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Big debut nearing for Crowell

ATHENS, Ga. – When’s the last time Georgia’s freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell played in a football game he didn’t start?

“Well, I haven’t ever not started,” said Crowell, pointing out a streak that dates back to when he started playing football at age 6.

So you figure that it is possible. If Richard Samuel gets the call to open the Boise State game on Sept. 3, Crowell could make personal history before even playing his first collegiate snap for the Bulldogs.

But he claims to not really care.

“Starting is not a big deal to me,” Crowell said. “I do want to play in the game, but that’s up to the coaches.”

Ready or not, it is now 11 days until the hype and buzz becomes tangible and Crowell debuts for Georgia’s football team. Crowell confidently says “I’m 100 percent ready,” and by that he means his pass protection responsibilities, other mental assignments and groin soreness that has caused him to miss some preseason practices.

Crowell, who returned full speed during Saturday’s practice, has continued to work without a problem since then.

“He looks good out there on the field in practice,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “He’s confident. He’s making some unbelievable cuts, catching the ball very nicely. So I’m excited to see what he can do come that first game.”

“The first game is really like a reality check for me to see where I’m at and how I’m going to do the rest of the season,” Crowell said. “I think I’m ready, but I won’t see until game time. … I’d like to have how many yards I want or a lot of touchdowns or whatever, but if it doesn’t happen as long as my team comes out on top, that’s all I want.”

Crowell says of the groin issue, “I don’t think it set me back at all.”

While out with the groin issue, Crowell did continue to get mental reps and lift weights. But UGA coach Mark Richt still has a few things he’d like to throw at Crowell, who is expected to participate in Wednesday’s practice game scrimmage.

“He just hasn’t experienced enough of the situations that are going to come down the pipe,” Richt said. “You try to give him as many situations as possible. Have we hit every single thing with him yet? No. But before these next 10 days are over, we hope to make sure he’s got enough to feel comfortable. The good news is he’s picking things up quickly, and he doesn’t shy away from any kind of contact in pass protecting. He knows the importance of it, so that’s a good thing.”

“Really, I figured I was going to come up here and do well,” Crowell said. “It wasn’t really nothing to it to me.”

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