Todd Gurley is without a doubt one of the biggest names in College Football this year, but the question that I am posing is whether or not his popularity is deserving or simply unearned.
Gurley was a 4 star recruit out of Tarboro,NC. He was supposed to be slotted behind fellow freshman RB Keith Marshall in 2012 but showed flashes of greatness so Mike Bobo and Mark Richt had no choice but to have a dual-headed running corps. This ultimately worked out in Georgias’ favor. Todd Gurley finished his freshman season with gaudy stats compared to his running-mate. Gurley ended the campaign with 1385 yards and 17 touchdowns, Marshall ended with 759 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Enter Sophomore year. Georgia was thought by many to win the National Championship due to Aaron Murray, a skilled defense and of course the dual-headed running back corps that was GURSHALL. Sadly in week 6 Keith Marshall tore his ACL and Gurley had to take the bulk of the carrie from that point on. But Gurley also got injured from week 6-9 therefore his stats from the 2013 season are plagued with injury.
Marshall: 246 yards 1 TD
Gurley: 989 yards 10 TD
In the 2013 season Gurley received 60 less carries and had a lower YPC average.
Now its 2014 and Gurley is expected to be a Heisman finalist and lead the Georgia offense with Aaron Murray gone. Up to this point in the season Gurley has 610 yards and 6 TDs. Marshall has not touched the field nearly as much as he did his sophomore or freshman season due to his torn ACL.
Gurley still does have competition in Georgia backfield. 3 other very high-powered and speedy running backs are behind Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Brendan Douglas (Notice: I did not add Keith Marshall to this list).
In the Tennessee game last week Gurley rushed for 208 yards, which his new career high for one game (previously 198). Gurley has a YPC average of 8.8 so far this season, this is an INSANE stat. The fact that every time he runs he is expected to get at least 8-9 yards which is near a the first down marker is astonishing. The only game his YPC average was below 7 was against South Carolina, he had a 6.6.
I won’t go as far to say he is going to be pass Herschel Walker on any lists, because Gurley probably won’t. Herschel used to rush the ball 300-400 times in a season, i hope the UGA offense does not have to do this and will trust Hutson Mason to throw.
Georgia has a massive weapon in Gurley but they make the correct decision by not overusing him and rotating in young talent.
A topic I have not brought up yet is Gurley’s new kickoff returning responsibility in the 2014 season.
First off: this is a huge statement from the Georgia Bulldog Coaching Staff, usually a team won’t put their obvious best player out on the kickoff team to get hit and possibly injured.
—- Gurley has 3 kick returns for a total of 147 yards and 1 TD. He had a long TD run of 100 yards.
——-Kickers are asked to kick away from him because he has massive big play ability.
Gurley is deserving of his hype and has lived up to it completely.
As a Georgia fan I believe that Todd Gurley is GOD, and if he has a bad game Georgia will lose. It is known all around Bulldawg-Nation that this year our passing game is very questionable with Hutson Mason at QB, and our offense rides on his success.
So far in the 2014 campaign through the 4 games that Georgia has played in he has been the premier back of the Georgia running back corps and the SEC.
I would just like to a take a second and compare him to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel
Todd Gurley Nick Chubb Sony Michel
610 yards 146 yards 223 yards
6 TDs 1 TD 3 TDs
These stats show that he could have inflated stats but he shares time with younger players.
The sheer athletic ability that Gurley has shown in his 2 years at Georgia is insane. He can jump over anyone to get to a piline and he will. He risks his body to get touchdowns and win for his team
Over the years Georgia has produced a high powered WR (AJ Green), a elite quarterback (Mathew Stafford), and many defensive players, but the running backs that Georgia produces don’t usually go on to have great NFL careers.
Knowshon Moreno has been a major failure no matter what your opinion is, therefore teams may fear taking Gurley too high. But in my opinion passing on Gurley in the top 3 no matter what team is on the clock would be ridiculously unfortunate.