Spring different this year for Moreno

Knowshon Moreno

ATHENS – Despite playing for just a year, Knowshon Moreno has proved himself. (Free Video Inside)

Dawg Post's highlights of Knowshon Moreno's huge 2007

There's nothing more the Bulldogs coaching staff needs to learn about the sophomore running back who had 1,334 yards last year while sharing time with senior Thomas Brown. The only questions during spring practice revolve around the players who will back up Moreno – redshirt freshman Caleb King and true freshmen Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson.

That means Moreno will spend some time this spring watching and that creates a problem for offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

"It's a fine line," Bobo said. "Knowshon, even though he is a sophomore, is one of our leaders because of the way he practices by just showing those guys how we want to practice at Georgia. If you hold that guy out, those guys don't get to see that. By the same token, we don't play until the fall, and we know what he can do. We have to make sure the other guys know what they need to know."

It also creates a problem for Moreno, who knows he will get anxious if he has to stand and watch too much rather than competing.

"I think it will be difficult a little bit, but when I am in there I have to make the best of my time and just keep on working on the little things," he said. "I might throw myself in a couple times and see what they do, but it'll be all right."

The responsibility for deciding when to get Moreno into, and out of, the fray belongs to running backs coach Tony Ball, but Richt will be keeping a close eye, he said.

"We're going to have to be pulling him out of drills because he really does love to compete," Richt said. "I'm more concerned to see what Caleb can do and what Richard Samuel can do and what Dontavius can do."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has no interest in seeing his No. 1 offensive weapon hurt during spring practice, he said. Moreno averaged 5.3 yards per carry and had the second-best rushing season by a freshman in school history. He was the SEC's second-leading rusher with 102.6 yards per game.

"I think he understands, especially at running back, a physical position like that, we don't want to take too many chances with him," Stafford said.

King, who sat out last year but is expected to be the top backup in the fall, will be the chief beneficiary of the Moreno's down time. Like Moreno last year, he hopes to use this spring to prove he deserves to be a large part of the offensive plan.

"I'm ready for Friday, when we put on full pads," King said.

Georgia will hold spring workouts today, Thursday and Friday before taking a week off for spring break. King also knows that Moreno will be itching to be on the field any time he can.

"It probably will be tough on him because he likes competing," King said, "but being smart, I'd probably do the same thing if I was the coach, too."

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