"Tremendous Opportunity" for Running Backs at UGA
When Aaron Murray was asked earlier this week about how many running backs he's handed off to in the past two years, Murray thought for a moment and then responded, "Seven.... Eight? It's up there."
Georgia's running back by committee has taken on an entire new meaning this year. After thinking they had gotten rid of the problems with Washaun and having Caleb exit, many Georgia fans (and I'm sure coaches) felt good about the running back situation with the leadership of Richard Samuel, Carlton Thomas, and the talent of Isaiah Crowell. However, constant injuries and suspensions have made the running back position a top priority for Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Prior to today's practice, Mark Richt told the media exactly how he felt in regards to Georgia's running back situation:
"On the revolving door of tailbacks at the position due to injuries and suspensions: “It’s been a pain in the rear this year, no doubt, but again there’s been different reasons for all this. In football, whether it’s injuries, suspension, whatever, guys end up not being there and another guys got to jump in there and play.”
On how many tailbacks Georgia wants to sign in February: “I’ll say this: There’s a tremendous opportunity at the University of Georgia for running backs in this class to come to Georgia and make an impact. I hope that’s not breaking a rule, I don’t know. There’s tremendous opportunity, I can say that. If I was a running back, if I was a great running back, I would want to come to Georgia. I would be so excited about my opportunity at Georgia.”
Of course, the great running back(s) that Richt is talking about are Georgia's two top targets: Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Georgia has been on both of these tremendous backs for a while now and look to be the favorite. Both have said constantly that they'd like to go to school together. Marshall has even said he knows when he gets to college, he will have to share carriers - and his thought? Why not share them with a good friend.
Here is a video and quick analysis of each of these recruits:
40-Time: 4.4 by Rivals - has been clocked at a sub 4.3
Ranking: 4-Star by Rivals / #1 RB in Nation / #65 Player in Nation
Analysis: Marshall shows in his highlights why he is considered the best running back in this class. He has a low center of gravity, good balance, and very dangerous speed. His lateral ability allows him to make defenders miss in space and makes him dangerous. He has the ability to break the big play at any time because of his elite speed. Player to compare Marshall to is LaDanian Tomlinson.
40-Time: 4.4 - has been clocked at a 4.3
Ranking: 3-Star by Rivals / #23 RB in Nation / #NR Player in Nation
Analysis: Gurley is a different style runner than Marshall. Gurley runs a lot more north south vs. east west. He is a vertical runner - due to his size at 6'1". He does have good speed, but not elite, like Marshall. Gurley is a physical runner who can run hard between the tackles, can make people miss in space, and can lower a shoulder. With his frame, Gurley has plenty of room to grow into a very big back. He could be compared to Adrian Peterson if he fills out.