Running back Ken Malcome admits that the groin injury that limited him during the spring hasn't completely gone away.
But with playing time at stake for the fall, the redshirt freshmen from Decatur said he has no choice but to try and forge full steam ahead.
"I just can't worry about it, I've just got to keep practicing every day," Malcome said. "It hurts, but I've got to push it. Once I'm in practice I don't really think about it. Most of the time, it's just like a regular practice."
Once can understand Malcome's frustration.
His balky groin limited the former Southwest DeKalb standout to just a handful of practices during the spring, dropping him on the depth chart behind walk-on Brandon Harton, who impressed coaches with his quickness and tremendous speed.
"Yeah, that's where I'm at now, but I know and the coaches know if I can move up," said Malcome, who said he's quite determined to make an impact in the Bulldog backfield.
"That's what I'm going to do and work hard toward," he added. "I didn't come to Georgia to sit on the bench for four years. I came to play and that's what I plan to do."
As it stands today, Richard Samuel sits atop the depth chart with Malcome, Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Harton pushing for their share of the playing time pie.
Malcome admits the competition will be tough.
"We're ready. Isaiah is picking things up pretty quick and Richard has run well since he's been back," he said. "Right now we're just moving forward."
Malcome said there are a lot of similarities between himself and the 241-pound Samuel.
"He's like me in that he's basically a down-hill runner," said the 226-pound Malcome. "He's not going to run outside much, just cut it back up and I'm pretty much the same. He's looked good so far."
Come Monday, Malcome and the rest of the running backs will get a better idea of where each of them stands.
That's when the Bulldogs don the full pads for the first time in preparation for the first scrimmage on Wednesday.
"That's when we're going to see whose ready," Malcome said.
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]