ahead of J.J. Green behind Todd Gurley and Marshall as Georgia’s No. 3 tailback.
“We’ve got to continue to develop that depth if injuries do happen,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “It’s a rough and tough league and we played two very good opponents the first two weeks and guys played a lot of snaps. Hopefully we’ll be healed up and be ready to go in a week and a half.”
Gurley has dealt with a minor leg injury early this season but has topped 100 yards rushing each game.
Richt said the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Douglas, who missed the Clemson game after spraining his MCL, probably wouldn’t have had the chance to carry the ball in that final drive if Marshall wasn’t out. His first carry went for 17 yards.
“He took great advantage of it,” Richt said. “Every time we’ve seen him scrimmage, we saw what you guys saw. A really powerful runner who’s got good ball security and some good vision. He’s a very legitimate Southeastern Conference tailback in my opinion and I think he’s going to have a good career for us before it’s over.”
Douglas was considered a fullback by some as a recruit. He was a late switch to Georgia before signing day.
“He’s hard to tackle, low to the ground, good balance,” Bobo said.
Large chunk of signing class could redshirt
Georgia could end up redshirting more than half or close to half of the 31 newcomers it brought in from this year’s signing class.
So far Georgia's reported 12 have played and junior college transfer wide receiver Jonathon Rumph is being prepared to play for the first time against North Texas.
Rumph practiced without limitations Wednesday after missing the first two games with a strained hamstring and is expected to play against North Texas.
“I don’t know if he will get in as a rotation from the very beginning or it will be contingent on how the game goes,” Richt said. “He was getting a lot of work on special teams. Coaches are trying to incorporate him back into that.”
Bobo said that Rumph was “rusty” on Wednesday
“He’s got to get better on his assignments and better on his route running,” he said. “He’s got to use this week in a half to show we can depend on him and put him in the game.”
Richt said that safety Quincy Mauger, cornerback Shaq Wiggins and linebacker Reggie Carter could be close to earning more playing time on defense.
They have already played along with defensive backs Brendan Langley and Tray Matthews, linebackers Leonard Floyd, Tim Kimbrough and Ryne Rankin, receiver Reggie Davis and Douglas and Green. Junior college transfer defensive lineman Toby Johnson also has seen action.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said the plan now is not to play any freshmen who have not already been in games this season except linebacker Johnny O’Neal.
Bobo said tight end Jordan Davis could play against North Texas. Coaches are also considering playing offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow.
Richt said Spurrier was being playful with comment
Richt said he thinks South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier probably was just kidding about his comment not to take the Georgia job more than a decade ago when Spurrier was at Florida.
The subject came up earlier this week at Richt’s appearance before the Touchdown Club of Athens and Richt said Wedensday he didn’t think it was 1991, but probably 2000.
“We were talking, I think it might have been during the time that I was interviewing for the Georgia job,” Richt said. “I think he was just playfully saying `I wouldn’t take that Georgia job if I was you.’ It was not that big a deal.”
Richt said he thinks Spurrier knew he interviewed for the job or maybe “five years prior. …He was halfway playing around I think.”
This and that
Georgia held its second straight day of a full pads practice on Wednesday in what Richt said was a “very lively” session. The team practices for the final time this week today.
The practice ended with two eight-play drives with players that haven’t seen much playing time yet.
“Kimbrough made a real big hit today, but then he gets out of position a few times,” Richt said. “I think when he really learns it, he’s going to be good. He walks around in a hitting position. He’s just one of those linebackers who can get low and play low.”
Redshirt receiver Blake Tibbs “made a couple of catches,” but isn’t close to cracking the rotation.
Offensive lineman Kenarious Gates didn’t practice Wednesday after being injured against South Carolina. “Ankle and knee both got it a little bit,” Richt said, “but we think he’ll be fine (to play against North Texas).
Tight end Jay Rome, who missed the South Carolina game with a sprained knee, practiced in a non-contact jersey. Marshall (knee) also was in a non-contact jersey.
Inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera played every snap against South Carolina. Get used to it. “He’ll keep playing all the snaps,” Grantham said.