Posted: 7:01 pm Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
How big of a challenge will it be for UGA to recruit a top running back for this year’s class?
On the surface, it looks like brutal task due to UGA’s ridiculous depth of the position.
It has less to do with Keith Marshall and Heisman candidate Todd Gurley — who will both likely exit for the NFL after this season. UGA’s ability to recruit at the position is more impacted by the presence of incoming freshmen 5-stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
But Mark Richt doesn’t seem to think it will be a problem to land another big fish at running back. Or at least he’s not admitting it publicly.
“No I don’t think (it will be a problem),” Richt said recently. “What are the chances of Gurley staying around a long time? You know, (and) Keith Marshall for that matter? You know, if you only have three running backs on campus, and you take two out of there … That’s not enough. The kids know that.”
“You probably didn’t think you’d get a Nick Chubb and Sony Michel this past year. I don’t think anybody wants to be the one guy.
“Around 20 years ago, it was ‘I want to be the guy. I want 20 or 30 carries per game. I want to be the man. Now it’s like I want to be one of the men’ because they understand, and the NFL Draft has proven that. Backs don’t have a long life. Teams don’t have just one guy. They need to get two or three that help carry the load.”
People outside of the UGA football offices aren’t as confident as Richt about the Bulldogs’ chances at a high-profile running back for 2015. It ‘s not an impossible assignment, but it’s not an easy one either.
UGA has offered scholarships to eight running backs for 2015, according to 247sports.com. Six of the eight have already committed to other schools, including McEachern’s Taj Griffin (Oregon), Sandy Creek’s Eric Swinney (Ole Miss) and former Norcross standout Alvin Kamara (Tennessee).
“Even if you’re not a Georgia fan, you’re aware of the depth and the quality of depth that they’re going to have at Georgia at running back,” said 247sports.com’s Rusty Mansell. “Going into the season, it all looks good for Georgia on paper. It could be even better as the season plays out once you see the young guys and how they adapt to college. But there’s no question that other schools are using that against UGA, and that’s just the nature of recruiting.”
Will UGA even sign a running back for 2015? That’s another scenario that has been tossed around on message boards, although conventional wisdom says the Bulldogs sign at least one, if only for depth purposes.
“I would expect Georgia to try to recruit with the mindset to take one in this class,” Mansell said. “I don’t think it would be life or death if they didn’t sign one. But I fully expect them to recruit for that position.
“Now if they don’t find who they like or want, they could certainly skip a year. And it wouldn’t be the end of the world, for sure.”
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