Samuel Takes On Leadership Role
Richard Samuel IV runs the ball during G-Day.

Richard Samuel IV runs the ball during G-Day.
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Aug. 23, 2012

ATHENS --- Throughout Georgia’s preseason a lot of attention has been paid to the Bulldogs’ two freshman running back Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. While both promise much for the upcoming season it is the most experienced member of Georgia’s backfield that could have one of the biggest contributions.

Richard Samuel spent much of last season splitting time between running back and fullback, something that has continued occasionally throughout preseason practices.  Samuel, however, seems most likely to begin the Bulldogs’ season at tailback where his role can only be of benefit to the young talent behind him.

“I would say my role is mostly a leader,” Samuel said. “I also help coach McClendon coach the young guys and get [them] ready.”

The role of leader, in a group that is composed entirely of freshmen and sophomores with the exception of Samuel and juniors Brandon Harton and Alex Parsons, is not a role Samuel took on by accident. 

“I’ve taken the initiative,” he said. “I pull the guys to the side and try to coach them as much as I can. I try to yell at them on the field, tell them what to do and how to do things and just help out as much as I can.”

The senior from Cartersville, Ga., said that he enjoys the leadership role he has taken on, especially helping the younger players prepare for what for many of them will be their first experience in the Southeastern Conference.

Having seen a lot of running backs during his time as a Bulldog, Samuel offers a unique perspective on the current crop of backs.  He said he likes how the backfield is shaping up.

“We’ve got a lot of different running styles, a lot of guys that play hard, run hard and won’t come out of the game for anything,” Samuel said. “I’m really confident about our running back position.”

His confidence stretches to a belief that, regardless which back is in the game the Bulldogs will maintain the same level of play throughout.

“I feel like we can rotate any guy in there without any drop off or drop in our ability,” Samuel said.

With the start of his senior season less than two weeks away Samuel, who carried the ball 82 times for 240 yards and one touchdown in 2011, said he is looking forward to facing Buffalo on Sept. 1.

“We had a good offseason, a good camp and I came through everything healthy,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to the beginning of the season.”

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