ATHENS — Tae Crowder has long been known as the awesome running back with the killer dreads. Well, now those dreads are blond. At least up top they are. So when his Georgia helmet is cast aside, he’s hard to miss.
“Ah, I just changed things up a little bit,” Crowder said with a chuckle after the Bulldogs’ practice Thursday.
Crowder has been turning heads with his play in preseason camp as well. Then again, you could say he might as make the best of practice because that’s likely to be all the action Crowder will see this season.
Physically, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound freshman tailback from Hamilton’s Harris County High School blends in well with a running back corps that includes sophomores Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, juniors Keith Marshall and Brendan Douglas and sophomore A.J. Turman. Getting ahead of any of those guys on the depth chart at this point might seem an insurmountable prospect, but that’s not something on which Crowder is focusing.
“It’s just awesome covering ground with those guys each and every day,” said Crowder, who rushed for 1,667 yards and 27 touchdowns as a high school senior. “It’s not really a big deal. I’m learning from these guys and it’s great to be with a group like that.”
Playing time might look like a long shot at this early juncture, but Crowder also knows that the Bulldogs found ample opportunities for five tailbacks just last year. Douglas, Georgia’s fifth-string tailback at the outset of last season, managed 55 carries and scored two touchdowns.
And Crowder also can see a quick avenue to the field via special teams.
“My plan is just keep coming to work and see where I am from there,” Crowder said.
Crowder said the group has been very accepting of him and has been quick to help or offer advice.
“I just try to learn from them,” he said. “I try to listen to them, work like them, try to learn the techniques from them. They’ve been great.”