"I about made myself sick, just because you feel so helpless," Jeremy Thomas said. "You feel, I don't want to say outcasted, but you do a little bit.
I've been waiting a long time to play."
Thomas returns this week as the No. 3 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) play
Marshall (0-2) in Sanford Stadium on Saturday. He'll take his starting
job back from sophomore Des Williams, running backs coach Ken Rucker
"He's never lost (the job)," Rucker said. "He was the
starter when he
left and he's the starter coming back. He's been in the fire. He brings
experience, leadership, and he's got a passion for the game."
Coach Mark Richt is excited to have Thomas and his punishing blocking
style back in the lineup.
"(Williams) wasn't a devastating blocker," Richt said. "He
well (against South Carolina) but not as well as you'd like. Jeremy has
always provided some very physical play for us. He's an outstanding
"He's just a big bull," said running back Kregg Lumpkin.
friendly guy, but he's a big bull on the field."
Part of Thomas' physical play is attributable to his size and
strength. He's two inches shorter than Williams but heavier, at 250
pounds. He also one of the strongest players on the team, with a
425-pound bench press and a 565-pound squat. Another factor is
seniority, which allows Thomas to be more sure of his assignments and,
therefore, more aggressive in carrying them out, Rucker said.
"Through experience, it makes him that way," Rucker said.
Richt is also a fan of Thomas' pass-catching skills. Along with
rushing 24 times for 62 yards last year, he caught 17 passes for 174
yards and tied for the team high with five catches in the Capital One
Bowl victory over Purdue.
Williams has caught one pass for 11 yards this year and rushed three
times for 5 yards.
Thomas isn't sure he will be able to improve on what Williams has
done. He simply wants to pitch in, he said.
"I don't want to take anything away from Des," he said.
"Des has been
playing really good. Hopefully, I can get out there and help out."
He will at least give Williams a breather. Due to a lack of depth,
Williams played every snap at fullback in the first two games.
"It'll help Desmond not play as many plays as he had to play against
South Carolina.," Richt said.
Williams will improve by watching Thomas, Rucker said.
"It'll help Des to get better to see what's going on out
said. "He hasn't had anybody to observe but himself. It'll make us a
better football team to have those two guys."