Based on his performance to date, Todd Gurley appears to be the next great one at “Tailback U”.
Todd Gurley looks to be the next in a long line of great Georgia tailbacks.
During Saturday night’s 48-3 win against Vanderbilt, the Georgia running back rushed for 130 yards on 16 carries (8.1 yards per carry) and a pair of touchdowns. For his efforts, he is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week for the week of Sept. 22.
Gurley has rushed for 406 yards and six touchdowns for the 4-0 and fifth-ranked Bulldogs and is averaging a whopping 9.2 yards per carry. He also has a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
He’s also made the legions of Georgia fans throughout the Peach State and the country forget all about last year’s stud freshman, the oft-troubled Isaiah Crowell, who was kicked off the team and transferred to Alabama State.
The Bulldogs have had great running backs through the years, Herschel Walker, Tim Worley (who like Gurley was recruited out of the state of North Carolina) Rodney Hampton, Lars Tate, Garrison Hearst, Robert Edwards, Terrell Davis (who didn’t do much at UGA), Musa Smith and Knowshon Moreno all wore the Red and Black and the silver britches. Though every back is different, most of those possessed excellent size, power and speed. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Gurley is prototypical in that regard.
On top of that, Georgia head coach Mark Richt has raved about Gurley’s attitude, making mention that even after a three-touchdown college debut during a 45-23 win against Buffalo on Sept. 1, Gurley showed no signs of “entitlement issues”.
As a recruit, he was a prospect that didn’t really emerge nationally until his senior year. One of several top-flight recruits that Tarboro (N.C.) High has produced in recent years (Ohio State defensive end commit Tyquan Lewis is a 2013 recruit from the school), Gurley was the No. 56 overall prospect in the country according to 247Sports and the No. 6 running back prospect. He was the No. 74 overall prospect in the country according to the 247Composite, which weighs equally rankings and ratings from media networks that cover recruiting.
Gurley capped a celebrated high school career with 240 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the North Carolina 2A championship game. That capped a 2,600-yard, 38-touchdown senior year.
During the recruiting process, there was an opinion amongst analysts and even some coaches that Gurley may end up playing safety or linebacker, a notion now that seems far-fetched given his special ability to run the football. Gurley played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. It was during the practice sessions at the Shrine Bowl that many analysts saw for the first time what those in the state of North Carolina already knew- that Gurley had special potential.
If the first four games of his college career are reflective of the norm moving forward, that notion was right.
True Freshmen of the Week- 247Sports