Posted: 2:20 am Monday, August 4th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
After UGA struggled with efforts to recruit an elite running back out of high school this year, the Bulldogs went in a different direction.
And they had some quick success.
Former Parkview High School standout Chris Carson, who now plays at a Kansas junior college, committed to UGA on Sunday after taking an official visit with the Bulldogs over the weekend.
“Yes, I committed,” Carson told the AJC. “Georgia felt like a family. And I love the competition.”
It took four days for UGA to close the deal. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder had only officially gotten an offer from the Bulldogs last Thursday. He took an official visit with his family on Saturday, and pledged before leaving campus on Sunday.
Carson is ranked as a 3-star and the No. 66 overall prospect this year out of junior college. He picked UGA over Iowa State, and said he will no longer take the official visit he had planned with the Cyclones later this month.
Carson was a non-qualifier out of high school, and has an outside chance of enrolling this January. However, he is more likely to report by the end of the spring.
UGA has had some success in past years with recruiting running backs from Parkview, including Brett Millican and Caleb King (who transferred to GAC as a senior).
Carson’s fast courtship represented a shift in strategy by UGA with recruiting running backs for 2015.
The Bulldogs have struggled mightily with attracting elite high schoolers not because of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall (who are both expected to leave after the season for the NFL). No, the deterrent has clearly been the presence of incoming freshmen 5-stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel – even though neither has proven anything yet at the collegiate level.
On the surface, Carson appears to be a good move for UGA for several reasons: (1) his commitment won’t scare away any of the elite high school running backs that the Bulldogs are targeting for 2016 because Carson will only likely be there for one season when they arrive; (2) He instantly gives UGA some solid depth at the position. He’s a good insurance policy in case Chubb and Michel don’t live up to the hype or if they’re riddled with injuries like last year’s group; (3) Who knows? Carson may turn out to be better than a healthy Chubb and Michel. You never really know how any of these kids, including the 5-stars, will turn out until they get carries in the big SEC games. You’d have to think the Carson has a good chance of doing well at UGA after his success last year at junior college; (4) We’re not talking about Carson specifically but most junior-college transfers are low-risk, high-reward because if they don’t pan out, they’ll only be on scholarship a couple of seasons; and (5) Carson is the big and physical style of running back that seems to do well in UGA’s offensive scheme. He’s a banger.
UGA now has 17 commitments for 2015.
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