Isaiah Crowell, who was just named SEC freshman of the year on Monday, is the hot topic of discussion among Bulldog Nation. Some fans are questioning his desire to compete, while others wonder about his character off the field. However, the best thing that Georgia supporters can do for Isaiah Crowell is to leave him alone.
Isaiah has some maturing to do, but he is still a true freshman. This time last year he was a senior in high school who was contemplating playing his college ball between the hedges. Georgia fans must be supportive of a kid who needs to learn how to be a young man instead of treating him as if he were a highly paid NFL running back who failed to meet expectations.
Keith Marshall, a highly touted tailback, has chosen to come to the University of Georgia to play football. Here’s hoping that Marshall was not watching the SEC Championship Game this past Saturday. Hearing the boos directed at Isaiah Crowell could make any standout recruit considering Athens re-think their decision. “Will fans turn on me if my first season does not live up to their unrealistic fantasy numbers?”
Cam Newton and the Florida Gators is a perfect example of a fan base giving up on a young man too quickly. During his (medical) redshirt sophomore year at Florida, Cam had all kinds of off the field issues. Gator Nation got fed up with him following an arrest after he threw a stolen laptop out of his dorm window. After the fall of 2008, Newton decided to transfer to Blinn College before ending up at Auburn two years later. Florida’s loss was Auburn’s gain, as a mature Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy and then the national championship in his only season with the Tigers last year. As for Florida, they finished 2010 with eight wins (including a bowl victory) and Urban Meyer “retired.”
If Isaiah Crowell does not adjust his attitude then he does not belong at the University of Georgia. However, that decision must be left up to the coaching staff and Isaiah himself. A lot of young people have difficulty adjusting to expectations in college. The only difference is that Crowell’s every move is under a mass media microscope. The young man should have the opportunity to grow mentally and physically this off-season and learn how to be a Georgia Bulldog.